Jelly Bean already works around Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent
The key here is that Apple’s patent isn’t actually on the idea of pinching your screen to zoom – that would be a classic idea of trying to patent an idea, and would be thrown out (it may be thrown out anyways once the prior art plays a bigger role in subsequent legal action). Instead, the ‘915 patent is on a specific way to translate the movements to a zoom, and for some else’s implementation to infringe they have to copy all parts of the patent.
The key part, as pointed out by The Verge’s Nilay Patel, can be found in one of the key elements of the patent:
Notice the part in bold? That sentence restricts Apple’s patent to implementations where one finger is an anchor and the movement of the other one is what the device uses to create the zoom animation. Allow both fingers to move apart to perform the zoom maneuver and Apple’s patent is not infringed.
Apple is no dummy – their patent was written this way for a reason; first, you can’t patent the concept of pinching to zoom. Second, it’s a great way to simplify the motion so the CPU does the minimal amount of work possible, since anchoring the calculation at the first touch means that the mobile device only has to calculate the path that the second finger travels. But CPUs are much more powerful in 2012, and it turns out that it’s not really hard to have a phone or tablet calculate vectors for both (or multiple) fingers and create a zoom effect from that motion.
Of course Google doesn’t employ many dummies either, and their engineers have apparently already figured this out and implemented such a dual-finger-moving zoom in Jelly Bean. This is easiest to see if you have a JB-equipped Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 7 next to an iPhone or an iPad, but if you open up Chrome on Android 4.1 and zoom, it definitely reacts in terms of both positioning and zoom to movement by either finger, or both (or you can vary which one is moving during the pinch process). You can also initiate a pan while zooming.
There isn’t much chance this was accidental, especially since a Google spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that "Apple's '915 patent claims a very specific software implementation, and the implementation is different in Jelly Bean."
Samsung’s loss to Apple may seem like the end of the world to some Android fans. As we’ve written, Samsung may gain several wins on appeal if their lawyers put on a better showing. But Apple’s patents have restrictions as well (or else they would certainly be thrown out, as may indeed happen to some of them), and once you pay close attention to those limitations, a team of clever engineers can usually achieve the same or similar effect without infringing on a valid patent. So rest assured, you will be able to pinch to zoom in all future versions of Android.
Although this raises an intriguing question: did Google file for a patent on their implementation of pinch to zoom? And if so, do they plan to simply license it out (and would Apple respond by then licensing theirs out, rather than concede this revenue source to Google?). Time will tell we suppose.
source: The Verge
35. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5517; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
In the end, after all is said and done, Apple will be found to have gamed the USPTO and most (more than 50%) of their patents will be found to be invalid. You heard it first on PA.
65. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
And I advise all to read the full Verge article. For folks that used to be called Apple fanboys.....they actually called out Apple on this one.
56. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)
And this just shows something about a rule, law, contract, etc...
There's always a loophole. For everything.
Anyway, I'm just glad that Apple can't sue for something ridiculous like this that is in Windows Phones as well as Androids.
66. eyad_996 (Posts: 29; Member since: 10 Jul 2012)
It is a silly thing to sue about!
It's like suing them for the volume rocker buttons on the side of a phone, stuff like that don't go under the name "innovation", it's like common-sense!
In face Windows 7 also uses pinch to zoom for picture zooming, offcourse only if you have a touch screen of some kind.
3. protozeloz (Posts: 5367; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
I saw the post on the verge today, It had interesting stuff
4. ajac09 (Posts: 1336; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
not many android fans think its the end of the world becaue of samsungs loss.. most of us see it it as a time to hit apple back and MUCH harder
15. networkdood (Posts: 6244; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
I agree - I could care less if APPLE won - jury did not seem too bright and like the judge, rushed over everything to jump to a conclusion. It will get overturned or downgraded.
17. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
the only people that care that apple won are the itrolls that cant see past their nose.
The expectation is overturn/reduction in some way shape or form. No reasonable person thinks that apple should have won such a lopsided victory, not even other patent lawyers that were interviewed pre/post trial.
24. gallitoking (Posts: 4680; Member since: 17 May 2011)
because Apple did win... and until it gets overturned ..apple did win plain and simple..
31. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
they didnt win until the judgment is FINAL, gallito. It is not FINAL yet. There is a difference. The jury's decision was a hard guideline for the judge to make her FINAL ruling on, but she does not have to abide by it, and most people dont think she will.
