You have to hand it to Apple. With the intense media rumors that start building up before a traditional Apple device update period, even down to predictions around the date and timing of the event, Apple’s got a problem most product managers would give an arm and a leg to have. And what does the Cupertino-based outfit do? Well, Santa comes early this year, with Apple announcing a media event focused around music on September 1st, 2010, coming about six days ahead of a Bloomberg-rumored September 7 date.
All it took was a couple of innocuous third-party app screenshots in several patent applications Apple had filed late last year, and the next thing you know, vocal advocates of developer rights were screaming nothing short of bloody murder! If you haven’t tuned into the ‘Where To?’ furor that has erupted so far, what actually happened is this. Apple’s patent application described an integrated travel application for the iPhone, which allows you to for example feed an itinerary into your iPhone and have it send out notifications to your hotel and taxi service the moment you landed at your destination! It just so happened that in the description of the patent, there was a screen image that was pretty much a direct copy of the interface found in the third-party application ‘Where To?’. What was meant to illustrate a user interface that one might expect in such an app turned into quite something else. Instead of being treated as a tip of the hat to the developers of ‘Where To?’ for their excellent user interface, Apple has on their hands mass hysteria and blind panic that followed (in some circles, at least), with many claiming that Cupertino was trying to patent third-party application ideas and claim their IP to be its own. Things only quietened down when reps from Apple sat down with folks who developed ‘Where To?’ and discussed alternatives such as attributing the screenshot in the patent application to ‘Where To?’.
As loyal and fiercely protective developers get around a platform, Apple’s possibly learnt something out of this – reach out to your developers and keep them in the know, especially if their intellectual property figures anywhere in your documentation.
Patent wars are bad for companies and users. It’s good only for those trying to take advantage of the loop holes in the system. In a surprising move Motorola and Blackberry maker RIM have entered into a agreement that ends all outstanding worldwide litigation between the two companies. Moto had sued RIM over patents last year. The agreement will involve sharing of patents between the two companies. Peace ! But we are still waiting to hear something about the Apple – Nokia legal battle !
Nokia is again suing iPhone maker Apple in Wisconsin, USA over alleged patent violations in Apple products such as iPhone and iPad 3G.
We are not legal experts and we shall let the law take it’s course. Nokia you better start shipping the N8 soon ! and Apple you better show us the iPhone 4G next month . Continue reading “Nokia sues Apple again over iPad 3G”
The patent wars are getting ugly again . After suing Nokia in response to the Finnish phone makers claim , the Cupertino, California based company is now suing HTC for alleged infringement of 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone
Looks like this move is directed more at Android than HTC , we’ll have more on that soon.
A new technology Face Recognition, is being patented by one of the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer – Sony Ericsson.
Reports reveal that this face recognition system may help a person control his cell phone by his/her facial expression Continue reading “Sony Ericsson Patents Face Recognition System”