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Old 07-04-2012, 10:12 PM   #1
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Apple suffers High Court defeat over 'prize' iPhone patents

Looks like a good day all round in Europe today.

Apple has been defeated at the High Court by the Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC over a series of patent infringement claims, including around the iPhone’s "prize" slide-to-unlock patent.

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The case brought the smartphone industry’s bitter international patent wars to British shores and is likely to have an impact on ongoing disputes in Germany and the United States.

Mr Justice Floyd dealt Apple an almost total defeat in the case, which concerned four iPhone patents.

Along with the slide-to-unlock mechanism, HTC challenged Apple’s patents on the iPhone’s groundbreaking multi-touch system. Both are “prize” patents in the American giant’s portfolio, according to intellectual property experts.

The other patents in the case related to the way the iPhone manages photographs, and the use of different character sets in text messaging; a patent dating back to 1994.

A HTC spokesman welcomed the High Court’s ruling, which said that parts of the slide-to-unlock patented were too “obvious” or foreshadowed by earlier patents. The multi-touch patent was also found to be partly invalid because it was too obvious, and Mr Justice Floyd said HTC’s smartphones did not infringe what remained.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:17 AM   #2
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:51 AM   #3
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Just saw that. I'm sick of these patent fights.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
Just saw that. I'm sick of these patent fights.
That makes a lot of us.

Sadly, it's not likely to end any time soon.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainingLemur View Post
That makes a lot of us.

Sadly, it's not likely to end any time soon.
I wonder, can it (ever) become a sufficiently bad PR move to hurt the interest of these companies?
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ankh View Post
I wonder, can it (ever) become a sufficiently bad PR move to hurt the interest of these companies?
I doubt it. I don't think that the average user for either companies' devices really pay much attention to these kinds of things. Granted, they're usually plastered on a bunch of tech-sites (Engadget and the like) or may pop up on some news feeds in general, but I don't think that a majority of people know about them. Or, if they do, that they even give a hoot cause they've either already got the now-banned device or weren't planning to get it in the first place.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:34 PM   #7
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Just so there's no misunderstanding; I currently have 7,417 patents on bananas and banana related products and uses. So tread lightly, people.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
Just so there's no misunderstanding; I currently have 7,417 patents on bananas and banana related products and uses. So tread lightly, people.
Bananaman claims prior art.

Ready for the Eric V tubemonkey cage match

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Old 07-06-2012, 05:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ankh View Post
I wonder, can it (ever) become a sufficiently bad PR move to hurt the interest of these companies?
First, which side do you mean, the patent holder, or the patent (so-called") infringer ? !
I reckon they take it in turns so as to even out the publicity value !

Secondly, while sensible patent rights exist, you will always get others trying to infringe/nick/rip-off/break.
Obviously, while some form of patent process has to exist in capitalistic democracies, some applications and those granted are plainly daft/dumb/stupid.

One obvious one is the claiming of rights over a word or abbreviation - the 'r' as in Toys R Us for example - which is truly pathetic.
Another recent one is the conviction of a company that it could claim patent rights to a shape - the famous rectangle with rounded corners.

A rather frightening one, to my mind , is the genome patenting that could have unforeseen consequences.....
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ankh View Post
I wonder, can it (ever) become a sufficiently bad PR move to hurt the interest of these companies?
Some people have been swayed by Apple's bullying tactics, but I would say that the vast majority of consumers wouldn't care about these PR wars. Sad thing is that the consumer is the one losing out, both in terms of innovation and price (somebody has to pay for those lawyers).
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by carpetmojo View Post
Obviously, while some form of patent process has to exist in capitalistic democracies, some applications and those granted are plainly daft/dumb/stupid.

One obvious one is the claiming of rights over a word or abbreviation - the 'r' as in Toys R Us for example - which is truly pathetic.
I don't think the backwards 'R' is patented, as patenting is for inventions. I think this is a matter of Trademark. Trademarks work quite differently from patents.

Quote:
Another recent one is the conviction of a company that it could claim patent rights to a shape - the famous rectangle with rounded corners.

A rather frightening one, to my mind , is the genome patenting that could have unforeseen consequences.....
I have not looked at the patent, but I will put the rectangle down to error/incompetence on the part of the examiner. Rounded rectangles are obvious and prior art exists.

WRT the human genome. There was a flurry of patents filed on genes. As each gene was discovered, it was patented. The interesting thing is that to be patentable, it must be useful. A gene sequence by itself is not useful, so often the use was as a probe for its complement. This did very little except to make the sequence public. Researchers (other than the patent holder) continued working with the genes and finding new applications on which they then filed utility patents. Those initial gene patents actually did not stop any work and held very little value. And now the vast majority of them have expired.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
Just so there's no misunderstanding; I currently have 7,417 patents on bananas and banana related products and uses. So tread lightly, people.
There is prior art on treading lightly. I have seen a number of slap stick movies featuring banana peel slips.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:44 PM   #13
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That makes a lot of us.

Sadly, it's not likely to end any time soon.
Whenever I start to blow up over the stupidity that seems to be tearing through the patent system, I just imagine chicks fighting in oil. An excellent palliative.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:12 AM   #14
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There have probably been patent arguments as long as there have been patents. Certainly A.G. Bell had his fights to protect his telephone back in the day as did Sam Morse and his innovations on the telegraph before that. Someone always wants a piece of the pie whether or not they are entitled to it or not. It's human nature.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:23 AM   #15
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And often the wrong party has ended up with both the patent and the money, as in Bell's case.
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