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Old June 8th, 2012, 10:37 AM   #51 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure there's already a rule regarding patenting obvious ideas. It begs the question, if something is so obvious, why hasnt somebody already created those things by the year 2011?

Bear in mind it's not only the feature itself that's patentable but the context it's used in, so the fact that voice activated assistants appeared in star trek years ago does not mean people can't patent them for smartphones, or that Microsoft can't patent them for being in Kinect.

Don't get me wrong, I think the lawsuit is a ludicrous one, but mainly because of how Apple is trying to resolve it. If somebody owns a patent, it's their right to seek payment for the use of it by competitors, but asking for an outright ban is anti competitive and they're trying to become the monopoly that Microsoft was back in the day.

IMO it's not the patents that are the issues, it's Apple's attitude towards resolving patent conflicts.
As a US Patent attorney, I can verify that there is a rule against obviousness. However, there are a few key thinks most people don't understand about patents:

1. patent is granted several years after it is applied for, but obviousness has to be proven from before it was applied for. So three years later when it is granted, the idea may seem obvious even if it wasn't when the patent was filed.

2. Obviousness must be proven with evidence. You can't just say "that is obvious." Documentation of the claimed features existence prior to filing the application must be shown. And unfortunately, computer people don't document very well.

3. Only the patent's claims matter. The title and the description do not give any patent protection, only the claims. So the patent title might be something broad like "Voice recognition software," but the claims might contain very specific features and/or algorithms for implementing a particular type of voice recognition software. Such a patent wouldn't cover all voice recognition, just one implementation but the internet seems to think it covers all voice recognition.

It should be noted that the above example is hypothetical. I haven't looked at Apple's Siri patents so I have no idea what they claim and how broad or narrow they are.

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Old June 8th, 2012, 10:45 AM   #52 (permalink)
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Bear in mind it's not only the feature itself that's patentable but the context it's used in, so the fact that voice activated assistants appeared in star trek years ago does not mean people can't patent them for smartphones, or that Microsoft can't patent them for being in Kinect.
But I think this does mean they can't patent the idea. The estate of Gene Roddenberry owns that intellectual property doesn't it? I'd like to think so, anyway.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #53 (permalink)
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But I think this does mean they can't patent the idea. The estate of Gene Roddenberry owns that intellectual property doesn't it? I'd like to think so, anyway.
You can't patent an abstract idea. One other thing about prior art is it must be "enabling." Going with the above example, the voice assistant in Star Trek doesn't include enough information to tell one how to build it. It just shows some future time when voice assistants exist. Therefore, it isn't enabling and can't be used to reject a patent on voice commands. Now, if there was an episode of Star Trek where one of the crew tediously went through the steps on how to build one (and those steps worked), then it might be prior art.

What Gene Roddenberry's estate would theoretically own would be a copyright on the scripts/performance of those star trek episodes and not any patent rights.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 03:45 PM   #54 (permalink)
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The whole pantent system needs changing. If you read some of them, they are so vague, it's laughable. Not good for consumers.

I realise we need something to protect innovation, but the current system is broken
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Old June 8th, 2012, 04:06 PM   #55 (permalink)
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This is what happens with the shitty political system and all these companies paying big money towards them, they get their ways even if it is complete and utter B.S
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Old June 8th, 2012, 04:25 PM   #56 (permalink)
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I think the real problem is, Apple is treated differently under the law then everybody else.

This is obvious. All these phone companies have patents, only Apple succeeds in getting other products banned with theirs.

I mean we heard Google bought Motorola for patent protection, but it didn't matter Google wont win any patent cases.

Apple has had literally police offers acting as an arm of Apple in the case of stolen iPhones in San Francisco, and searched a private citizens home with Apple officials who identified themselves a police by their side. If any other corporation did this there would be a huge out roar.

It's a lot like when Bill Clinton clearly perjured, and walked on it. In America the law applies differently to different people, and different corporations.

I mean I always wonder why it was ok for apple to steal Android's pulldown notification system, blatantly, let literally it's ok for Apple to patent rectangular phones. Never before in the history of products has this type of thing occurred.

Also, even the very term "iPhone" was trademarked before Apple (by Cisco, IIRC). Did it matter? Of course not, Apple just swooped in and took it, because theyre Apple and the law lets Apple do whatever they want.

I remember some guy explaining this on a message board, he said "iphone cant be trademarked, because the product is a phone. For example, iPod can be trademarked, because the iPod isn't a "pod". So Cisco will lose that case"

Of course Apple stole iPhone from Cisco and trademarked it anyway, which makes no sense according to what the guy was saying.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 04:37 PM   #57 (permalink)
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If it makes no sense then you probably have some of your facts wrong. I think wikipedia can help you there, where it explains what happened with the Cisco(Linksys) iphone.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 05:06 PM   #58 (permalink)
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I mean I always wonder why it was ok for apple to steal Android's pulldown notification system, blatantly, let literally it's ok for Apple to patent rectangular phones. Never before in the history of products has this type of thing occurred.
Open source code. There's your answer. Notification center was not trademarked, patented, xeroxed, or whatever. Blame Google for not making Android code proprietary.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 05:59 PM   #59 (permalink)
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As a US Patent attorney, I can verify that there is a rule against obviousness. However, there are a few key thinks most people don't understand about patents:

1. patent is granted several years after it is applied for, but obviousness has to be proven from before it was applied for. So three years later when it is granted, the idea may seem obvious even if it wasn't when the patent was filed.

