Apple under fire for universal use of "Tabs"

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by ironring2006, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. ironring2006 macrumors member

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    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    Appleinsider is reporting that Apple is the target of a lawsuit from an intellectual property agency called IP Innovation LLC claiming infringement on a single patent they hold that they acquired from Xerox years ago. The subject of the The patent in question seems to be broad in nature, but seems to generally cover any kind of tabbed interface. There claim is that its use is found rampant in OS X Tiger, most notably in Safari's tabs.

    I think most of us will agree that tabs have been around for way too long in the software world to even think that this would be patentable now, especially when Apple's Lisa had this in 1980:

    http://www.folklore.org/projects/Macintosh/images/polaroids/polaroids.14.jpg
     

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  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #2
    Interesting. However, if the patent is from Xerox, it likely predates the Lisa as well, doesn't it?
     
  3. ironring2006 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    The patent was filed on March 25, 1987 by Xerox, and granted December 10, 1991.

    Most people would see this patent as holding very little water, but its interesting to contemplate why this company is targeting Apple specifically, rather than say Microsoft, Opera, or Mozilla, or any other piece of software that implements this.
     
  4. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #4
    Yeah, but the patent date is 1987, so if Apple had it in 1980, then that's prior art, and Xerox's patent is invalid.

    OTOH, 1980 doesn't seem right. Wasn't the Lisa more like 1983?
     
  5. ironring2006 thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    The Lisa was in fact released in 1983, but this photo is from around 1980. The Lisa was in development from as early as 1978. In that case, I guess 1983 would be the effective date for this prior art, if Apple at the time had not done anything to patent it before it was released.
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #6
    Sorry, should have read that more carefully. :eek:
     
  7. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #7
    Well, they're probably testing the waters with Apple and would sue MS when successful but as others have mentioned, I don't see them getting anything.
     
  8. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #8
    funny how you can think up and write down a user interface.

    but have absolutely no intention of even trying to create it.

    and the somehow getting money?

    its like the underpants gnomes:

    step #1 - get underpants
    step #2 - ...............
    step #3 - profit.

    new_pa4.jpg
     
  9. Mr. Amiga500 macrumors regular

    Mr. Amiga500

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    Jan 19, 2007
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    Canada
    #9
    I think I better design a few million different GUI concepts, patent them all and wait for 20 years to see who uses what so I can sue them.

    I'll try everything from "PornoMenu" (dropdown menus with integrated porn movies) to "SmelloGUI" (so blind people can smell what's on the screen).

    "Eeew! What happened? All of the sudden I got a horrible stench."

    "Uh, that's because you started Windows."
     
  10. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #10
    I think its in Chuck Palahniuk's "Choke" that the main character eventually works for a company whose sole purpose is to come up with names for drugs that dont exist yet, and patent them.

    Sort of like buying up .com's before everyone and their mom had a website, and selling them to the "real" owners....

    how much did altavista.com go for!?
     
  11. eluk macrumors 6502a

    eluk

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    #11
    It just hit the fan.
     
  12. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #12
    survivor, not choke :p

    and this probably won't go anywhere. gotta love our sue happy world. pathetic.
     
  13. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #13
    Wouldn't this patent be invalid since they sat on it for so long without enforcing it?
     

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