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USPTO grants Apple another patent (transparent texting) with a long history of prior art

0. phoneArena 27 Mar 2014, 08:58 posted on

You may recognize the title image for this article, it's from an app called Type n Walk, which has been in the iPhone App Store since 2009. It allows your phone to use input from the rear facing camera as the background of a text message, so you can see where you're walking. Apparently, the USPTO has never heard of this app, because today Apple was granted a patent for essentially the same thing...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:01 12

1. D.Aceveda (Posts: 358; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


Apple has been getting patents for things that are either extremely vague or for things that other companies/people have already made

Expect more lawsuits. It's the Apple way.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:35 7

7. appleDOESNT.com (Posts: 418; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


Apple see, Apple patent, Apple sue, company is run by monkeys apparently

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:44 9

12. Finalflash (Posts: 1449; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Damn it, it took Apple 2 years to go from innovator to full retard patent troll. They moved the industry up 5 years and are now hell bent on slowing down the next 20.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:46 1

13. PBXtech (Posts: 966; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


So you're saying Apple copies? No way!

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 10:22 2

16. Ashoaib (Posts: 1215; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Uspto is an office of mental retards feed by apple... now patent granting right should be given to european union, atleast EU is a group of many countries so their patent will not be biased towards own bucks full company like US is biased granting patent to its own bucks full compny...

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 13:48 1

22. downphoenix (Posts: 2267; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


At this point, I can't blame Apple. The USPTO has allowed itself to be abused by them and some others for so long now, that this is just the norm. At this point, I'm disappointed in the USPTO, not Apple for this. Why wouldn't Apple put in this patent, knowing it can get away with it like it has many times over? I would be more surprised if they didn't.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 19:11

45. Arte-8800 (Posts: 3086; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Not even a single Apple user or a fan here to side Apple,,,,,

Where are the Apple fans, no where to be seen,,,,.?

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:07 5

2. blingblingthing (Posts: 419; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


So..... Lawsuits incoming against any smartphone with a camera and a SMS app.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:08 12

3. Diego! (Posts: 500; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)


WTF??? There's an app that is now acient in Google Play that allows you to do that. Apple, always imitating. And stealing. GFY!

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:13 6

4. Antimio (Posts: 125; Member since: 11 Nov 2013)


This is Apple. The US company.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 17:25

31. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6139; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Apple think they own THE USPTO.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 17:45 1

34. Augustine (Posts: 614; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Apple does not think that; it does own the PTO, along with the courts.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:23

5. amiaq (Posts: 378; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


Cant' wait for the release of ipong 6, so I can laugh at it!!

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:28 5

6. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1650; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)


Wow!!!! You can patent stupid shyt these days....smh < literally...

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:36 3

8. fzacek (Posts: 1242; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


These patents are only filed for the sake of being annoying. Apple seriously needs to become less annoying with these useless patents.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:41 8

9. Slammer (Posts: 938; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


Maybe this generation will finally realize why our generation kicked Apple to the curb. And the USPTO is a derelict organization that would patent running water if Apple applied for it.

John B.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:41 3

10. Cyberchum (Posts: 248; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


This is Apple we're talking about guys, this is nothing new.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 09:43 5

11. Deadeye37 (Posts: 75; Member since: 25 Jan 2011)


I think the USPTO office really is just an Apple sattelite office. Probably has a big picture of the late Steve Jobs right behind the receptionist in the main lobby.

I think Lucy Koh has a secondary office there also.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 10:03 2

14. Augustine (Posts: 614; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


This is how the PTO operates: it leaves to courts and lawyers to decide. It forfeits its obligations because those who work at the PTO eventually consult for law firms in trials. It's yet another facet of the hollow American state, a self-serving parasite that has absolutely nothing to do with what the Revolutionary War intended and that generations of venal and apathetic citizens destroyed.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 10:21 1

15. SAO101789 (Posts: 120; Member since: 10 Feb 2014)


It's annoying they are falling behind when they were one of the best. Now from what I see it's better just jailbreaking your iphone or get a android or WP and I am currently using a 5S. I like iphone but they can do better. I just hope they get their act together. Big price phones are big because they are flagship phones but they are pointless if it doesn't satisfy your needs!!

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 10:28 5

17. vijaysivakula (Posts: 162; Member since: 17 Aug 2011)


The USPTO is filled with idiots!!

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 19:12

46. Arte-8800 (Posts: 3086; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Apple is bribing them,,,

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 10:29 5

18. Lt.Green (Posts: 318; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


USPTO needs a brain.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 17:24

30. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6139; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


This is their brain ON APPLE.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 10:53 3

19. DigitalJedi_X2 (banned) (Posts: 346; Member since: 30 Jan 2012)


I guess now we really know what apple is doing with all of those billions besides litigating.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 12:23

20. wando77 (Posts: 265; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)


I had an app like this on the Nokia n97 when it came out

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 12:55

21. winter_hat (Posts: 93; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


This has been available for years on secondary market Android keyboards. Earlier than your referenced 'firsts' above. Ultra keyboard or Perfect keyboard or...? I can't remember, but it's on at least a couple and I tried this a couple years ago. Burns battery (camera) and doesn't really help much.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 14:57

23. TechDork (Posts: 207; Member since: 10 May 2010)


I just want do like WhatsApp & be able to add backgrounds to my text conversations....meh.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 15:13 1

24. phatdaddy (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


As a patent attorney, I feel like I need to correct a very common misunderstanding that people seem to have over and over on thesse boards. Apple DID NOT receive a patent for this, not yet. All it is, is just that their patent application was PUBLISHED, which occurs 18 months (a year and a half) after it was filed. In other words, a patent application remains secret for 18 months, and then it becomes available to the public. It may or may not have been examined by the USPTO yet. If the prior art is really good, it will either never issue as a patent (not a patent application), or issue with VERY VERY limited scope.