2. Obviousness must be proven with evidence. You can't just say "that is obvious." Documentation of the claimed features existence prior to filing the application must be shown. And unfortunately, computer people don't document very well.

3. Only the patent's claims matter. The title and the description do not give any patent protection, only the claims. So the patent title might be something broad like "Voice recognition software," but the claims might contain very specific features and/or algorithms for implementing a particular type of voice recognition software. Such a patent wouldn't cover all voice recognition, just one implementation but the internet seems to think it covers all voice recognition.

It should be noted that the above example is hypothetical. I haven't looked at Apple's Siri patents so I have no idea what they claim and how broad or narrow they are.
Thanks, this is details that go with what I was talking about. Star Trek is just part of it, an example of the idea and concept being there already so not even close to being open for patent.

I am not sure the details of the "structure" patent, but it sounds like it is the same as when we right click in an application. Single action to bring up a choice of actions.

As to algorithms, best case to point to is the Google Oracle case. 9 lines in millions matched. What are the odds that you will have a match writing code in a few lines? I would say almost a given when you are talking similar devices.

As for Cisco/iPhone/iOS yes read up, they came to a mutual licensing agreement. One reason you see EAP-Fast bundled into the iPhone and not Android. This is part of the relationship Cisco and Apple created due to the sharing/licensing of the names iPhone and IOS. The lawsuit never made it to court for this reason and it was not stolen.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 08:46 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Open source code. There's your answer. Notification center was not trademarked, patented, xeroxed, or whatever. Blame Google for not making Android code proprietary.
Actually google did apply for a patent. In-Depth Analysis: Android's Notification Bar Patent (And How Apple May Or May Not Infringe It)
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Old June 9th, 2012, 08:18 AM   #61 (permalink)
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Not to be a bummer but ANYONE KNOW THE LATEST NEWS ON THIS SITUATION???

Apple held up my prerorder for the EVO LTE and I returned that to get this and now have no cell phone until the S3 comes.

So this topic is very important to me.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 11:30 AM   #62 (permalink)
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I think the judicial system is getting tired of Steve Job's legacy.

Apple v. Motorola patent case dismissed by frustrated judge | The Verge

Hopefully this will have some bearing in the HTC and Samsung cases.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 01:35 PM   #63 (permalink)
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The patent system is broken and Apple is trying to ride it to a monopoly.

Here are some points regarding that:

1. Software was not originally patentable, it fell under copyright protection because it was a compilation of code written by a programmer. It was not a tangible product that could stand on it's own. It needs to return to copyright where it belongs.

2. Actions were never patentable before Apple's applications. Patenting "slide to unlock" was a big slap in the face to the system. This is no different than me filing and receiving a patent on the baseball pitch and suing every pitcher on the planet. They can (under the new rules of software being patentable) patent the code required to do the action, but the action itself is not protected despite Apple's insistence that it is. Fortunately they got slapped down on the "finger swipe to change screens" application.

3. Digital assistants, once again you can patent the software, but not the actions. And these existed prior to Apple's application, as did many examples of Apple's patent library which leads to my next point.

4. Public Domain. Originally once something existed in the public domain and had established history it was no longer patentable. If you went to market and had something out there you had no protection but the "big evil corporation" also could not swoop in and patent your product. They could try but there would have to be substantial change and/or improvement to your original design. The same goes for existing patents, which now only have to be changed 10% to be eligible now.

5. The patent office is going broke and has adopted the attitude of "grant the patent and let it get duked out in court" so they can collect their fees.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 01:45 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SamuraiBigEd View Post
The patent system is broken and Apple is trying to ride it to a monopoly.

Here are some points regarding that:

1. Software was not originally patentable, it fell under copyright protection because it was a compilation of code written by a programmer. It was not a tangible product that could stand on it's own. It needs to return to copyright where it belongs.

2. Actions were never patentable before Apple's applications. Patenting "slide to unlock" was a big slap in the face to the system. This is no different than me filing and receiving a patent on the baseball pitch and suing every pitcher on the planet. They can (under the new rules of software being patentable) patent the code required to do the action, but the action itself is not protected despite Apple's insistence that it is. Fortunately they got slapped down on the "finger swipe to change screens" application.

3. Digital assistants, once again you can patent the software, but not the actions. And these existed prior to Apple's application, as did many examples of Apple's patent library which leads to my next point.

4. Public Domain. Originally once something existed in the public domain and had established history it was no longer patentable. If you went to market and had something out there you had no protection but the "big evil corporation" also could not swoop in and patent your product. They could try but there would have to be substantial change and/or improvement to your original design. The same goes for existing patents, which now only have to be changed 10% to be eligible now.

5. The patent office is going broke and has adopted the attitude of "grant the patent and let it get duked out in court" so they can collect their fees.
The thing I've always thought was broken about the patent system, and I'm not sure there's any easy way to resolve this, is that somebody could come up with the same ideas of their own accord and implement it in the same way too. If I decided to write some software and implement a slide to unlock gesture for touchscreen devices, but I had never heard of Apple's iPhone, why should I have to pay anybody for that if it was my idea? Seems ridiculous to me.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 01:46 PM   #65 (permalink)
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5. The patent office is going broke and has adopted the attitude of "grant the patent and let it get duked out in court" so they can collect their fees.
^^This.

