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Judge who threw out Apple, Motorola case questions if software patents should even exist

0. phoneArena 05 Jul 2012, 10:11 posted on

Judge Posner, who sits on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, made headlines early last month when he threw out the entire Apple/Motorola case. He recently spoke with...

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posted on 05 Jul 2012, 10:16 54

1. frydaexiii (Posts: 1443; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

This man...Faith in humanity restored!

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 11:18 13

14. iWorld (Posts: 85; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

Apple should hire this man as their CEO.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 10:18 30

2. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1236; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)

I like this guy.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 10:20 30

3. zhypher_23 (Posts: 195; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)

Judge Posner is by far IMO the best judge to give neutral perspectives on both sides like he said "He did not agree with the idea of banning a device over a patent on one feature because, ultimately, the consumers are the ones that receive the most harm." Bravo Judge Posner.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 20:49 1

41. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)

really.. it wasnt more than 5 months ago when posner was said to be a terrible judge and that he couldnt possibly decide tech stuff since he is a lawyer..

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 10:22 13

4. plgladio (Posts: 314; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)

Amazing! Maturity in another word called as Posner

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 10:25 28

5. Whateverman (Posts: 3262; Member since: 17 May 2009)

I wonder if judge Koh is paying attention? She should be!

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 10:25 23

6. fervid (Posts: 183; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Need to clone this guy before he dies and appoint him on every court system...

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 10:27 16

7. bragzter (Posts: 52; Member since: 21 Feb 2012)

Love him. Wish all judges had the common sense he does to realise all these lawsuits is Apple's way of being anti competitive and all cases be thrown out the same way

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 10:35 17

8. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

We need more judges like this

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 10:36 15

9. Fuego84 (Posts: 344; Member since: 13 May 2012)

Judge Posner = People's Champion

posted on 10 Jul 2012, 16:19 1

47. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

do you smell the that Posner is cooking ?

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 10:58 3

10. MeoCao (unregistered)

I disagree a little: innovation should be recognized in software otherwise no 1 will care to invest in research and development. But imo patents should be granted only to very original and substantive solutions.

About "slide to unlock" or "data tapping"... sorry

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 11:44 8

19. Stuntman (Posts: 836; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)

Some of the patents seem rather trivial to me. Apple has a patent where if you tap a phone number in an email, it will dial the number. This seems very trivial. There has already been features where you tap or select some object in an email and it launches that link. You've seen that for URLs, Word documents, Excel documents and such already and yet doing the same for making a phone call is supposed to have a lot of R&D behind it?

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 12:01 12

20. superguy (Posts: 293; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

That's what copyright is for. You can create something new, like say Photoshop back in the day. Some puts together a collection of tools for manipulating photos, maybe a few special widgets in there, packages it and sells it as a suite. Now that doesn't preclude someone else from makiig something similar. They can put together a suite, call it something else, and sell it. Now as long as it doesn't look the same, or isn't called Photoshop or made to look like Adobe made it, then there'd probably be no infringement. At that point, both software suites are in the market, and stand on their merits and people will buy what suits their needs, or is the better suite.

What's protected is the expression, or implementation of the idea. The idea itself isn't locked up to prevent someone else from using it.

Likewise, copyright protects Apple from Google or Microsoft from ripping of the look of the OS, but it shouldn't preclude them from basic functionality, like searching, storing contacts, etc.

Now if something were truly unique, and not basic funcationality, such as a special algorithm for cutting processing, or a proprietary file format, there could be a case for patenting that specific implementation of it, but the general idea of creating a competing format that does something similar in a different way would not be prohibited. That's where I think things are getting screwed up - Apple is using patents to preclude the whole concept of something, not just a specific implementation.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 19:36 2

38. MeoCao (unregistered)

Ha ha, you guys misunderstand me.

What I mean is "slide to unlock" or "data tapping" are gabage and should never be granted patents in the 1st place.

But I really think stuffs like algorithms are patentable.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 11:04 2

11. Gemmol (Posts: 792; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)

Whats the sense of inventing then, if they did this, then all you need to do is watch all the stuff people make, take it and add your sprinkles around it, make a big advertisement and bingo, huge sales and the person who invent it go home with a sad face.....people who invent and have no money to advertise will be hurt the most.....at the end of the day it will hold back innovation..........but if there was patents and you can sue or ban people, it force people to think outside of the box to make a product that someone would want.........all this no patent stuff make people think its okay to piggy back, I don't agree with what apple doing, but if they want to ban people they have that right, it may be one little feature but still aint right to use somebody stuff.....I would be upset if someone making profits of my idea........and if you say buying companies do not make you a inventor.....your right it dont....but it do make me owner of the patent......I just feel Google should just make all new things, forget piggy backing that way the Android will be all theirs and apple have nothing to sue......just like the other article said they going to make a work around for the galaxy nexus.....they should of been did that and for other patents....need to stop waiting till you get ban to do something....stop being lazy piggy backing....by both companies have nothing to sue for it will make competition better, because they will have to create new ways to get customers excited and this is a future I would like to see............please remember this is my opinion before yall negatively write me up.......they should take away the thumbs down bar because it takes away free speech if you have too much negatives no one gets to see your post, which make people have to think twice about what they write.......they should only be a thumbs up button you either like the post or leave it alone

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 12:06 6

21. superguy (Posts: 293; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

Well, then you need to take a look at Apple. Apple has been huge on ripping stuff off and improving on it. Even Steve Jobs himself said he shamelessly did such things.

