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    Default So, apparently Apple patented square?

    So from now on, anything with four corners in in violation of Apple patent. You can read the story here, just give your monitor good kick first into non-infringing shape to respect this piece of innovation
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Amusing, but I'd be surprised if it ends up being valuable. The article you linked points out that the patent would probably be invalidated if anyone ever sued over it, and I think that's probably right. I'd suggest that Apple's own prior designs render it invalid because Apple has been making devices of that shape for years and the Steve Jobs biography even calls it out as being his signature shape. If it was his signature shape at least 20 years ago, there's no way the patent is good.

    On top of that, design patents only get infringed if an ordinary observer with knowledge of other similar products would be confused when selecting amongst competing products. And I doubt anyone is going to get confused just because a bunch of different devices are all shaped similarly. The ubiquitous nature of that design shape actually means that it's nigh-impossible to infringe and I'd personally only find an infringement if someone else made a device of the exact same proportions.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Why innovate, when you can litigate?

    This patent sounds more than ridiculous.

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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Most patents are ridiculous. Did you know that Medicinal Marajuana is patented by the US Government?

    For serious. Look it up.

    It's actually a stroke of fridge genius, as anyone using the excuse "For medicinal reasons" can still be shut down by the US Gov't. For copyright violation.

    Edit: As an aside, I am reasonably certain one cannot copyright geometric shapes.
    Brb copyrighting "Pentagon". :p

    Also, when I first saw this thread title, I thought it was Apple and Squaresoft in a copyright dispute. Which would have been Awesome terrible.
    Last edited by Acanous; 2012-11-15 at 07:32 PM.

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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acanous View Post
    Most patents are ridiculous. Did you know that Medicinal Marajuana is patented by the US Government?

    For serious. Look it up.

    It's actually a stroke of fridge genius, as anyone using the excuse "For medicinal reasons" can still be shut down by the US Gov't. For copyright violation.

    Edit: As an aside, I am reasonably certain one cannot copyright geometric shapes.
    Brb copyrighting "Pentagon". :p

    Also, when I first saw this thread title, I thought it was Apple and Squaresoft in a copyright dispute. Which would have been Awesome terrible.
    For clarity, copyright refers to the ownership of creative works (generally artistic or literary works) while patents are for useful things like inventions or processes.

    Apple here has a design patent, which is sort of borderline. You get design patents for the designs of industrial goods that are also useful. Useful designs can't be copyrighted because they serve a function in addition to being artistic.
    Last edited by Anarion; 2012-11-15 at 07:57 PM.
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    Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Anarion Mori?
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Amusing, but I'd be surprised if it ends up being valuable. The article you linked points out that the patent would probably be invalidated if anyone ever sued over it, and I think that's probably right.
    Maybe. But on the other hand, seeing incompetent jury awarded non-existent damages (that even Apple agreed was invalid) to Apple in last trial I won't be holding my breath.

    I'd suggest that Apple's own prior designs render it invalid because Apple has been making devices of that shape for years and the Steve Jobs biography even calls it out as being his signature shape. If it was his signature shape at least 20 years ago, there's no way the patent is good.
    I'm pretty sure company's prior art can't be used to invalidate patent, otherwise being late with patenting anything would automatically kill that patent. Btw, US patents IIRC require the applying to supply all possible instances of prior art they are aware of. In case of Apple, that obviously had been at least all of their previous devices, and if patent was granted, these were not considered damaging prior art.

    On top of that, design patents only get infringed if an ordinary observer with knowledge of other similar products would be confused when selecting amongst competing products. And I doubt anyone is going to get confused just because a bunch of different devices are all shaped similarly. The ubiquitous nature of that design shape actually means that it's nigh-impossible to infringe and I'd personally only find an infringement if someone else made a device of the exact same proportions.
    Can you confuse these two devices?

    Because they have been ruled infringing already.

    How about these two? Never mind the iPad is 4:3 and designed to be held vertically, while Galaxy Tab is widescreen and has UI designed to be oriented horizontally (just look at logos - Apple is vertical on the back, Samsung's horizontal at the front, because devices will spend most time in that position). Guess what the verdict on this one was?

    You know, had the iPhone looked like the prototype I'd agree it is distinct design that could be patented due to its characteristic, one of a kind look. But when most Apple patents look like this, well... IMHO, patenting rectangle, or even rectangular device, then lying in the court about competitor when your 'design' is just border around the screen is definitely not ok. What is competition supposed to do, when different screen ratio and horizontal UI won't do? Make pentagonal tablets? Paint them neon pink just to be different?
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    I'm pretty sure company's prior art can't be used to invalidate patent, otherwise being late with patenting anything would automatically kill that patent. Btw, US patents IIRC require the applying to supply all possible instances of prior art they are aware of. In case of Apple, that obviously had been at least all of their previous devices, and if patent was granted, these were not considered damaging prior art.