Giving credence to the old lawyer joke: "What do you call 100 lawyers buried up to their necks in sand?"




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Old June 9th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SamuraiBigEd View Post
The patent system is broken and Apple is trying to ride it to a monopoly.

Here are some points regarding that:

1. Software was not originally patentable, it fell under copyright protection because it was a compilation of code written by a programmer. It was not a tangible product that could stand on it's own. It needs to return to copyright where it belongs.
I can't believe I'm doing this, but here it goes. This is just flat out wrong. The 1951 Patent Code (the code currently in effect) stated that "methods" were patentable. The general assumption by the Patent Office was that software wasn't patentable. However, in 1981, the Supreme Court stepped in and declared software to be patentable. The case is Diamond v. Diehr. Many programmers thought software was patentable, hence the lawsuit against the Patent Office for denying patents to software. So software was patentable, the USPTO was just improperly denying patents on it.

Quote:
2. Actions were never patentable before Apple's applications. Patenting "slide to unlock" was a big slap in the face to the system. This is no different than me filing and receiving a patent on the baseball pitch and suing every pitcher on the planet. They can (under the new rules of software being patentable) patent the code required to do the action, but the action itself is not protected despite Apple's insistence that it is. Fortunately they got slapped down on the "finger swipe to change screens" application.
Again, this is just flat out wrong. Methods, e.g. actions, have been patentable for a long, even before the 1951 act they were allowable under common law. In a non-software setting there was a famous case from the 1940's over a patent covering the use of a well-known chemical as a pesticide. In a software context, "action" patents have been common since the 1990s.

Quote:
3. Digital assistants, once again you can patent the software, but not the actions. And these existed prior to Apple's application, as did many examples of Apple's patent library which leads to my next point.
I haven't looked at the Apple's Siri patents, but I can promise you they don't cover all digital assistants. If you look at the claims and not an overlybroad title or abstract, they will only cover a very limited implementation.

Quote:
4. Public Domain. Originally once something existed in the public domain and had established history it was no longer patentable. If you went to market and had something out there you had no protection but the "big evil corporation" also could not swoop in and patent your product. They could try but there would have to be substantial change and/or improvement to your original design. The same goes for existing patents, which now only have to be changed 10% to be eligible now.
As a Patent attorney, I have no idea where this 10% thing comes from. I've practiced for several years now and never, ever heard this. Not in law school, not in the patent bar exam, not in my yearly CLEs, and certainly not in the Manual of Patent Examination and Procedure put out by the patent office.

Further, if you look at the law, it includes "any new and useful improvement thereof" as patent eligible subject matter (35 USC 101). This means that something in the public domain, if improved in a novel and non-obvious way, is eligible for patenting. Again, I'll refer back to the pesticide case I mentioned earlier. The chemical at question was long known and well in the public domain. Yet a patent was granted and upheld for using it as a pesticide.

Finally, you can (currently, the law changes in March) bring a product to market and then file for a patent. 35 USC 102(b) grants a 1 year grace period from when you introduce your invention to the public to when you can no longer file for a patent. Plus, if someone else where to try to file a patent after you introduce it, your invention would be immediately usable as prior art against their application. And if you file for one, and interference action would be conducted to determine who actually invented it.

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5. The patent office is going broke and has adopted the attitude of "grant the patent and let it get duked out in court" so they can collect their fees.
Just sayin', but the general consensus among the legal community is that the Patent Office's attitude is "deny, deny, deny."
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Old June 9th, 2012, 03:26 PM   #67 (permalink)
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The thing I've always thought was broken about the patent system, and I'm not sure there's any easy way to resolve this, is that somebody could come up with the same ideas of their own accord and implement it in the same way too. If I decided to write some software and implement a slide to unlock gesture for touchscreen devices, but I had never heard of Apple's iPhone, why should I have to pay anybody for that if it was my idea? Seems ridiculous to me.
There are currently two ways of doing this: The first to file for the invention is entitled to it; and the first to invent is entitled to the patent. Currently, the US is the only country that follows the later and that changes in March of 2013.

Here is the thing though, ideally if it was that easy for multiple inventors to simultaneously invent the same invention, it is probably going to get rejected as obvious. Even using the Slide-to-unlock example, if you read the patent claims, it is actually pretty narrow. I laughed at the video that people were saying was prior art when Apple got that patent, because it wasn't. There were several claim limitations that were not present in the software presented in that video. People just freaked out at the title because that sounds like it covers all slide to unlock systems, when it did not. You just have to look at the claims to see that, not the title or the abstract.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 03:36 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ardyer View Post
There are currently two ways of doing this: The first to file for the invention is entitled to it; and the first to invent is entitled to the patent. Currently, the US is the only country that follows the later and that changes in March of 2013.

Here is the thing though, ideally if it was that easy for multiple inventors to simultaneously invent the same invention, it is probably going to get rejected as obvious. Even using the Slide-to-unlock example, if you read the patent claims, it is actually pretty narrow. I laughed at the video that people were saying was prior art when Apple got that patent, because it wasn't. There were several claim limitations that were not present in the software presented in that video. People just freaked out at the title because that sounds like it covers all slide to unlock systems, when it did not. You just have to look at the claims to see that, not the title or the abstract.
I'm not necessarily saying that two people would invent something simultaneously; what if I came up with the idea years after the patent holders' product was already on the market? Do I then need to search a patent database to see if any of the features are already in use?