That said, the concept of the smartphone had been around for quite awhile between Blackberry, Symbian, and Microsoft. One can argue the merits of how good their implementation was, but none of the companies precluded any others from trying. Apple saw an opportunity to improve smartphones, created the iPhone, and sold it. They didn't invent anything really new - they just improved what was already out there.

Even Microsoft was first to market with the tablet concept in 2002-2003. It didn't sell then. Apple took the idea much later on, put their spin on it, and created the iPad. No one saw MS complaining and suing them because Apple ripped off their idea.

So if you're going to say Google shouldn't piggyback, take a look at Apple and what they've done before slamming other companies..

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 14:23 2

31. Gemmol (Posts: 792; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)

yeah he did, he even bought the companies that did it too, so now he own their patents, it doesnt change the subject they own the patents, so it is their feature or in other words product, but in google case they do not own the patents but yet take what they see from others n use it.......no matter how much you blame apple they own the patents and that is what matters in the case they are the owner.....if you are using what they own it makes you the piggy backer......look at this i got 9 negatives I guess people want a world where my TV is everyone TV

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 12:09 4

23. tedkord (Posts: 11697; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

Watching what others made, taking it and adding your own sprinkles withh big marketing us exactly how the iPhone came to be.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 14:33 2

32. Gemmol (Posts: 792; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)

yeah but they own the patents, its crazy how everyone think this is okay, I understand you hate the company, I have a Galaxy Note, so it do not bother me, but I look at it from my perspective if I own a company and have these little features of mines that I own the patents for..I would ban a company that try to use them.....the problem with everyone is that yall are looking at the phone as a whole and judging that as the only way to show if someone is copying, when this is not true sometimes it can be a little change that make something feel better aka known as apple features.....I dont believe in this I make something and it gives you the right to use it.....and for the ones saying apple took people stuff......please remember apple buy the companies so the patents belong to them....this is what people forget every day when they post something on here......I guess a lot of people have different perspective so im guessing if you made a feature on your product slide to unlock and I stole it and put it on my phone.....everything is okay with you???? while i go on to make millions off it because people like the familiarity of it from using it on your product

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 14:57 3

34. Retro-touch (Posts: 273; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)

Your reason is flawed because no one buys a phone for one single feature but for the collection of features it offers. You might have a patent but that patent may have been given for too broad a scope to foresee the various implementations that could be done using an idea. IOS 6 copied the notification tray off Android, its been an andoid feature for a damn long time, I haven't heard of Google suing Apple for such a claim.

That kind of behavior of suing completely different implementations based on very broad definitions for patents is just plain wrong and is anti-competition. Competition furthers innovation and without a competitive market we might still be running single core phones. What you personally use doesn't matter, and doesn't add any merit to your argument.

You misunderstand the basic idea behind why everyone looks at a phone as a whole and its because everything thats added to a phone, every feature, every piece of tech, its design and performance are ultimately what determine whether people buy a product. Features like Siri and Google Now add value but they don't make or break a phone, its the entire package that does

posted on 06 Jul 2012, 09:16

45. Gemmol (Posts: 792; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)

you miss my last sentence people would buy another phone for similarity, look at apple phone it had slide to unlock before android phones, then screen shot n etc......by having some ui features similar to apple make it easier for people to give android a try, which goes back to what i say using my features to make money of me......do you not see ios and android are similar.....i did use the word similar, i did not say it look exactly like it, if im not mistaken when android was being made it took some ideas from apple to make the phone just similar enough that people can switch os system without a problem......CASE CLOSED.....well its not closed i would be a troll if i said that but there is a lot of back and forth arguments that can be use to prove a point in this case.....thank you for your point of view.....im not like others here I do not thumbs down someone message

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 20:33 5

40. Zero0 (Posts: 592; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

1. Apple is guilty of stealing UI concepts as well. Their notification center is a blatant rip-off of Android's.
2. Slide to unlock is not a "feature." It's a very basic UI concept. It does not sell phones.
3. There are other ways to unlock a touch screen, but, evidently, Apple has a patent over any type of gesture used to unlock. The patents are very broad.

posted on 06 Jul 2012, 01:50

43. quakan (Posts: 1373; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)

Last time i checked, Google's notification bar was still patent pending so Google can't do anything about it for now.

posted on 06 Jul 2012, 21:15

46. tedkord (Posts: 11697; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

You're missing the point. The whole point of patents is to protect innovation. Patented ideas are supposed to be new, non-obvious and original. Slide to unlock does not meet that criteria, because it existed on the Neonode N1m prior to the iPhone.

The patent should not have ever been granted. Apple stole the idea themselves.