Apple has received way too much hate for their patent filings, which I think is undeserved. Phonearena does a good job fanning the flames. Most of the time, they report Apple has received a patent, when it is just a patent application. The editors/reporters need to do a better job reporting the news.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 15:26 4

26. networkdood (Posts: 6250; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


You must work for Apple..troll on!!!

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 16:32 2

27. Izoe (Posts: 103; Member since: 02 Sep 2010)


The point is that sometimes (not all the time) they apply for patents based on ideas that have already been implemented by others. Then they turn around to use said patents as litigation weapons. The iPhone came about by building on and improving technology that was already available. I didn't see anybody suing them for that.

Apple wasn't the first company to file a suit for patent infringement but it was Apple that started the current trend of using patents as a means of throwing a cog in the wheel of competitors. I am betting in hind sight, other companies are regretting they allowed their patents fall under FRAND because that it the veil behind which Apple is hiding now. This action by Apple could actually lead to the death of FRAND as every company that develops a new technology will like to hod the patent such that they can defend themselves against other companies.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 17:37

32. phatdaddy (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


All I am saying is that Apple has not be GRANTED THIS PATENT. This is still just an application. Sure, they may have been granted patents on things that seem obvious, but if you look at the claims of the patent, I will bet that's a lot narrower. And the claims are what define the legal scope of a patent, not what is disclosed in the specification.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 18:42

35. lyndon420 (Posts: 1687; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


So please clear something up for us then if you may. If no patents for this feature currently exist, will it be awarded to apple?

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 20:12

39. phatdaddy (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


No. Apple will not get a patent on this even if there is no other patent covering the idea. If the prior set (example, the app that everyone has mentioned) does this, then apple will not get a patent on this.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 23:36

43. Augustine (Posts: 614; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


The PTOs record on granting patents even when there's notorious prior art is atrocious, confirmed by my own personal experience.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 19:16

47. Arte-8800 (Posts: 3086; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


So they should be getting charged for deception or fraud, claiming what does not belong to them,,,

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 16:35

28. Augustine (Posts: 614; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


As an inventor, I had a company attorney file a patent in my name for an idea used in a project in spite of my objections of its being prior art, but it eventually was granted (US 7127446 B1). I don't even mention it in my resume out of shame.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 18:53

36. lyndon420 (Posts: 1687; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


I looked this up, and it looks to me like the patent you mentioned is owned by AMD.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 18:57

37. Augustine (Posts: 614; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Notice my name as the main inventor. When working at AMD, any invention would be their property, but the authorship, retained.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 20:19

41. roscuthiii (Posts: 1785; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


Article says granted... Maybe you should take this up with the author.

posted on 29 Mar 2014, 13:02

49. winter_hat (Posts: 93; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Don't try to bring logic, common-sense, or the law to this, or any other, phone fanboy site.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 15:25

25. networkdood (Posts: 6250; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Not the first time that Apple steals an idea from one of its developers...

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 17:24

29. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6139; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


WTF is wrong with USPTO are they getting high or something? Keep awarding apple with everything that already exist in the technology world?

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 17:37

33. phatdaddy (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


Refer to my post above. Apple has not been granted this patent. This is still just an application.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 19:40

38. SPASE (Posts: 75; Member since: 03 May 2013)


I get your point but you dont get everyone's point on this issue.
Apple seems to want to patent prior art all the time!

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 20:15 1

40. phatdaddy (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


I'm not disputing the apple is trying to patent a lot of things, some of which appear to be not novel in view of existing prior art. All I was trying to say is that phonearena needs to do a better job reporting the truth!

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 06:47 3

44. Slammer (Posts: 938; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


Well, if there is a difference between "published" and "awarded", maybe the USPTO should be educated on the subject. It seems Apple is "awarded" prior art patents more frequently than what you are explaining.

Can't blame the hate. I'd be pretty pissed to invent something, Apple gets the patent because it is Apple and then sues me for it.

I think Phonearena has done a good job in keeping the United States' broken patent system in view of the technology consumers. There is a definite problem. Apple can lose most cases in other countries for this yet, The United States is right there to coddle the bull crap of allowing Apple to patenting every little thing and cause financial burden for those that actually did the work.

Patent Attorney or not, I respect your authoritative position. However, the system is in shambles and needs to quell the counter-productive routine of granting patents they know nothing about. These people seem to live in a bubble. Not noticing prior art and asking questions like: "Haven't we seen this before?" "We would like to see a working embodiment. Do you have one?" "What is different about yours vs what others have done already?"

Apple and other companies need to be out under the gun for this stuff. Companies using an unlimited financial resource to gain advantage, only restricts technological advancements.

Maybe the Attorneys should be held somewhat finacially accountable for taking on cases that parlay abusive tactics. I wonder how many companies would cease trolling if this were to happen.

John B.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 22:15

42. fireblade (Posts: 634; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


wow, stupid act from Apple

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 19:21

48. Arte-8800 (Posts: 3086; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


More like bad very really bad move by that poisonous fruit, very lethal and dangerous skives, stealing others hard job and bread and butter,..

Why doesn't the law sue Apple for fraud, boating by false representation,,,

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