---

Back on topic; I don't have a problem with apple suing over people using its patents, but it does seem to be the only company furiously trying to get competing products banned. It would surely be in the interests of the consumer and the spirit of competition to seek damages, not get the product banned completely.

It may be that other companies do this but don't get media attention, I don't know.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 03:55 PM   #69 (permalink)
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I'm not necessarily saying that two people would invent something simultaneously; what if I came up with the idea years after the patent holders' product was already on the market? Do I then need to search a patent database to see if any of the features are already in use?

---

Back on topic; I don't have a problem with apple suing over people using its patents, but it does seem to be the only company furiously trying to get competing products banned. It would surely be in the interests of the consumer and the spirit of competition to seek damages, not get the product banned completely.

It may be that other companies do this but don't get media attention, I don't know.
You just hit the nail on the head, it would make Apple a lot of money to sue them and get licensing fees. But what if you can't win? But you have enough of a patent, and case to make people stop, think and block the sale for you to limit competition? Odds are if this patent case was taken to court, Apple would lose. So instead of sueing, they are trying to take advantage of the ITC. This is a good reason why we should have never signed on with it.

In the end, to them there is no down side. You slow down the competition, or your request is thrown out
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Old June 9th, 2012, 06:06 PM   #70 (permalink)
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I can't believe I'm doing this, but here it goes. This is just flat out wrong. The 1951 Patent Code (the code currently in effect) stated that "methods" were patentable. The general assumption by the Patent Office was that software wasn't patentable. However, in 1981, the Supreme Court stepped in and declared software to be patentable. The case is Diamond v. Diehr. Many programmers thought software was patentable, hence the lawsuit against the Patent Office for denying patents to software. So software was patentable, the USPTO was just improperly denying patents on it.
Methods maybe, but not actions, you can't patent a physical human gesture or action. And as I said, "originally", as you point out there was a later decision instituting software patents.


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Again, this is just flat out wrong. Methods, e.g. actions, have been patentable for a long, even before the 1951 act they were allowable under common law. In a non-software setting there was a famous case from the 1940's over a patent covering the use of a well-known chemical as a pesticide. In a software context, "action" patents have been common since the 1990s.
You are confusing things here by mixing definitions. Actions, as in the act of using a chemical product in a manner not previously used to elicit a different outcome is not the same as using a finger gesture to switch between screens or to slide a lock screen. Apple claims it's patent on "slide to unlock" applies to the action itself and no other manufacturer can use any form of "slide to unlock", as was their claim in the denied "finger swipe to move between screens". This has been the basis of some of their legal claims.



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I haven't looked at the Apple's Siri patents, but I can promise you they don't cover all digital assistants. If you look at the claims and not an overlybroad title or abstract, they will only cover a very limited implementation.
Nor did I say they covered all digital assistants, once again this is a case of Apple claiming they do and claiming that the physical action of using one is their patented invention. Apple has a history of copying a product or program and marketing it as their own invention, as evidenced by some of Steve Jobs own comments in his biography.



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As a Patent attorney, I have no idea where this 10% thing comes from. I've practiced for several years now and never, ever heard this. Not in law school, not in the patent bar exam, not in my yearly CLEs, and certainly not in the Manual of Patent Examination and Procedure put out by the patent office.
While not a written code it is something I have heard from the mouths of several patent attorneys on numerous occasions. This may be an example of the patent attorney equivalent of an "ambulance chasers" tactic. So I will defer to you on this.

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Further, if you look at the law, it includes "any new and useful improvement thereof" as patent eligible subject matter (35 USC 101). This means that something in the public domain, if improved in a novel and non-obvious way, is eligible for patenting. Again, I'll refer back to the pesticide case I mentioned earlier. The chemical at question was long known and well in the public domain. Yet a patent was granted and upheld for using it as a pesticide.
This is something I have always found objectionable. If a patent exists for an item, say a self-sealing drain stopper and here comes somebody else that adds a handle to it that should not be patentable but in many cases it is allowed. Yes if you change the intended use of an item, make that self-sealing drain stopper a plugging unit for off-shore oil platforms you have shifted intent and any improvements made for that purpose add to the uniqueness of the item.

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Finally, you can (currently, the law changes in March) bring a product to market and then file for a patent. 35 USC 102(b) grants a 1 year grace period from when you introduce your invention to the public to when you can no longer file for a patent. Plus, if someone else where to try to file a patent after you introduce it, your invention would be immediately usable as prior art against their application. And if you file for one, and interference action would be conducted to determine who actually invented it.
I may be in error on this, I am going on old information where people found public domain items that had never been patented, filed for and received a patent. I would hope this would not have been allowed to continue.

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Just sayin', but the general consensus among the legal community is that the Patent Office's attitude is "deny, deny, deny."
Once again, this is a statement I have heard from patent attorneys.

Much of what was said was a condemnation of Apples practices but I feel there is a major renovation needed at the USPTO.

