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Les Kern
Aug 13, 2005, 11:27 AM
This has me troubled, inasmuch as Apple lost a recent patent battle.
http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=168601205&tid=5978



dornoforpyros
Aug 13, 2005, 12:05 PM
yes, and Al Gore invented the internet... :rolleyes:

it's just a patent on one aspect of the iPod

yellow5
Aug 13, 2005, 12:10 PM
It's not even Microsoft who "holds" the patent, it's a Microsoft Employee...BIG difference.

Either way US patent law is rediculous.

Jaffa Cake
Aug 13, 2005, 12:21 PM
Of course, stories like this could just help to cement the idea in some people's minds that Microsoft are behind the iPod, not Apple. Scary as it is, there are some who are under the assumption that pretty much anything computer related is the result of Bill Gates' creative brilliance. Remember Bruce Springsteen's comment on the U2 iPod...

"I want you to call up Bill Gates or whoever is behind this thing and float this: a red, white and blue iPod signed by Bruce 'The Boss' Springsteen."

zap2
Aug 13, 2005, 01:04 PM
ya i remmeber that

Dale Sorel
Aug 13, 2005, 03:07 PM
yes, and Al Gore invented the internet...

:p

Chaszmyr
Aug 13, 2005, 03:20 PM
Bill Gates' creative brilliance

That phrase made me chuckle a little :p

iMeowbot
Aug 13, 2005, 03:26 PM
The overlap between the patents would more cover something like smart or on-the-go playlists, not the iPod interface per se. This thing has been waaaaay overblown.

Counterfit
Aug 13, 2005, 07:53 PM
The overlap between the patents would more cover something like smart or on-the-go playlists, not the iPod interface per se. This thing has been waaaaay overblown.
Going from the description/title of the paper that was written, I'm not sure if it would cover smart playlists as implemented by Apple. based on one or more seed songs selected by a user. That seems to be a more advanced usage. Possibly figuring out what the user wants in the playlist and making it to suit?

As far as a patent's relation to the iPod, if it was filed after the iPod was released, Apple simply has to demonstrate that, and they should (hopefully) be exempt from any royalties.

iMeowbot
Aug 13, 2005, 09:23 PM
Okay I found the actual documentation. It's menus of playlists that USPTO are complaining about in their rejection letter.

The Apple application identified in The Register is the wrong one (and Apple Insider didn't bother to give references). For some unknown reason El Reg decided to look at one of Apple's wheel applications, and an abandoned version at that. Go figure.

The application that was actually rejected is number 10/282,861 (http://portal.uspto.gov/external/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_CH/.cmd/ad/.ar/sa.getBib/.c/6_0_69/.ce/7_0_1ET/.p/5_0_18L/.d/5?selectedTab=detailstab&isSubmitted=isSubmitted&dosnum=10282861#7_0_1ET), "Graphical user interface and methods of use thereof in a multimedia player", abstract here (http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=20040055446.PGNR.&OS=DN/20040055446&RS=DN/20040055446). (In the first link, choose the Image File Wrapper tab to get to the correspondence.)

Also, here's the history for the Platt application, 10/158,674 (http://portal.uspto.gov/external/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_CH/.cmd/ad/.ar/sa.getBib/.c/6_0_69/.ce/7_0_1ET/.p/5_0_18L/.d/2?selectedTab=detailstab&isSubmitted=isSubmitted&dosnum=10158674#7_0_1ET).

One other note: Don't take application dates at face value. The database only goes back to 2001, so there could have been earlier attempts from both ends.

Jaffa Cake
Aug 14, 2005, 07:36 AM
That phrase made me chuckle a little :pYou don't know the fun I had typing it. :p

the_freddinator
Aug 14, 2005, 09:37 AM
http://wizbangblog.com/archives/006750.php

Just read it.

Summary: Microsoft can't patent because of "prior art" Apple started production and shipping before MS applied for the patent. Basically, you can't just patent everything you see around you unless you are the inventor.
That's most of what matters in the story. But seriously, just go and read it. It cleared the entire thing up for me.

iMeowbot
Aug 14, 2005, 11:08 AM
Summary: Microsoft can't patent because of "prior art" Apple started production and shipping before MS applied for the patent.
These articles would be a lot more interesting if the writers would actually read the patent applications.

The real meat in the Platt patent is a particular method of generating smart playlists. It automatically chooses songs from the library that have attributes similar to one or more songs selected by the user. The rejected Apple application doesn't go near that.

The meat of the Apple patent is the use of a menu tree to locate songs and playlists on an iPod. That's a thoroughly unoriginal idea and should have been rejected! USPTO may not have picked the most wonderful example for prior art to shoot down the application, but menu trees are as old as the hills.

None of this affects other iPod features like the wheel.