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German Court Finds Apple's 'Slide To Unlock' Patent Invalid

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the einfach-zu-einfach dept.

Cellphones 120

New submitter anderzole writes "Germany's Federal Patent Court on Thursday invalidated all of Apple's claims for its slide-to-unlock patent. They death blow for Apple's slide to unlock patent was likely a Swedish phone called the Neonode N1m that launched well before the iPhone and featured its own slide to unlock implementation. The N1m was released in 2005 while Apple's own patent for slide to unlock wasn't filed until December of 2005."

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neonode info (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43380829)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Tj-KS2kfIr0
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonode

Warning! Goatse! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43380851)

Do not navigate to the link unless you have a strong stomach.

Re:Warning! Goatse! (-1, Offtopic)

Takatata (2864109) | about a year and a half ago | (#43380881)

Very funny. Goatse on Wikipedia and Youtube. Constantly people complain what has become out of Slashdot, but I doubt that even now here are many who would fall for that.

Re:Warning! Goatse! (0)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year and a half ago | (#43380987)

Youtube used to have a redirect bug so I have seen youtube goatse links on slashdot. And there's plenty of gag-inducing [wikipedia.org] content on wikipedia, even without someone maliciously editing it.

Re:Warning! Goatse! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43381095)

Someone set us up the bomb!

Re:Warning! Goatse! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43381167)

I am very disappointed, no anuses, no nothing...

Re:Warning! Goatse! (-1, Offtopic)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381741)

Less anuses than Goatse? Lame!

Re:neonode info (4, Insightful)

Takatata (2864109) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381103)

Could someone please explain, why the parent is modded Offtopic? The article clearly mentions Neonode N1m as possible reason for the invalidation of this patent. The parent posted a link to a youtube presentation of the Neonode and a Wikpedia article of the neonode. Definitely not Offtopic.

Re:neonode info (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381303)

Because it was posted AC and someone else said it was a goatse troll. So people modded it down without looking.

Re:neonode info (5, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381405)

It offends the Apple faithful. It is heretical. They're going to be a little touchy until Apple invents 'widgets' in iOS 7.

Re:neonode info (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381581)

It offends the Apple faithful. It is heretical. They're going to be a little touchy until Apple invents 'widgets' in iOS 7.

Or, given their track record, do you mean, "until Apple 'invents' widgets in iOS 7."?
[ BTW, that would be "iWidgets." ]

Re:neonode info (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381647)

[ BTW, that would be "iWidgets." ]

I'm hoping Nintendo beats them to the punch with Wii Widgets...

Re:neonode info (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382397)

I'm hoping Nintendo beats them to the punch with Wii Widgets...

Wii Menu has supported a rough equivalent of Android "widgets" since 3.0, where channels can show text from the WiiConnect24 service in their banners. News Channel, for example, shows scrolling headlines.

Re:neonode info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43382779)

We 're not talking about lousy widgets. The mobile dashboard will be a revolution of the way we interact with mobile devices.

Apple faithful mod anything anti-Apple down (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381937)

You see it in any thread discussing Apple. Anything that reflects badly on Apple, no matter how true and accurate, gets down modded. Usually there are more than enough upmods to offset it, but it happens.

There are Apple fanboys that just cannot, will not, accept that Apple has every done anything wrong, every been anything but 100% innovative, etc. So they just to Apple's defense at every opportunity. Same thing with your post, same thing that is likely to happen to my post. They'll "defend" Apple by trying to silence people who say things unflattering.

Re:Apple faithful mod anything anti-Apple down (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382241)

It is wrong to imply they are Apple 'fanboys', this is insulting to 'fanyboys' all over. They are paid 'PR' hacks and trolls, paid to lie, paid to attack and paid to mod to set guidelines add to that Apple employees who are fully aware of Apple B$ and like any fad how vulnerable the bubble is to deflating.