Thanks for the discourse, I am enjoying it greatly.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 10:02 PM   #71 (permalink)
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It has been said that the GS3 was designed with the help of lawyers. I have said that we should stop with what appears to be a groundless claim and have Apple deploy their newest iPhone. Then, we can have a throwdown to see who is best. Apple needs to be careful and not overreach as Samsung makes the chips for Apple and holds a number of LTE patents critical to the new iPhone's success.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 10:10 PM   #72 (permalink)
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It has been said that the GS3 was designed with the help of lawyers. I have said that we should stop with what appears to be a groundless claim and have Apple deploy their newest iPhone. Then, we can have a throwdown to see who is best. Apple needs to be careful and not overreach as Samsung makes the chips for Apple and holds a number of LTE patents critical to the new iPhone's success.
Apple won't play that way though. They like to take their good old time releasing a product and most likely the reason they are doing this is because of how well the sgs2 sold and how well the sgs3 is already selling only being out a short period of time. Apple feels that they can push around everyone and want to slow down the potential lost sales that the sgs3 would take since the i5 is not out yet or anytime soon most likely.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 10:43 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Apple won't play that way though. They like to take their good old time releasing a product and most likely the reason they are doing this is because of how well the sgs2 sold and how well the sgs3 is already selling only being out a short period of time. Apple feels that they can push around everyone and want to slow down the potential lost sales that the sgs3 would take since the i5 is not out yet or anytime soon most likely.
You may think that there would be "potential" lost sales, but in reality many of us iPhone users just got tired of the same OS (hasn't changed much in 5 years), got tired of playing cat and mouse with Apple over jailbreaking, don't believe the iPhone is the best phone any more or all of the above (my personal feeling). This is why there have been so many Android phone posts on Macrumors in the last few month.

And if the rumors and pics about the iPhone 5 are true (stretching the phone to reach 4", but not widening), then I think we may see even more converts. Those pics make the ip5 look god aweful.

I still like the ipad and Mac computers, but I will personally never buy another iphone. Besides, the S3 is the top of the foodchain, and I doubt that will change any time soon. The HOX doesn't match the S3 because of the missing hardware (sd card and no changeable battery).
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Old June 9th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #74 (permalink)
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I still love Apples products (the ones I can afford anyway) but lawsuit after lawsuit is driving me to despise the company.

Anyone can guess that S voice (should have named it Samsung Voice just to make it less obvious) is an imitation of Siri.

Just remember how obvious Apples notifications was a rip off from Android.I can't recall if Google sued for that or not, but these latest lawsuits seem all fear based. Apple knows they are more behind the curve now than ever and HTC & Samsung may have made devices that will have Apple fans wondering if Apples next iPhone will be "the Android killer".
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Old June 10th, 2012, 02:41 AM   #75 (permalink)
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You may think that there would be "potential" lost sales, but in reality many of us iPhone users just got tired of the same OS (hasn't changed much in 5 years), got tired of playing cat and mouse with Apple over jailbreaking, don't believe the iPhone is the best phone any more or all of the above (my personal feeling). This is why there have been so many Android phone posts on Macrumors in the last few month.

And if the rumors and pics about the iPhone 5 are true (stretching the phone to reach 4", but not widening), then I think we may see even more converts. Those pics make the ip5 look god aweful.

I still like the ipad and Mac computers, but I will personally never buy another iphone. Besides, the S3 is the top of the foodchain, and I doubt that will change any time soon. The HOX doesn't match the S3 because of the missing hardware (sd card and no changeable battery).
I like Apple products too, I just despair of their small steps approach with everything. Other than the original iPhone, every other company has taken massive leaps forward in features and in tech but ios updates have basically added a couple of majorly requested features and a bunch of other small ones.

Still, be interesting to see what iOS6 brings tomorrow.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 03:29 AM   #76 (permalink)
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I still love Apples products (the ones I can afford anyway) but lawsuit after lawsuit is driving me to despise the company.

Anyone can guess that S voice (should have named it Samsung Voice just to make it less obvious) is an imitation of Siri.
Except that vlingo (which is S Voice is based on) existed before Siri..
Even that wasn't the first voice control software.

I agree with your comment about Apple being behind the curve. I reckon the big selling point will be the maps stuff, which google have well in hand I think.
Seeing lots of iphoners moving to the S3..
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Old June 10th, 2012, 05:21 AM   #77 (permalink)
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You may think that there would be "potential" lost sales, but in reality many of us iPhone users just got tired of the same OS (hasn't changed much in 5 years), got tired of playing cat and mouse with Apple over jailbreaking, don't believe the iPhone is the best phone any more or all of the above (my personal feeling). This is why there have been so many Android phone posts on Macrumors in the last few month.

And if the rumors and pics about the iPhone 5 are true (stretching the phone to reach 4", but not widening), then I think we may see even more converts. Those pics make the ip5 look god aweful.

I still like the ipad and Mac computers, but I will personally never buy another iphone. Besides, the S3 is the top of the foodchain, and I doubt that will change any time soon. The HOX doesn't match the S3 because of the missing hardware (sd card and no changeable battery).
I just meant that's what apple said was the reason( all the potential damage that would be done) is what they said.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 07:01 AM   #78 (permalink)
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I like Apple products too, I just despair of their small steps approach with everything.

The thing with Apple is they sure know how to HYPE things and sadly people just suck it up. I can say this as "I" was one of them. Had the 1st iPhone, 2nd, 3rd, 4S, iPad and now in hindsight I was sucked up in the hype.

