Microsoft patents button

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by MacFan26, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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  2. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #3
    This is just ****ing great! Why doesn't someone patent:

    • Device for entering data into a limited memory machine using the letters of the alphabet.
    • Instrument that provides visual feedback on the functioning of a personal computing machine.
    • Component that allows a two machines to communicate using filaments of copper.
    • Component used to supply power to a limited memory machine.

    Better yet, I'm going to get a patent on doorknobs, or trash cans, or floor mats, or silverware. Idiots.
     
  3. reaper macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Not that I'm trying to defend Microsoft (I'm actually trying to defend the law behind the granting of the patent), but they didn't actually patent the act of pressing a button or the button itself for that matter. They patented the various outputs that can happen based on unique user interaction with a button (i.e., if you click the button one thing happens, if you hold the button down another thing happens, etc.). This is the same logic that lets everyone patent new inventions, because they are not necessarily inventing a completely new product, just a new (novel) way to use it or different type of interaction that was not thougth of before.

    That being said, it seems to me that there is a case here for obviousness of the patent, as mice have been using double clicks and single-clicks forever to achieve different results. I guess if someone wants to challenge it, the courts will have to decide.

    - reaper
     
  4. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #5
    The problem with most of these is that I think IBM got the patent back in the 60s (at least) and they've all run out.
     
  5. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

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    #6
    The problem is, though, that such actions *already* exist. Microsoft merely swept in there to patent something already in use. (I have seen apps that use buttons in the "click and hold" method, but not in a desktop icon) Thats where this becomes morally questionable, the "click" and "double-click" aren't novel concepts.
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    *begins writing MS a cheque for double-clicking 69,570,398 times in his lifetime* :rolleyes:

    Double clicking....holding down a button..... Wow, great ideas, MS.
     
  7. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #8
    Yeah and don't forget original. :rolleyes: I hope the patent watchdogs take this to the supreme court. This is just plain wrong. Did microsoft claim to invent this type of interface?? I don't know patent laws at all, but I thought if the original company lets the patent lapse then that idea becomes public domain. It seems to me that they are claiming intellectual property that they did not invent, develop, or purchase from another company but merely use with their operating systems.

    P.S. If I were the makers of a gestures program, I'd sue Microsoft for this infringment!
     
  8. tj2001 macrumors regular

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    #9
    MS Invented...?

    I could have sworn Apple Mac firstly intorduced the mouse with double clicks? Or any click for that matter?!?!

    Was it not that DOS was MS first OS and Apple came about with the FIRST OS even with a mouse? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  9. railthinner macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    #10
    scam patents

    This is ridiculous. I have several synths and other things that react in various ways depending on how you hold down, push, or how hard you press a button or slider or knob. stupid. I saw this story on Wired and it led me to this site: http://www.fightthepatent.com/

    It seems there are a lot of bogus patents. Check out the article involving Acacia and adult websites. It seems as though they've patented the entire idea of loading audio or video from servers.
    http://www.fightthepatent.com/v2/PornPartners.html
    http://www.acaciatechnologies.com/pr/Claims/FAQsgeneralinternet.pdf

    I think I'll patent the sending of letters to the North Pole.
     
  10. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #11
    Little thing called prior art somebody seems to have forgotten. Put aside the fact that this is basically patenting double-clicking, click-and-holding-or long-clicking, which have been a UI tool since before Microsoft even HAD a GUI of their own. They ostensibly patented a way to have specific application buttons on a PDA do different things depending on how you push them--push the "mail" button and you get your mail; push and hold it, and you get a new message; double-push it and something else happens. Whatever.

    Yes, it's useful functionality. It's also a simple (I believe the patent office term is "obvious") PDA extension of concepts that have been around for years on desktop OSes--I'm sure I could find a dozen pieces of shareware and mouse drivers that provide the same functionality.

    Furthermore, even if you connect it to a "Hardware application button", as opposed to a general purpose mouse button, it's STILL been done before: If I push the power button on my Mac, it goes to sleep. If I push and hold it, my computer hard-powers-down. Ooh, there's a piece of prior art that's been in use by a dozen companies for several years! How about the buttons on my calculator watch--pushing and holding several of them causes the application tools within my watch to do different things than a simple push. Guess what--that tech has been around for at least a decade.

    The Patent Office has gone off the deep end.
     
  11. sambo. macrumors regular

    sambo.

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    #12
    eargh...

    didn't microsloth try to copyright "ie" caliming that everyone knows it as "Internet Explorer" rather than the somewhat older and much more common understanding of the term as "id est", latin for That Is.......
    this latest attempt by Redmond will surely backfire once again (i hope......)
    ;) :eek:
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #13
    Cool new fact. Thanks, I didn't know that ie stood for "id est", although I knew what ie means. :)

    Does the patent office actually reject patent applications anymore, or do they let everything go through as a patent? I say that anytime someone tries to patent someone obvious, it shouldn't go through, and the company should be fined for wasting their time.

    My old Handspring Visor has a backlight that turns on when you hold the power button down for a second, and turns on/off if you press it normally. If you push the down button, it'll go one position down a list, and if you hold it, it'll move quickly down a list. Handspring should have patented this.

    Just to add....my calculator resets when you push the AC button, but shuts off when you hold it.
     
  13. MacFan26 thread starter macrumors 65816

    MacFan26

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    #14
    Haha, I didn't know that either. That's great that you mentioned your calculator. Just goes to show that buttons like that are in a lot of other things than just computers and pda's. My car for instance, holding the power button turns the stereo off, but pushing it changes the modes from tape to cd, etc.
     
  14. Chris1127 macrumors newbie

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    Jackson, MS
    #15
    Does this mean Microsoft is gonna try to sue Apple for using the Play/Pause button on an iPod to turn it off, too? :rolleyes:

    How stupid can you get?
     
  15. dermeister macrumors 6502

    dermeister

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    #16
    This doesn't matter...

    ...since if they ever tried to enforce it, they would almost certainly fail, and have the patent revoked. Basically having a patent like this is useless, since it is not realisticly enforcable. Let them have it.
     
  16. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #17
    From what I heard last time my lab tried to patent something, the patent office is so overwhelmed that their system is basically:

    Poke the patent a bit, find a few obvious things to complain about, and reject it on those counts (even if it is a legit patent). If whoever wants the patent bothers to come back with reasonable answers to the issues the first time through, the patent is granted.

    Not only does this end up rejecting legit patents on the first run, just to weed out the people who won't even bother trying again, but it allows crap like this one through, since they're really not checking very hard for show-stoppers.

    And there is a financial penalty for trying to patent something you can't: The cost of patent lawyers and application fees. Of course, if you're Microsoft, that's not exactly a deterrant.
     
  17. rt_brained macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Who cares about buttons? Snaps are in right now.
     
  18. MacFan26 thread starter macrumors 65816

    MacFan26

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    #19
    sorry, Snaps?
     
  19. rt_brained macrumors 6502a

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