The UGLY Side of Software Patents and Apple

Steve Jobs went after Samsung tooth-and-nail claiming Apple’s ideas were stolen. Look what’s in the New York Times:

A computer scientist developed a concept of sliding stuff around on the screen to keep it organized and accessible to humans and Steve Jobs wrote a memo, after seeing an article in the New York Times in 2001:
“Please check out this software ASAP,” he wrote. “It may be something for our future, and we may want to secure a license ASAP.”
Well, Lo! and Behold!, a few years later Apple is producing stuff using those ideas on ithingies and they did not have a licence from the inventor.

Who’s the thief, now, Steve? A jury was so convinced they awarded $625 million. Unfortunately, a judge overturned the jury’s findings in a rare move for East Texas. An appeal is in the works. As much as I hate software patents and feel they are evil, it would be good to see Apple die by its own sword after being so public and self-righteous when they have a heart as black as coal and held Steve Jobs to be some kind of inventive genius.

“Onscreen, the stream looks like a long row of icons receding into the past: word processing, e-mail, presentations, spreadsheets and more, identified by little symbols and a few words. Move the cursor over any document and a representation of it shows up in the lower right corner of the screen; a mouse click brings the full document up in its original form. The stream can be dipped into, and the documents sorted in a number of ways through powerful search tools.”

Come to think of it, this idea resembles ideas from “the ribbon” and M$’s treasure trove of ideas/inventions.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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2 Responses to The UGLY Side of Software Patents and Apple

  1. oiaohm says:

    Phenom there is fine print in the MS agreement to join the bid. Number one on going payment required. That is a very stupid thing to agree to if the patents turn out to be all invalid.

    Please be aware there has never been a successful patent agreement between Redhat and Microsoft either. Redhat does have a track record for paying for patents that are proven valid or removing infringing code blocks. Problem is Microsoft has never produced the documents to prove any patent they have is valid to Redhat.

    Really Google and Redhat are not breaking that law they are asking MS to put up. Motorola vs MS really MS owes Motorola more.

    So if you want to get down to the nuts and bolts of it Google was acquiring motorola before the last lot of patent bids.

    Yes Microsoft is in breach of patents just as much as everyone else. Microsoft just wants everyone to agree up in ways they cannot touch them. Yet they will still use sub companies to still hit there competition.

    Just look around how many X MS staff are out there with microsoft developed patents going after payment. This underhanded behaviour would be enough grounds for me never to make a patent deal with MS that is not going to protect me from those stunts.

    OIN really upset MS by making a deal with one of MS clearing houses of patents to trolls to buy the god darn lot for now and for ever. This should never been required if MS was not underhanded.

  2. Phenom says:

    Hey, Pogs, guess who was against software patents:
    http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2007/03/analysis-microsofts-software-patent-flip-flop.ars

    See how they managed to get out of the trouble without breaking the law. They made the right agreements at the right time. Exactly how they asked Google to join them in a bid. But Google refused. Because, you know, Google think they can break the law, because they are the Holy Cow of IT.

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