I remember buying the original iPhone and it had no MMS even though the cheapest phone had it for years and years. When Apple released an upgrade to include MMS, the feature every other phone has had for years, people acted like they invented the wheel. Same with a lot of other simple features other phones had for years.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 10:28 AM   #79 (permalink)
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The thing with Apple is they sure know how to HYPE things and sadly people just suck it up. I can say this as "I" was one of them. Had the 1st iPhone, 2nd, 3rd, 4S, iPad and now in hindsight I was sucked up in the hype.

I remember buying the original iPhone and it had no MMS even though the cheapest phone had it for years and years. When Apple released an upgrade to include MMS, the feature every other phone has had for years, people acted like they invented the wheel. Same with a lot of other simple features other phones had for years.
I got the original iPhone too, and it was damned expensive.. 269 + an 18 month contract!

To see an example of the Apple hype, the banners they're using at WWDC for iOS 6 say "the world's most advanced mobile operating system." We shall see :P
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Old June 10th, 2012, 10:42 AM   #80 (permalink)
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I got the original iPhone too, and it was damned expensive.. 269 + an 18 month contract!

To see an example of the Apple hype, the banners they're using at WWDC for iOS 6 say "the world's most advanced mobile operating system." We shall see :P
Operating on the worlds smallest smartphone
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Old June 10th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #81 (permalink)
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I am really beginning to think Apple has the USPTO in it's back pocket. Siri was not new or revolutionary in any way, shape or form, just the next-in-line of an already existing product. The same can be said for many of their patents but as has been said here numerous times, if Apple releases it the iSheep act as if Apple has pulled magically from nowhere a revolutionary idea that never existed before and I am getting sick of it.

There are Apple products I like, I just can't bring myself to own them because of the completely anti-fair market practices of the company. You have a patent on something you license it to those who want to use it, not use it as a hammer to kill all competition. That is a sign of a company (more precisely Steve Jobs) knowing their product can't compete on a level playing field.

I have rarely had the view that the government needs to intervene in a companies actions or policies but somebody is going to have to put Apple in check and sadly I don't think it will be their competitors unless there is a complete reversal of opinion in the courts. There have been successes against Apple and Posner's recent decision is a welcome sight but all this seems to do is fuel Apples fire.

I think there should have been a trademark infringement claim made years ago by the Beatles when they had the chance, John and Paul didn't think it was worth the trouble to pursue the little company that started using something extremely similar to Apple Records logo. The history of theft dates all the way to the beginning with Apple.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 02:21 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Sadly another reaction might happen, every other company might do the same to defend themselves. Patenting ridiculous things so they can do the same to Apple in retaliation.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 03:00 PM   #83 (permalink)
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I still love Apples products (the ones I can afford anyway) but lawsuit after lawsuit is driving me to despise the company.

Anyone can guess that S voice (should have named it Samsung Voice just to make it less obvious) is an imitation of Siri.

Just remember how obvious Apples notifications was a rip off from Android.I can't recall if Google sued for that or not, but these latest lawsuits seem all fear based. Apple knows they are more behind the curve now than ever and HTC & Samsung may have made devices that will have Apple fans wondering if Apples next iPhone will be "the Android killer".
Google applied for a patent for that pull down notification so if they get it I could see them really going after apple if for nothing else to get apple to quit with all the B.S lawsuits against Google's partners. Apple isn't going after google which the patents they are suing Samsung and htc for are key parts of android because they know they can't win especially against Google.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 03:42 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Apple isn't going after google which the patents they are suing Samsung and htc for are key parts of android because they know they can't win especially against Google.
I highly doubt Apple is afraid of Google. Apple could buy Google if they so desired. Hell, just their phone division is more profitable.

Apple doesn't go after Google because there is no point. Google isn't an oem manufacturer and Android is software, that is open source. How is Apple going to prove they have lost sales because of a freely distributed OS? You go after the manufacturers and make it unprofitable or so time consuming to alter their ui around patents that they stop using Android and switch to an altrnative. This is how you kill Android as a competitor.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 03:56 PM   #85 (permalink)
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even tho im in love with my S3 "been using it since 25-5"

and LOVE IT

but cant plame apple for that ... S voice is just a stupid copy of Siri

....
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Old June 10th, 2012, 05:11 PM   #86 (permalink)
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The voice feature has been alive way before Siri on Android in many forms. Wether it was Google voice or the many versions in the App market. Now we all no Apple is rumor to be creating their own navigation system and getting rid of Google. Siri was just the stepping stone to catch everyone eyes and to get a search engine going to compete with Google. Apple is going to have a harder time battling Samsung. Samsung know what they are doing and have a strong patent portfolio. It's no accident the Galaxy S sell just as much as the iphone or more.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 07:12 PM   #87 (permalink)
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The S voice type feature has obviously been alive on Android before Siri, there is still a voice control feature on regular iPhone's that's been there for a while, it's just that Samsung has brought the S voice as a marketing gimmick to the forefront to compete with the iPhone.

Android has so many advantages over the iPhone I think they could have been a little more innovative pointing out various strengths that the Galaxy has without tempting sue happy Apple.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 08:21 PM   #88 (permalink)
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I'm not necessarily saying that two people would invent something simultaneously; what if I came up with the idea years after the patent holders' product was already on the market? Do I then need to search a patent database to see if any of the features are already in use?
But then they haven't really invented anything, have they? I'll make an analogy to copyright law. George Harrison got sued for ripping of an old song by the Chiffons. George Harrison swore in court that he had never heard the song he was being accused of infringing. The court still found him guilty of infringement, using the logic that he likely heard the song and didn't remember, but was still unconsciously influenced by it.