Then you get into the other areas of Apple's patents - they file when they have the idea, without ever actually working on it, they make the patent overly broad, so as to cover ANY similar idea. They actually stated in court that "Slide to Unlock" covers tapping an unlock icon, because a tap is just a zero length slide.

Then, these overly broad patents often fail the non-obvious test. The patent system is severely flawed, and Apple are taking advantage of the flaws to block competition. Competition which has flown past them like they were standing still.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 19:59 2

39. medicci37 (Posts: 1276; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)

@ Gemmol Sorry about the thumbs up. Tried 2 hit the thumbs down. But was using a POS iphone.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 11:13 4

12. gwhyte01 (Posts: 44; Member since: 09 Jul 2008)

Ummm same judge who opposed the att t T-Mobile deal.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 13:46 2

29. tedkord (Posts: 11697; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

One more reason to love the guy!

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 11:18 9

13. GuiltyBystander (Posts: 199; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)

Posner for president!

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 11:20 6

15. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did video game industry patent how a game's control? NO!

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 17:56 3

37. jroc74 (Posts: 6005; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Look at the Super Nintendo controller and the orig PS One controller....

If Apple had made the SNES....Sony woulda got sued. Anyone who makes a 3rd party controller woulda got sued.

I am SO GLAD Apple failed in the gaming console industry. Woulda just been unnecessary headaches. But...I think there might be patents for game controls. The difference is what the companies do with those patents and how they act with them.

Apple is really, really anal right now. Really.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 11:31 2

16. cncrim (Posts: 826; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)

Experience is te key......i like this judge. We should have more jude like him so that no bs lawsuit. Waste our resource and time.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 11:32 3

17. jove39 (Posts: 1858; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

Posner is right...do we really need patents in software industry? Or lets re-phrase...do we really need s**tTY patents in software industry?

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 11:42 5

18. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

the patent industry is a complete mess. It wont ever be thrown away though.. corporations wont let politicians do that.
However, I do feel that anything that is as basic as multitouch and lock screens needs to be FRAND ASAP and only the more specific pieces need to be allowed to keep private patents on them.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 12:06 3

22. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

to quote Denzel Washington "My Man!"

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 12:14 6

24. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

This man is like the goddamn Clint Eastwood of the court system. He may not consider himself on anyone's side, but DAMN, he'll do what's right. I like him a lot. I may even email him to let him know.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 13:00 3

25. tedkord (Posts: 11697; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

Well, since software patents are a relatively new phenomena, and we can see the s**tstorm that followed them, I think the answer is pretty obvious.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 13:24 3

26. AFnerdTP (unregistered)

how can i go about nominating him for president?

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 13:41 1

27. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

On the ballot, write his name in.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 13:43 3

28. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

I believes patents have their place in the world, but, if a company is going to years later for something that others have been using for quite some time, then that also should be looked at by a judge presiding over a court case. Obviously, it was not that important if other models were released with patent infringments, no matter how minor/vague they are.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 13:56 3

30. tedkord (Posts: 11697; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

Here's the deal - software patents need to be scrapped entirely. We didn't need them before, we don't need them now. They're a bad idea. (If the patent system were the way it is now 30 years ago, Apple would own the GUI they stole from Xerox)

Copyright is enough protection.

Take video encoding. You should be able to patent the method of encoding, say H.264. The actual algorithm used to compress the video stream can be patented. The idea of compressing video streams, meaning anyone who comes up with a different way of compressing would be in violation, that should not be allowed. In other words, the patent should be for how you compress, not just the idea of compressing.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 14:36 2

33. adi4u4882 (Posts: 137; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)

Posner my man!
Bring an end to this senseless patent battle.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 16:01 2

36. freemarketeer (Posts: 28; Member since: 05 Jun 2010)

I need to address a couple things here. First is that without patents, invention and innovation would not occur or occur at a much slower rate. This is not the case and repeated studies have demonstrated it. In fact, innovation occurs faster due to the lack of legal barriers as well as increased pressure to stay ahead of the competition. All patents do is force scarcity on an otherwise unscarce good.

The other is that people will suddenly stop buying authentic products if you make it legal for someone to use the same ideas to produce a similar item. Are people going to stop buying designer fashions if knock-off's suddenly became an option? All this system does is allow more choices for consumers. If a company "copies" the iPad and sells it for $200 less than the genuine article, they are not stealing business from Apple since those people were not willing to pay $200 more for Apple's version. All that company is doing is addressing and supplying a group that Apple currently doesn't.

posted on 06 Jul 2012, 01:56

44. thinking (Posts: 130; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)

The patent system should also be modified so that the patent holder is made to KEEP the patent regularly, say, annually. This may be based on showing progress on the idea (if it's an idea patent).
And if someone else MAKES the real thing (even if) based on what you CONCEIVED in your mind, ... boom ... the MAKER gets the patent and the conceiver loses it.

posted on 11 Jul 2012, 21:18

48. Fuego84 (Posts: 344; Member since: 13 May 2012)

Hey Apple is the one that should be sued for Slide to Unlock because Slide to Unlock has been a featuer available for years in hotel rooms. Lol just screwing around.

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