Re:Apple faithful mod anything anti-Apple down (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382483)

I dunno dude, all I hear over most of the internet is constant Apple bashing. This is from sites like this all the way to Wall Street. So this notion that there's some conspiracy by Apple to do all this PR sounds like complete bullshit. At a minimum, you would have to say they're completely incompetent at it because almost all the news I hear nowadays about Apple is completely negative. So, wanna try again?

Re:Apple faithful mod anything anti-Apple down (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382525)

Apple did it for years, if fact nigh on a decade, what comes around goes around, it's called karma, "wanna try again", sure, Apple marketdroids suck professional trolls that flood every forum it's endlessly annoying. Seriously individuals run around wanting to defend one of the richest companies on earth, why, because they feel sorry for them or they believe the B$ marketing about those overpriced 'i' products, give me a break. What genuine individuals will waste their time defending corporations in this age of endless marketing and PR hype and bullshit.

There you go, quite happy to put in another effort ;D.

Re:Apple faithful mod anything anti-Apple down (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382559)

Do you have a source for this decade long onslaught that was initiated by Apple's PR folks? You also still don't get it...at all. The vast majority of the press is very against Apple these days. Also, just because you hate Apple doesn't mean others have to.

Re:Apple faithful mod anything anti-Apple down (2, Insightful)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382623)

I'm not saying you're wrong, but do not underestimate the nutjob factor, either.

It is sad but true that there are people having such a low sense of self-worth that they're compelled to validate themselves by identifying with some One True Group to the point of exclusion of logic and reason, should they conflict with OTG dogma.

I've noticed, though, that Apple seem especially good at inspiring these sorts of followers.

Re:Apple faithful mod anything anti-Apple down (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#43383433)

It's a form of tribal behaviour, you can see it all over, whether about football teams or political parties or products or whatever, same exact instinct. That people can't objectively weigh up the pros and cons of any given product objectively and make decisions on that basis is baffling to me, but I'm no psychologist...

Re:Apple faithful mod anything anti-Apple down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43382639)

Hmm. I just returned the video game Defiance because it's too glitchy for me to tolerate. The normal MMO launch issues (lag, server unavailability) aside, there were too many game-stopping bugs. I went to the Defiance forum to see how many others were experiencing the problems I was. What I found was that when people complained about the glitches, fans leapt in and referred to those people as "whiners" and all but intimidated anyone who dared said anything bad about Trion, the game maker. This is for a game that has only been out for days. What genuine individuals will waste their time defending corporations in this age of endless marketing and PR hype and bullshit? The entire Internet from every female on YouTube that defended Chris Brown beating up his girlfriend to everyone to every political blogger that worships their party leaders. In any case, I doubt Apple has paid shills on Slashdot. It's Slashdot, I'm an Apple fan, but my fandom has been cultivated over decades, and I'm also a Microsoft fan amongst other things. If Apple is going to spend money on shills, it's probably better to look to someplace more viral like Facebook. We're just too partisan here.

Re:Apple faithful mod anything anti-Apple down (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | about a year and a half ago | (#43383269)

It's a perception thing I guess. But other than the tech sites all media seemed much more sympathetic to Apple than Samsung in their court case.

Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43380859)

Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value as a penalty.
Result: no more stupid patents filled by thieves.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (2)

Takatata (2864109) | about a year and a half ago | (#43380893)

No problem. I pay for Apple. What is this patent worth now? Ahhh yes... $0.00. I pay $0.00/10.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43380975)

I think the idea was for Apple to pay 1/10 of the companies worth not the patents.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (1)

Takatata (2864109) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381175)

Ok, that would hurt. But might be a little bit too harsh. You cannot always know that there is somewhere prior art. And of course there is the patent office, which accepts the patent. I certainly don't want to defend Apple, it is a disgusting company, but you can hardly blame them alone. The patent system has to be changed, but punishing companies for frivolous patents is not the right way.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (4, Insightful)

ThisIsSaei (2397758) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381249)

Um, that's exactly the right way.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (3, Insightful)

Takatata (2864109) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381331)

I don't think so. Whether a patent is frivolous or not is a matter of opinion. Great fodder for lawyers and more often than not won by the side with deeper pockets. A more general solution would be much more desirable.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43382197)

It is a general solution because it'd instantly kill all patents despite those that the companies really believe have merit. The problem is the patents would just be shipped out to 3rd party companies with no real value, thus nothing real to pay in the event of a loss. So in reality the solution wouldn't work.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43383455)

The problem is the patents would just be shipped out to 3rd party companies with no real value, thus nothing real to pay in the event of a loss.