I can tell you that all the inventors I have worked with know exactly what their competition is and has worked on. That is part of their job. Odds are that even if they don't remember that something else has been invented in their field, they probably knew at one point...and then there is likely no real invention.

And many companies employ "search firms" whose sole job is to search existing patents to check for infringement before a product is released.

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Back on topic; I don't have a problem with apple suing over people using its patents, but it does seem to be the only company furiously trying to get competing products banned. It would surely be in the interests of the consumer and the spirit of competition to seek damages, not get the product banned completely.

It may be that other companies do this but don't get media attention, I don't know.
Just before the Apple-Samsung suits started the first time one of the android sites did a big chart of who was suing who for patent infringement, I think it might have been Phandroid. Pretty much every tech company is suing every other one. And they all try to get the other product banned as it gives them leverage in the Settlement.

It should be noted that the Supreme Court recently ruled that bans should be a last resort (I believe it was eBay v. MercExchange for anyone interested).
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Old June 10th, 2012, 08:33 PM   #89 (permalink)
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As I have said before, I have voice command since the Windows Mobile phones. It is nothing new and Apple did not invent such feature. Also, Vlingo for Android exists before Apple introduced Siri. So who is copying who?

If Apple is so proud of their UI, why are they copying Android's pull down notification screen? The iPhone did not have that until Apple saw it on the Android phones.

This outright ban is simply a continuation of Steve Jobs' Thermonuclear War strategy as the new CEO cannot establish his own.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Methods maybe, but not actions, you can't patent a physical human gesture or action. And as I said, "originally", as you point out there was a later decision instituting software patents.
Well, except that when the Supreme Court stated that software was patentable subject matter, they were saying that it has always been patentable subject matter. It is just that the PTO had been impropperly denying patents on software.

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You are confusing things here by mixing definitions. Actions, as in the act of using a chemical product in a manner not previously used to elicit a different outcome is not the same as using a finger gesture to switch between screens or to slide a lock screen. Apple claims it's patent on "slide to unlock" applies to the action itself and no other manufacturer can use any form of "slide to unlock", as was their claim in the denied "finger swipe to move between screens". This has been the basis of some of their legal claims.
I guess I don't understand your distinction. If the patent was for performing actions on a touchscreen, why wouldn't the finger gesture be covered? I'm sure with 15 minutes at my office computer I could dig up many touchscreen patents that claim the act of touching the screen and doing something. Everyone of those patent holders would asert the same thing.
BTW, here is claim 1 from the slide to unlock patent:
1. A method of unlocking a hand-held electronic device, the device including a touch-sensitive display, the method comprising:
detecting a contact with the touch-sensitive display at a first predefined location corresponding to an unlock image;
continuously moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display in accordance with movement of the contact while continuous contact with the touch screen is maintained, wherein the unlock image is a graphical, interactive user-interface object with which a user interacts in order to unlock the device; and
unlocking the hand-held electronic device if the moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display results in movement of the unlock image from the first predefined location to a predefined unlock region on the touch-sensitive display.
So if you notice, this actually requires quite a bit more than just slide to unlock. There have to be predefined postions, continious contact, and an accompanying graphical object. All of these (plus everything else claimed) are required to be present for Apple to prevail on an infringement claim. Either, the other technology has it or it doesn't.
And of course Apple's team of lawyers will act like the patent claims are way broader and Samnsung's lawyers will act like it doesn't cover anything. That is what litigation is all about. They are posturing, hoping to meet somewhere in the middle.
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Nor did I say they covered all digital assistants, once again this is a case of Apple claiming they do and claiming that the physical action of using one is their patented invention. Apple has a history of copying a product or program and marketing it as their own invention, as evidenced by some of Steve Jobs own comments in his biography.
See above, that is what all litigating attornies do. It is called "puffery."
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While not a written code it is something I have heard from the mouths of several patent attorneys on numerous occasions. This may be an example of the patent attorney equivalent of an "ambulance chasers" tactic. So I will defer to you on this.
In this case, I'd wager that it is just bragging about what good patent attorneys they are.
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This is something I have always found objectionable. If a patent exists for an item, say a self-sealing drain stopper and here comes somebody else that adds a handle to it that should not be patentable but in many cases it is allowed. Yes if you change the intended use of an item, make that self-sealing drain stopper a plugging unit for off-shore oil platforms you have shifted intent and any improvements made for that purpose add to the uniqueness of the item.
Under the letter of the law, the improvement must still be new, novel, and non-obvious. So, for example, if the aforementioned handle is made out of some material that no one thought you could make it out of, then it should be allowed. If the improvement is obvious, such as changing from black material to brown material, it should be rejected.
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I may be in error on this, I am going on old information where people found public domain items that had never been patented, filed for and received a patent. I would hope this would not have been allowed to continue.
Once again, this is a statement I have heard from patent attorneys.
This is, and has been since at least the enaction of the 1951 code, been illegal if the information was in the US or certain other countries' public domain. The only countries that didn't apply were ones like North Korea. I'm not saying it hasn't happened, but it shouldn't have if it did.
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Much of what was said was a condemnation of Apples practices but I feel there is a major renovation needed at the USPTO.

