MS invented iPod?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Les Kern, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68030

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
  2. macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2004
    Calgary, AB
    yes, and Al Gore invented the internet... :rolleyes:

    it's just a patent on one aspect of the iPod
  3. macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2005
    It's not even Microsoft who "holds" the patent, it's a Microsoft Employee...BIG difference.

    Either way US patent law is rediculous.
  4. macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    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."
  5. macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    ya i remmeber that
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Dale Sorel

    Jan 12, 2003
  7. macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    That phrase made me chuckle a little :p
  8. macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    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.
  9. macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    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.
    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.
  10. macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Better/more information

    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, "Graphical user interface and methods of use thereof in a multimedia player", abstract here. (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.

    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.
  11. macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    You don't know the fun I had typing it. :p
  12. macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2005
    SE PA

    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.
  13. macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    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.

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