And the general solution to that sort of thing, is to abolish the "limited-liability company". If you own stock, you should have at least some partial responsibility for what the company do. As a owner, you get profits when the company does well. So you should get punishments when the company breaks the law as well. After all, those who own a company, have power to decide what it does.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (2)

ThisIsSaei (2397758) | about a year and a half ago | (#43383199)

You're asserting that all opinions are equal, that because there is not a unanimous opinion that an opinion can't be a binding legal obligation -- allow me correct you there. A court's opinion is more important in this case, it has ruled the patent to be without merit. Fines to dissuade further abuse of the patent system are in order.

While systemic changes to reduce the ability for abuse are needed, this isn't a time for better planning -- it's about responding to abuse that has already happened. You don't ignore that and merely lament that you need to better the system.

(i.e. You broke the rules, you receive a punishment. The system is, by poor design, promoting the breaking of rules, you fix it. Both can be true.)

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (2, Informative)

elashish14 (1302231) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381309)

The onus lies on the patent applicant to do prior art searches.

And in this case, it's not even a question of prior art - everyone knows that Apple's actions are a deliberate troll attempt to impede the viability of competitors. That in itself is a crime.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (1, Redundant)

Takatata (2864109) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381363)

That in itself is a crime.

It really is? Or should it only be? Serious question. I don't know American laws.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (2)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381451)

That in itself is a crime.

It really is? Or should it only be? Serious question. I don't know American laws.

What do American laws have to do with this? The summary clearly states this was a German court.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year and a half ago | (#43383819)

American laws have all to do with it.
The patent was original filed in america. Then by "international contract" it gets more or less automatically accepted in germany/europe if you simply file for it and giving the american patent number.
So, unless no one objects afterwards, which obviously happend in this case, the patent becomes active.
OTOH if Apple had filed for the patent originally in germany it would have been rejected straight away as user interactions and software implementations are not patentable in germany (and most of europe) anyway.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381963)

It's not a crime in law. That doesn't mean that it's not a crime!

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (2)

torsmo (1301691) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382563)

By that logic, the converse should be true as well.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (2)

socialleech (1696888) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382057)

That in itself is a crime.

It really is? Or should it only be? Serious question. I don't know American laws.

"deliberate..attempt(s) to impede the viability of competitors."

In American law, I believe this would fall under Anti-Trust laws. Just because you aren't a monopoly(yet), doesn't mean that you aren't doing illegal things to attempt to create one. (Like, I dunno.. suing competitors into oblivion over something that is obviously prior art, or non-innovative(Can anyone say: rounded corners?))

Though, I could be wrong. IANAL.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43383407)

There's "Malicious litigation" too. I'd like to see that one used a lot more.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#43383165)

Up to this point you could reasonably argue that Apple was just a patent bully. Their design patents were ridiculous but at least they genuinely believed that they were enforceable. Now they have crossed into the realm of being a blatant troll, trying to abuse a patent that anyone can see has both prior art and is too obvious to patent in the first place (which is probably why it wasn't patented by the original inventor).

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43382211)

You sound like an Apple shill pretending to be from off shore.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (2)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382487)

Wrong! You don't get it. Apple is the epitome of evil in the world and there will never be world peace for as long as they exist. You're just the typical Apple fanboi.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43381525)

The patent might worth something, but Apple doesn't own it for sure :D

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43381179)

Seems to me it's the patent examiner that awarded this patent who should be summarily fired, made to offer a public apology, and fined a few millions for each company that was bothered by this patent. That way, maybe the other examiners would stop just rubber-stamping pending patents and start actually doing their job.