Thanks for the discourse, I am enjoying it greatly.
That's a political issue that I will leave alone. As a side note, if you are interested in the patent system, I would recommend checking out the blog Patently O. He discusses some really interesting things in the patent world.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 10:41 PM   #91 (permalink)
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unfortunately it will most likely get banned. Hopefully i can get mine before ban hits!
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Old June 10th, 2012, 10:46 PM   #92 (permalink)
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FOSS Patents: Apple and Samsung agree on Tuesday and Thursday deadlines in Galaxy S III dispute

FOSS Patents: Apple requests U.S. preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone
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Old June 11th, 2012, 01:06 AM   #93 (permalink)
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Well, except that when the Supreme Court stated that software was patentable subject matter, they were saying that it has always been patentable subject matter. It is just that the PTO had been impropperly denying patents on software.
Thanks for clarifying.


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I guess I don't understand your distinction. If the patent was for performing actions on a touchscreen, why wouldn't the finger gesture be covered? I'm sure with 15 minutes at my office computer I could dig up many touchscreen patents that claim the act of touching the screen and doing something. Everyone of those patent holders would asert the same thing.
BTW, here is claim 1 from the slide to unlock patent:
1. A method of unlocking a hand-held electronic device, the device including a touch-sensitive display, the method comprising:
detecting a contact with the touch-sensitive display at a first predefined location corresponding to an unlock image;
continuously moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display in accordance with movement of the contact while continuous contact with the touch screen is maintained, wherein the unlock image is a graphical, interactive user-interface object with which a user interacts in order to unlock the device; and
unlocking the hand-held electronic device if the moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display results in movement of the unlock image from the first predefined location to a predefined unlock region on the touch-sensitive display.
So if you notice, this actually requires quite a bit more than just slide to unlock. There have to be predefined postions, continious contact, and an accompanying graphical object. All of these (plus everything else claimed) are required to be present for Apple to prevail on an infringement claim. Either, the other technology has it or it doesn't.
And of course Apple's team of lawyers will act like the patent claims are way broader and Samnsung's lawyers will act like it doesn't cover anything. That is what litigation is all about. They are posturing, hoping to meet somewhere in the middle.
Thank you for including the qualifying documentation on the Apple patent. As you stated Apple will claim it is all inclusive, Samsung will claim exactly the opposite. However, it has been my understanding that physical actions are not patentable, i.e. you can't get a patent for a refrigerator that you open the door by pulling a handle. You can get a design patent for the handle or if there is a unique locking mechanism a mechanical patent but the mere action of "pulling to open" is not patentable.

To extend patent protection to finger gestures on a touch screen goes completely against this. You can patent the software code that enables the given results but the gesture itself is not allowable. And if this is something that is being allowed it is another example of the patent system being broken.

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See above, that is what all litigating attornies do. It is called "puffery."
I am very familiar with that term, I come from a family of attorneys!

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In this case, I'd wager that it is just bragging about what good patent attorneys they are.
Another good explanation, probably somewhere between yours and mine.

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Under the letter of the law, the improvement must still be new, novel, and non-obvious. So, for example, if the aforementioned handle is made out of some material that no one thought you could make it out of, then it should be allowed. If the improvement is obvious, such as changing from black material to brown material, it should be rejected.
As it should be but I have seen examples that should have been rejected.

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This is, and has been since at least the enaction of the 1951 code, been illegal if the information was in the US or certain other countries' public domain. The only countries that didn't apply were ones like North Korea. I'm not saying it hasn't happened, but it shouldn't have if it did.
I am in agreement here, things happen that should not.

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That's a political issue that I will leave alone. As a side note, if you are interested in the patent system, I would recommend checking out the blog Patently O. He discusses some really interesting things in the patent world.
Thanks, I will definitely check it out.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 10:20 AM   #94 (permalink)
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Finally a post relevant to the topic of this thread.
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Old June 13th, 2012, 05:48 AM   #95 (permalink)
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Cool Apple denied Galaxy S III injunction

Hopefully the iSheep will see just how selfish and greedy Apple is now.

Apple denied stateside Galaxy S III injunction -- Engadget
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Old June 13th, 2012, 10:46 AM   #96 (permalink)
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From FOSS patents...

"For Samsung it's definitely a win that it can go ahead and launch the S III in the United States. Apple's attempt to block it even provided some additional publicity, though pre-orders for the S III were huge anyway. It looks like the S III will be wildly successful all over the world. While Apple continues to innovate, it will really need the iPhone 5 to keep Samsung in check. But if Apple wins a preliminary injunction against the Nexus over patents that the S III implements in more or less the same manner, things could fall into place rather quickly. Also, if Apple enforces any patents against older Samsung products at the summer trial, it can then ask for quick decisions against the S III with respect to the prevailing patents. And the situation in the U.S. may lead Apple to file a number of lawsuits against the S III in some other jurisdictions."
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Old June 13th, 2012, 11:09 AM   #97 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by droidcentric View Post
Hopefully the iSheep will see just how selfish and greedy Apple is now.

Apple denied stateside Galaxy S III injunction -- Engadget
I wonder if this is what Samsung was waiting for before actually shipping phones to customers?
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Old June 14th, 2012, 07:16 AM   #98 (permalink)
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This explains what happened in a lot of detail.

Apple loses legal bid to halt US Samsung Galaxy S3 launch | ITProPortal.com
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Old June 14th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #99 (permalink)
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Apple fails, Galaxy S3 coming as planned.
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