    Can you confuse these two devices?
    This is a bit awkward, but I'm actually under a non disclosure agreement relating to this case, so I can't really respond to your points. It is okay to bring up that, in general, the above statement is wrong. All prior art can invalidate a patent including stuff from the same company. Courts review the stuff even if the PTO has looked at it, and it's a perfectly legitimate argument to say that the PTO made a mistake or missed something even though it was submitted to them.
    Last edited by Anarion; 2012-11-16 at 07:28 AM.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Also, how can you patent something that is a rippoff of something that was designed 20 years earlier?

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    See, rounded corners.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    That's just a waste of time. It's a shape. A shape with rounded corners.

    Simply ridiculous.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    This is a bit awkward, but I'm actually under a non disclosure agreement relating to this case, so I can't really respond to your points.
    Hmm, ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Also, how can you patent something that is a rippoff of something that was designed 20 years earlier?

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    See, rounded corners.
    Or this:

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    Tablet with corners designed only 5200 years earlier
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    Tablet with corners designed only 5200 years earlier
    Not only that, but it's clearly a partial walkthrough of some early Super Mario level.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    For anyone that has some free time and wants to try and understand what's going on here, you should read the following case. It has basically all the background for how patents like this Apple rectangle work.


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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    I'm now going to patent the 5 platonic solids. And sue anyone who ever sold them, ever. Or related paraphenalia. Or any RPG system which uses them without my consent, which is all of them.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BluePlatonicDice.jpg
    But I'll leave the D10 as free content. You know. To create the impression that I'm not completely heartless.

    This exercise in absurdity is brought to you by the letter purple, the color 5, and today's shape is the dodecahedron.

    EDIT:
    Samsung needs to patent the 3 sided screen. Just to make Apple strongly consider blocking them by grabbing the patent for the 2 sided screen. And while Apple is wasting time on that, samsung will complete work on their top secret 21-sided screen!

    Sorry, this topic needed more absurdity.
    Last edited by Karoht; 2012-11-16 at 01:35 PM.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    I'm now going to patent the 5 platonic solids. And sue anyone who ever sold them, ever. Or related paraphenalia. Or any RPG system which uses them without my consent, which is all of them.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BluePlatonicDice.jpg
    But I'll leave the D10 as free content. You know. To create the impression that I'm not completely heartless.

    This exercise in absurdity is brought to you by the letter purple, the color 5, and today's shape is the dodecahedron.

    EDIT:
    Samsung needs to patent the 3 sided screen. Just to make Apple strongly consider blocking them by grabbing the patent for the 2 sided screen. And while Apple is wasting time on that, samsung will complete work on their top secret 21-sided screen!

    Sorry, this topic needed more absurdity.
    "Introducing Samsungs new 21 sided monitor! When used in tandem with our 27 processor computers, it allows everyone in the family, (limit of 8 members) to use the computer at once! No longer must we argue over who gets to play what. Buy now!
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Will the game of baseball every be the same?
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Epic View Post
    Will the game of baseball every be the same?
    Second Base moves a bit to the right.
    Shortstop turns into Third Base.
    Third Base turns into Fourth Base.
    Home Plate is still Home Plate.
    Foul lines remain as is.
    Shorter distances between 1st-4th bases might equal more bases stolen.
    And grand slam home run hits are WAY more damaging. Might be harder to 'load' 4 bases than it is three. Hard to say.

    Makes less of a square and more of a gem shape diamond.
    Last edited by Karoht; 2012-11-16 at 02:53 PM.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    Second Base moves a bit to the right.
    Shortstop turns into Third Base.
    Third Base turns into Fourth Base.
    Home Plate is still Home Plate.
    Foul lines remain as is.

    Makes less of a square and more of a gem shape diamond.
    A-HA! We found a legal loophole! Turn all them squares a little bit to the side!
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Epic View Post
    A-HA! We found a legal loophole! Turn all them squares a little bit to the side!
    It worked for the Shreddies marketing team.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    The bottom of the phone is usually rounded anyway.
    Make the screen have a similar bottom edge.
    3 sides and a curve?
    Unthinkable said Apple.
    And while they spend time in trying to sue for that, Samsung can respond by presenting their patent for that precise angle of curve.
    And then sue for any road corners which follow such a curve.

    By this point I'm sure that Anarion is probably getting rather upset with the absurdity being presented by someone who is ignorant about the legal system, so I'll stop.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    By this point I'm sure that Anarion is probably getting rather upset with the absurdity being presented by someone who is ignorant about the legal system, so I'll stop.
    No, not all all. I was enjoying the humor. Don't let me stop you.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Meanwhile, Apple invents something even more goundbreaking!

    Prior art? What prior art? -.-
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    Meanwhile, Apple invents something even more goundbreaking!

    Prior art? What prior art? -.-
    Hahaha. That patent actually looks to me like it's pretty good. The one they had for the bounce-back feature (where your screen pops back like a spring if you scroll past the end of a page) was super strong.