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382231)

I like this idea. It should be promoted on all forums until patent examiners get a little fearful that it might happen. Fear of being held accountable might help (not something that bureaucrats are used to).

Re:Now Apple should pay 1/10th of it's value (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381399)

An eye for an eye.... an eye squared.
Invalidating 10 good patents as chosen by the competitors would be more fitting IMHO

Where's the code to implement it? (0)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year and a half ago | (#43380863)

Hello Slashdotters, I'm looking for the code to implement features of this now invalidated patent. I know we have hackers who can output this code fast and I know I'm not alone.

Re:Where's the code to implement it? (5, Funny)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43380913)

Is pseudocode enough?

if no touch this frame: position = minimum
elif touch this frame and no touch last frame and not within 24px of minimum: wait for release
else: position = X coordinate of touch point
if position == maximum: return "activated"

Their response was (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43380867)

"... and boy your patent is invalid."

It's sad (-1, Redundant)

rolfwind (528248) | about a year and a half ago | (#43380923)

That something like this even comes to court.

Re:It's sad (5, Insightful)

tqk (413719) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381135)

That something like this even comes to court.

What's sad is something like this was awarded a patent. I have two (physical) slide to unlock buttons on the base of my laptop. Why were they awarded a patent for doing the same in software?!? How much time, money, and effort has that stupid decision sucked out of the numerous justice systems where this raised its head?

Re:It's sad (2)

Misagon (1135) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381201)

I agree. Look and feel patents should not have be granted in the first place.

I am sure that there are many more pieces of software that did the same thing, just not on a "phone".
Long before 2005, there were software installers that required you to scroll a license agreement to the bottom before it unlocked the button that allowed you to proceed with the install.
What kind of widget control do you use to scroll a document with? A type of slider of course.

Re: It's sad (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381283)

Problem is if apple didnt patent it someone else would have filed a patent years later and sued apple like that patent troll suing for podcasts. It's a no win for apple, patent and they're the bad guy, don't patent and they get sued

Re: It's sad (5, Insightful)

Takatata (2864109) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381347)

Problem is if apple didnt patent it someone else would have filed a patent years later and sued apple

Yes.

It's a no win for apple, patent and they're the bad guy, don't patent and they get sued

No. Patents are not like trademarks. If you don't defend them you don't lose them. Maybe Apple is forced to patent silly stuff. Nobody would complain if this was all they do. But nobody forces Apple to be an ******* and actually use the silly patents to sue other companies. This makes them the bad guys.

Re: It's sad (3, Interesting)

dfghjk (711126) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381919)

"Problem is if apple didnt patent it someone else would have filed a patent years later and sued apple

Yes."

No.

Very few use patents offensively. Apple is among the few worst offenders. Furthermore, patenting this "years later" would clearly be invalid.

Apple IS the patent problem, not the victim of it.

Re: It's sad (0)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382501)

Don't be a fucking retard. Companies sue other companies for patent infringement all of the time. Apple is hardly the inventor of the concept and at least they use the technologies that they sue over (unlike patent trolls).

Laches (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382413)

Patents are not like trademarks. If you don't defend them you don't lose them.

Did you forget about estoppel by laches?

Re:Laches (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382819)

Did you forget about estoppel by laches?

That doesn't make you lose the patent. It just means you can't sue someone under it. It still works defensively.

Re: It's sad (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381441)

Very few companies abuse patents as much as Apple, although there are a few NPEs that are in the ballpark.

Re:It's sad (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381317)

My great grandmother had slide-to-unlock locks on her luggage. I have a 100+ year old prior art for "slide to unlock." And I doubt that was the first. Deadbolts in castles from 1000+ years ago likely employed the same mechanism.