So technically all they have won at this point.. was... an end to the court case.. for now.
46. gallitoking (Posts: 4680; Member since: 17 May 2011)
al the headlines around the we says that Apple won if you want o spin it,.. go ahead I am talking in the present not the future and here Apple won unless you can prove me otherwise.. which you wont..
64. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Headlines....vs the procedures, rules of the courts...
Yea....the headlines matter more.
They did win the case. But this isnt over yet. Appeals n all. Ya know...procedures of the courts.
67. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)
41. MeoCao (unregistered)
I think Apple lost big time with their law suits. Apple now becomes a company using their petty patents to bully competitors and not a company of innovation.
36. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5517; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Sammy's legal team f*cked up. Time to play the appeal according to how Google played Oracle v. Google - can we all say invalidity?
Fortunately the appeal process is about the law, not jury nullification.
5. MeoCao (unregistered)
This is great news, I was afraid that Apple would prevent other from using pinch to zoom.
I think Google is different from Apple and will use the possible pinch to zoom patent only to protect themselves and their allies and not make money from it.
37. E.N. (Posts: 2223; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
Apple goal is to prevent copying, not to make money from the patents.
40. MeoCao (unregistered)
Are you serious, Apple offered pinch to zoom license to SS for some 2-3 bucks per phone from their own admission.
42. E.N. (Posts: 2223; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
Well maybe I'm wrong but I thought Apple usually attempts to ban devices until they get the feature removed entirely.
43. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
And then when the feature is removed or modified so it doesn't infringe, as verified by government officials, Apple attempts to ban it again, claiming that the device still infringes! :D
44. E.N. (Posts: 2223; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
That's a little off topic from what MeoCao and I are talking about but okay sure.
45. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
It's a snarky comment. Read it as if I'm saying it gleefully.
And it's actually a little on topic; you're both right and wrong.
Apple has been wielding its patents in an attempt to drive Android out of the market, all because Steve Jobs didn't think anyone else could possibly come up with the idea for a mobile operating system that uses a touchscreen for its main UI without copying Apple.
It's also a way to abuse government power in order to try to gain an unfair market advantage. For a company so obviously and historically obsessed with control, this is nowhere near to being a surprise.
72. E.N. (Posts: 2223; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
Yeah you're a little on topic and not a little off topic, my bad (you realize that's worse right?). But anyway, you're basically saying the same thing I did with more detail. It seems like you're agreeing with me more than you are with MeoCao because he's suggesting that licensing features is Apple's primary goal.
Did it answer our dispute? No. Sounded kinda ranty...
60. willard12 (Posts: 678; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)
They're not achieving their goal and they have themselves to blame. They copied the LG prada which won the iF design award in Sep 2006, pull down notification, answer a call with a message. According to the trial....they copied pinch to zoom from Mitsubishi . The jury foreman, who patented tivo though he didnt invent it, doesnt like the whole prior art thing either. In fact once again, I don't think you can name a single thing actually invented by Apple. Entertain us...name just 1....until then, I'll take apple's word as honest when they say they've been shameless about stealing good ideas. Hopefully, they don't steal any 4g technology.
6. tiara6918 (Posts: 1322; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
Apple and their products, they will always sue if someone else made it identical or similar to theirs(even though in reality it isn't but they're fooling everyone with every move they make). Apple is going way overboard...Jb show what you have against ios!
7. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
In just like that.....it isnt a big deal. I predict Apple will start patenting all variations of their patents in the near future...
I recommended press 2 corners and zoom for Android. Google, hop on that.
8. emdot82 (Posts: 14; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)
apple always have a problem with android taking ideas from them but just look at the new IOS6 every New feature they added android had it for years
9. Nookie4u (Posts: 127; Member since: 13 Aug 2012)
When you stop an idiot, they won't go further anymore. but if you stop a genius, they'll always find a way to work around it. so it only pushes them to make things even better. Google did a great job.
19. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
and thats a big difference between google and apple. Apple hires people and calls the Geniuses to look smarter than they are.
Google hires geniuses and lets them run free with ideas and implementation which IS smart.
Looking or being.. hmm... which "smart" would I rather be?
25. gallitoking (Posts: 4680; Member since: 17 May 2011)
well the Samsung lawyers didnt look too bright
32. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
maybe they should be wearing an apple genius shirt then? then we could expect them to be useless right off the bat.
38. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5517; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Nah. They need to wear a tee shirt that says - Kiss me I am stupid.
54. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)
That's the only chance they have lol
47. gallitoking (Posts: 4680; Member since: 17 May 2011)
at least they will win cases using napkins...
59. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
which proves just how broken and idiotic our patent litigation system is.
69. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Remember that phrase....when you stumble upon an article where Apple lost a patent case.
11. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
And boom goes the dynamite. Now the trick is to actually GET JELLY BEAN TO THE MAJORITY OF NEW DEVICES SELLING TODAY, DAMMIT.
16. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
That's not the point. The point is to get the update out officially so Apple can't get devices banned for their pinch to zoom patent. I'm sure that "Well, customers can just go and get non infringing software from XDA!" is not an argument that would sit well with a judge or jury.
18. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
its a great "light the fire under their ass" point to manufacturers AND carriers to get 4.1 out and pushed to as many devices as possible... at least to their current sellers.
Maybe one day we can thank Apple for being such a litigious ass, since the accidental byproduct is a massive update push by google, through manufacturers and then pressuring carriers to send them faster, if somehow the P2Z patent isnt thrown out on appeal.
Maybe this will force google to start twisting carrier arms to speed up/kill the approval process that makes so many updates take extra months? that would be nice.
33. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Would not allow what? Quick updates?
Sadly, you're right, and they consistently seem to be at the bottom of the slow update cycle. Remember how Motorola got the Wifi only XOOM updated to ICS barely a month after ICS was originally out, and now the XOOM is already on JB?
The Verizon XOOM just got ICS in June, and still no JB.
The carriers are assholes.
48. gallitoking (Posts: 4680; Member since: 17 May 2011)
and i hate it as much as you do,,, as only in the States this happens..
68. willard12 (Posts: 678; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)
Not allowing an update vs. Having millions of dollars in inventory sit in their storage room because it's banned. I think they'll go for the update.
12. Snap123 (Posts: 33; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)
Can someone explain to me how Samsung plans to go about suing Apple for using LTE. Correct me if im wrong but since Apple will most likely be using Qualcomm chip for LTE doesnt that mean they have the licence from Qualcomm to have LTE on their phone.
And from an another article Qualcomm has more LTE patents than Samsung has. Im sure Apple is smart enough to cover themselves by using Qualcomm's LTE patents.
This is all so confusing.
22. Scott_H (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)
Samsung is estimated to own something crazy like 10% of the patents related to LTE. So they undoubtedly have some that aren't covered by patent exhaustion.
26. CamaroSS (Posts: 72; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)
Scott, Apple will be using Qualcomm LTE chip and nobody will be able to get a single penny from Apple by suing over LTE. Don't forget that Apple, Samsung make commodities that cost couple hundred bucks. Network equipments and protocols are the real technology and those are invented/patented by companies like Ericsson, Nokia, Siemens, Qualcomm, and Huawei. So don't propagate some garbage posted by koreantimes citing some underpaid anonymous Samsung exec. Real world is a bit different from the emotional world our PA fanboys live in. And you as a writer are supposed to act more rationally.
28. gallitoking (Posts: 4680; Member since: 17 May 2011)
"Real world is a bit different from the emotional world our PA fanboys live in."
34. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
I think your comment could have been more arrogant.
50. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1164; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
That makes no sense. Anyone can patent a technology, even tech that can become a standard. If he's smart enough, a guy in his basement can come up with a tech innovation that could one day become a standard. The reason you mostly see it from larger corporations is because they have more capital for r&d, but that doesn't mean they're the sole innovators. Another thing you see quit often is an individual or small group comes up with a concept and a large corporation either buys the rights to it or hires them to continue development on it.
BTW, I notice you didn't mention Motorola, they invented the cell phone. Samsung had the UMTS standard that most cell phones use. To say that Nokia has "real tech" but Samsung doesn't, I just don't see how you can come to that conclusion.
39. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5517; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
The real question for Sammy's LTE-related patents is whether they can be construed to be standards essential.
13. networkdood (Posts: 6244; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Huh, I just double tap to zoom in and out on my NEXUS 7 - lol, what a useless patent, or rather, another useless patent, by Apple.
23. stealthd (Posts: 910; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)
Not useless enough for it to be omitted though.
49. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Double tap to zoom is apparently patented by Apple too.
52. MeoCao (unregistered)
Double tab to zoom is not essential as pinch to zoom and can be replaced easily.
55. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)
I actually use pinch to zoom way more, so I don't really care if double tap gets replaced. I'm sure most people feel the same way.