    If you don't like the virtual page turn, you need to take the position that all software patents are bad and should never be granted (which, to be fair, might be true).
    Last edited by Anarion; 2012-11-16 at 06:36 PM.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Hahaha. That patent actually looks to me like it's pretty good. The one they had for the bounce-back feature (where your screen pops back like a spring if you scroll past the end of a page) was super strong.
    Except, Linux was doing it only 6 years earlier...

    Yes, it was obscure distribution GUI upgrade with group-designed feature, but it was there before any of Apple's efforts.

    If you don't like the virtual page turn, you need to take the position that all software patents are bad and should never be granted (which, to be fair, might be true).
    No. I'm on position that frivolous patents, like slide to unlock, or page turn, should never be awarded. That's not innovation, it's staking the obvious and it's patent-trolling at its worst. You want to patent something, find something really innovative, like at least at level of Microsoft's 'Metro' and 'Ribbon' attempts at redefine the UI, not something three year old child used 50 years ago, just in digital form.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Hahaha. That patent actually looks to me like it's pretty good. The one they had for the bounce-back feature (where your screen pops back like a spring if you scroll past the end of a page) was super strong.

    If you don't like the virtual page turn, you need to take the position that all software patents are bad and should never be granted (which, to be fair, might be true).
    Patenting software is one thing, I shouldnt be able to take a copy of the coding you designed and use it for my own profit, but if I come up with a different variation of the page turn, say it looks like a flurry of pages when you bend a paperback and let the pages slide past, then thats MY software design, not yours. What next, will they try to patent the hourglass icon that shows up when something is loading? Or better yet, "HEY! We thought of using monitors for our computers FIRST! (ok, we only patented the idea first, and just last week, but still) So knock it off you darn dirty thieves!"
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    im wondering if maybe its the shape combined with the size ratio.
    i.e. you can't make something that is the size and shape of an ipad.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    It worked for the Shreddies marketing team.
    That, or we just adjust two of the angles to be 91 and 89 degrees.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    I'm now going to patent the 5 platonic solids. And sue anyone who ever sold them, ever. Or related paraphenalia. Or any RPG system which uses them without my consent, which is all of them.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BluePlatonicDice.jpg
    But I'll leave the D10 as free content. You know. To create the impression that I'm not completely heartless.
    Forget the RPGs, you should sue the casinos! They've been making TONS OF MONEY off of your patent for HUNDREDS OF YEARS!!! Also, I own the copyright to that idea, so if you do sue the casinos for infringing on your patent, you have violated my IP and I expect compensation.

    All contents of this post are copyrighted and not to be reproduced without express written consent as defined in form 246-12f, to be filled out and submitted in sextuplicate at least 6 weeks prior to the date requested for reproduction of the text. A 3 to 6 week turnaround should be expected. Also, the shape of this post is patented.

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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    Patenting software is one thing, I shouldnt be able to take a copy of the coding you designed and use it for my own profit, but if I come up with a different variation of the page turn, say it looks like a flurry of pages when you bend a paperback and let the pages slide past, then thats MY software design, not yours. What next, will they try to patent the hourglass icon that shows up when something is loading? Or better yet, "HEY! We thought of using monitors for our computers FIRST! (ok, we only patented the idea first, and just last week, but still) So knock it off you darn dirty thieves!"
    So actually, you can't patent software code. You can copyright it, and if someone steals your exact code it's considered the same as Xeroxing somebody's book without asking permission.

    The patent is for the thing it does, not the code that makes it do it. That's why I think it might be a fair idea to disallow all software patents. Getting a computer to make a pretty graphic or respond to a set of inputs in a certain way is not innovation in the classic sense and people would do it with or without a patent.

    Quote Originally Posted by thubby View Post
    im wondering if maybe its the shape combined with the size ratio.
    i.e. you can't make something that is the size and shape of an ipad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skami Pilno View Post
    Forget the RPGs, you should sue the casinos! They've been making TONS OF MONEY off of your patent for HUNDREDS OF YEARS!!! Also, I own the copyright to that idea, so if you do sue the casinos for infringing on your patent, you have violated my IP and I expect compensation.

    All contents of this post are copyrighted and not to be reproduced without express written consent as defined in form 246-12f, to be filled out and submitted in sextuplicate at least 6 weeks prior to the date requested for reproduction of the text. A 3 to 6 week turnaround should be expected. Also, the shape of this post is patented.
    I know you're joking, but I'm basically making it my personal mission to try and get people to at least use the terms correctly, so
    1. You can't copyright an idea, ever.
    2. You can't copyright short phrases
    3. The little R in a circle is for registered trademarks, which are a totally different kind of intellectual property than either patents or copyrights.
    Last edited by Anarion; 2012-11-16 at 08:34 PM.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Yeah I know, even though the difference was explained earlier on, I still get the two terms, copyright and patent, confused. Thats why im not a very good lawyer. Or a lawyer at all really.
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    Default Re: So, apparently Apple patented square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    What next, will they try to patent the hourglass icon that shows up when something is loading?
    Actually, Apple already did just that

    Silly human, our patents will blot out the sun Celestia!
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