Re:It's sad (0)

servognome (738846) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381657)

But your grandmother's slide-to-unlock idea allows the edges to move apart in space around an axis to reveal physical objects stored inside.
Apple's applies to a cover which uses liquid crystals to block most of the light waves until the slide mechanism is triggered alters the crystals such that the user gains visual access to the screen.
Can't you see how revolutionary Apple's idea is!

Re:It's sad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43381691)

Some many million odd years ago there was an ape like creature sliding some dirt to reveal the precursor of the potato.

Re:It's sad (2)

knarf (34928) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381341)

I have two (physical) slide to unlock buttons on the base of my laptop.

I'm fairly sure the Sumerians already had slide-to-unlock on their doors. They even had their own version of the tablet after all, the veritable clayPad [google.com] .

Re:It's sad (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382279)

s/veritable/venerable/

What I want to know is... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43381011)

How did this nonsense patent even get granted in the first place? I've worked on getting patents filed, and we usually meet with all sorts of resistance even when there is actually something to the patent. Who is getting paid off to grant nonsense patents like this?

Re:What I want to know is... (4, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381329)

Much of the process is to make sure the paperwork is correct, not the content. If they indicate no prior art, it is not the job of the examiner to verify that claim, but to accept it and if someone else challenges it, the paperwork demonstrates the "no prior art" claim, and providing some invalidates the patent.

They do not have sufficient resources to evaluate the content, just the format. The two are unrelated.

Re:What I want to know is... (1)

dfghjk (711126) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381945)

This is untrue. Examiners do consider content it is in their domain to do so. There's just no assurance that they get it right.

Saying that the burden is on the filer to research prior art is like saying it's the fox's job to guard the henhouse.

Re:What I want to know is... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382409)

Saying that the burden is on the filer to research prior art is like saying it's the fox's job to guard the henhouse.

I thought that was the design.

Re:What I want to know is... (1)

CajunArson (465943) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382181)

Spoken like someone who has obviously never been involved in getting a patent in any capacity in his entire life....

Re:What I want to know is... (2)

gnupun (752725) | about a year and a half ago | (#43383693)

Much of the process is to make sure the paperwork is correct, not the content.

Neither the patent filer (Apple) nor the patent examiner is psychic and could not have known (reasonably) about the prior art of "slide to unlock" in Neonode N1m.

Even without the Neonode prior art, this patent should be considered invalid as the mechanism is in widespread use: laptops, windows, doors, suitcases etc. employ slide to unlock in the physical world. Just because you show that mechanism graphically does not make it a patent worthy.

Re:What I want to know is... (1)

penglust (676005) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381769)

Some Apple fan boy at the patent office probably got a free iPhone.

Re:What I want to know is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43381839)

To get a patent good lawyers are needed. Innovation is not needed for a patent today.

Tenacity (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381947)

The USPTO is more or less a "deny first, accept later" kind of place. They deny patents out of hand when they are first filed. So, modify, refile, modify, refile, etc, etc eventually you get one. Of course that is easy to do for a big company, not so feasible for a small guy.

Re:What I want to know is... (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about a year and a half ago | (#43383175)

Almost certainly it's a revolving door type of process rather than outright bribery ... ie. you need a firm with lots of ex USPTO staff with inside connections (waiting for their chance to hit the revolving door).

Apple is just another Electronics Company (3, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381021)

I know Apple are Patent rapists, but should we care. The iPhone is still the second most popular phone range in the US but it is doing badly everywhere else. I have seen this video...I have seen this prior art mentioned...now 6 years later its invalidated...in one country, Android have already worked around this patent, and pretty nifty it is too, we even have some very fun alternative unlocking methods including fingertips and facial recognition.

Why are we not discussing the great technology from other manufacturing companies like IR being reintroduced to phones...or waterpoofing phones, or the ever growing screen size. Hell even compare two screen phones DS style to electronic paper/led screen phones. Lets discuss relevant electronics companies that innovate, in fact lets talk about that technology.

Re:Apple is just another Electronics Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43381137)

No they are not. They make iStuff with other companies' products. They basically pick components from catalogs, use the free spec sheets that show how to wire them up, and then put them together as any hobbyist would do. Prototypes are then given to Chinese fabs, and they have to design how to make them. Apple have the benefit of thousands of paid sycophants in the media around the world, extremely zealous, but decling consumer base, coupled with obsolescence built in.

Apple have nothing else, they're know this, which is why they're filling their patent arsenal (via large "donations" in the right pockets) with trivial shit any remotely competent professional can knock up in an hour or so.

Re:Apple is just another Electronics Company (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382505)

ROFL...yeah, that's why there are tons of other companies that are making over $13 billion in profits per quarter. It's so easy to come up with this stuff! Nice analysis, genius.

Re:Apple is just another Electronics Company (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382661)

Gee, I couldn't help noticing that you managed to avoid addressing a single point made in the post you were replying to. Care to try again?

Re:Apple is just another Electronics Company (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382789)

I directly addressed the point. Apparently reading comprehension is not one of your strong suits. Go back to high school.

Re:Apple is just another Electronics Company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43382821)

The only reason Apple makes that much money is that they're okay at making products but they're marketing geniuses. They've managed to brainwash the public into believing that they're somehow being "cool" for owning an Apple product.

Re: Apple is just another Electronics Company (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381295)

Apple phones are already almost water proof. There are videos of people putting them in tanks of water and they remain on the entire time. Google it.

Re: Apple is just another Electronics Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43381379)

Apple phones are already almost water proof. There are videos of people putting them in tanks of water and they remain on the entire time. Google it.

Almost?
http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/product/waterproof/
Apple is behind the curve, it would seem.

Re: Apple is just another Electronics Company (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381429)

Better yet, try it with your own iPhone.

Re: Apple is just another Electronics Company (5, Interesting)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381485)

Apple phones are already almost water proof. There are videos of people putting them in tanks of water and they remain on the entire time. Google it.

For about $80 you can have any phone get a 'completely waterproof' coating applied to it, warrantied for 2 years, not just water-resistant.

I'm not an Apple hater, I've always thought they are amazing devices, but they just aren't the cutting edge leader in phone tech they once were. Attempting to keep their lead, Apple has been trying to kill the encroaching competition through frivolous patent lawsuits, and not doing too well at it. They should have innovated new killer tech instead of just treading water.

The iPhone popularized touchpad input, and that gave them the needed edge to become the leader in smartphones, they were the coolest phone then. That was a decade ago, and Apple just doesn't have that exclusiveness anymore. Android devices have caught up and in many ways surpassed iPhones. Apple continues on now based solely on customer loyalty.

Over a year ago I opted for the Android system due to its being less costly up front. Having been immersed in smartphone culture since, I've realized that smartphones are portable computers with internet/ bluetooth connectivity, that also have phone 'apps'. And an iPhone is basically an app player, with an alternate OS. They haven't come out with anything new that sets it apart from the competition. Unless the next iPhone has something the others don't, then Apple's had it's time in the sun.

Re: Apple is just another Electronics Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43382781)

For about $80 you can have any phone get a 'completely waterproof' coating applied to it, warrantied for 2 years, not just water-resistant.

And just *try* replacing the battery after that.

AC

Re:Apple is just another Electronics Company (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382097)

Well yeah, on one hand it's just a trivial UI feature that isn't really necessary. But on the other hand it's about the anti-competitive business tactics of one of the worlds biggest corporations that drove one of the most popular phone makers to the edge of bankruptcy and attempts to stifle the healthy competition which makes the innovations you mentioned viable in the first place.

There's a joke here somehwere (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381097)

How many bytes can you take out of an Apple?

Re:There's a joke here somehwere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43382425)

1024—one kill-o-byte.

Apple win on 'Text Selection' (4, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381165)

From Reuters:

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd infringed a key portion of an Apple Inc patent by including a text-selection feature in its smartphones and tablets, an International Trade Commission judge said in a preliminary decision.

South Korean-based Samsung did not infringe portions of a second Apple patent that allows a device to detect if a microphone or other device is plugged into its microphone jack, the judge said in a decision that was issued on March 26 but kept confidential until late Thursday to allow the companies to redact sensitive business information.

The full commission must now decide if they will uphold it or overturn the judge's decision. A final decision is expected in August.

If it is upheld, the ITC can order any infringing device to be barred from importation into the United States. Apple has alleged that Samsung's Galaxy, Transform and Nexus devices, among others, were among those made with the infringing technology. Apple had filed a complaint in mid-2011, accusing Samsung of infringing its patents in making a wide range of smartphones and tablet.

ITC Judge Thomas Pender said in a preliminary decision in October that Samsung infringed four Apple patents but did not violate two others listed in the complaint. There had been seven listed initially, but one was dropped during litigation. The full commission then said it wanted the agency's judge to take a second look at portions of two patents where he had found that Samsung infringed. That remanded decision, issued in late March, was unsealed on Thursday.

Samsung is the world's largest smartphone maker, while Apple is in second place, according to Gartner Inc, a technology research firm. Apple is waging war on several fronts against Google Inc, whose Android software powers many Samsung devices. The legal battles between Apple and Samsung have taken place in some 10 countries as they vie for market share in the booming mobile industry.

Google's Android software, which Apple's late founder Steve Jobs denounced as a "stolen product," has become the world's No. 1 smartphone operating system. Apple's battle against Google's Android software has dragged in hardware vendors that use it, including Samsung and HTC. Samsung is also a parts supplier to Apple, producing micro processors, flat screens and memory chips for the iPhone, iPad and iPod. Apple has reduced orders from Samsung for chips and screens. The case at the International Trade Commission is No. 337-796

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/05/us-apple-samsung-patent-idUSBRE9340NI20130405 [reuters.com]

http://thedroidguy.com/2013/04/the-never-ending-samsung-vs-apple-infringement-case/ [thedroidguy.com]

Re:Apple win on 'Text Selection' = consumers lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43382833)

Apple win = consumers lose.

FiR5t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43381487)

truth, for all example, if you questions, then anybody's guess Jesus Up The Like they are Come a full-time GNAA don't feel that bought the farm.... around are in need Survey which the time to meeT Fact: *BSD IS A systems. The Gay is dying.Things

Re:FiR5t (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381547)

That has got to be the lousiest Markov chain yet posted. Put some effort in.

Re:FiR5t (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43381573)

The AC is going to have to sleep it off, that's why I don't do drugs & alcohol anymore.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markov_chain [wikipedia.org]

The funny point ... (1)

garry_g (106621) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382449)

... I read in a German article was that Apple was quoted saying that that patent wasn't important for them ... yeah, right, which is why you patented it and used it to sue Android makers ...

How do we fix this? (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | about a year and a half ago | (#43382575)

I know a lot of people consider patents "broken" for one reason or another, and here is yet another example where it seems the patent should never have been granted in the first place, let alone been something Apple could use to bully other companies.

So, I agree that patents are broken and easily/often abused. Now, what is the "fix"? Should the patent office be held to task for granting these things when obvious prior art exists? Or should the barrier for going after a supposed patent infringement be raised? Or should patent violation rewards be reduced to where pursuing supposed violations is only profitable in extreme cases? Or something else I can't think of at the moment?

How do we change the world so that companies like Apple cannot do this anymore?

Re:How do we fix this? (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about a year and a half ago | (#43383187)

Ditching design, software and method patents entirely would be a good start ... nothing good has ever come out of their protection.

thank god for those germans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43382593)

first it was the extermination of jews in ovens - more of what the world needs.

now it's killing apple patent trolls. germans kicks ass!

Prior art? Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43383013)

Why did they need prior art to invalidate this patent? It's bloody fscking obvious and trivial. I thought that using an long-established technique, slapping "on a computer" on and patenting it again was not sufficiently inventive.

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