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(Gizmodo)   US Patent Office invalidates Apple's scroll bounce patent. Status of rock skate patent unknown   (gizmodo.com) divider line 56
    More: Interesting, apples, AppleInsider, USPTO, rocks  
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3264 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Oct 2012 at 10:57 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-24 11:00:18 AM  
That's cool and all but what I want to know is why they validated it in the first place.
 
2012-10-24 11:01:05 AM  
Hopefully this will be the beginning of the pendulum swinging back and clocking Apple right in the head. They deserve it.

/Vista and 7 at home
//Mac at work
 
2012-10-24 11:01:37 AM  
Of all the crappy software patents out there, I was hoping this one would stand simply so companies would stop using this annoying "feature".
 
2012-10-24 11:08:05 AM  

Honest Bender: That's cool and all but what I want to know is why they validated it in the first place.


Because they got a friendly patent clerk who rubber stamps whatever they want. (This doesn't just apply to Apple but a whole load of other tech companies)

Understaffed and legally overmatched (not in court but in a review process company X patent lawyers can argue the validity of patents) means that the system is ripe for exploitation.

Invalidating bullshiat patents is good, minimising damages is way more effective at stopping this tech patent war.
 
2012-10-24 11:10:21 AM  
I really hate this "feature" just stop at the bottom I don't need to see an animation of the page going off screen then bouncing back.
 
2012-10-24 11:10:29 AM  
Still awaiting the paper rock scissors decision.
 
2012-10-24 11:11:23 AM  
The USPTO claims "no inventive step" was found between the prior art and Apple's patent

Oh, Gizmodo, is research really so difficult that you just have to parrot what you read from some European patent lawyer? The term for "inventive step" in the U.S. is nonobviousness. The PTO wouldn't say there was no inventive step, they would say it was obvious.

One thing that's a little odd about this reexamination is that one of the pieces of prior art the PTO said anticipated the Bounce patent is another Apple patent, 7,786,975... that is cited and incorporated in the Bounce patent. That sets up some odd implications.
 
2012-10-24 11:12:03 AM  

Faddy: Because they got a friendly patent clerk who rubber stamps whatever they want.


I haven't looked at the prosecution history yet, but I'll bet you a month of TotalFark that the application was rubber stamped "rejected" at least once before it was ever allowed.
 
2012-10-24 11:16:29 AM  
Apple: Trying hard to perfect patent trolling.
 
2012-10-24 11:20:31 AM  

Honest Bender: That's cool and all but what I want to know is why they validated it in the first place.


A patent lawyer once explained to me that a patent clerk will spend up to a day researching prior art. However, the prior art has to be in one of a few places they'll actually look. They'll look at other patents, as well as special catalogs publications, but they don't examine academic papers and such.

Apparently you can submit what's called a "defensive publication" if you want to make sure nobody can ever patent your invention in the first place. But then again, most of us don't think that far in advance.
 
2012-10-24 11:25:08 AM  
I genuinely like this feature. It's hard to explain, but it gives scrolling on an iOS device a certain "physicality".

Should it have been patented? *shrug* I have no idea.
 
2012-10-24 11:28:04 AM  

vermicious k'nid: I genuinely like this feature. It's hard to explain, but it gives scrolling on an iOS device a certain "physicality".

Should it have been patented? *shrug* I have no idea.


Allegedly, the point is that when you try to scroll off the bottom of a page, it responds by scrolling slightly and bouncing back to let you know that it's properly responding to your finger and not frozen, which isn't a bad idea.
 
2012-10-24 11:28:58 AM  

Honest Bender: That's cool and all but what I want to know is why they validated it in the first place.


The patent system is broken. Plain and simple. Don't blame every single company out there taking advantage of a broken system. Blame the politicians who won't fix it.
 
2012-10-24 11:31:20 AM  

vermicious k'nid: I genuinely like this feature. It's hard to explain, but it gives scrolling on an iOS device a certain "physicality".

Should it have been patented? *shrug* I have no idea.


Apple got sued over some narrow feature after the iPod was first introduced. Until that point - Apple patented very little. So Apple basically said - fark it - and started patenting everything but the kitchen sink (which I'm sure they will patent in their new headquarters) to defend themselves against future lawsuits.
 
2012-10-24 11:33:55 AM  

gingerjet: Don't blame every single company out there taking advantage of a broken system. Blame the politicians who won't fix it.


These two sentences contradict each other.
 
2012-10-24 11:34:22 AM  

Theaetetus:

Allegedly, the point is that when you try to scroll off the bottom of a page, it responds by scrolling slightly and bouncing back to let you know that it's properly responding to your finger and not frozen, which isn't a bad idea.


Why isn't it a bad idea? Who would think their device is frozen because you are at the end of the page or document? Most people would move their finger up a little to test if it's frozen so it saves a fraction of a second and atleast for me annoying. Some people like gimmicks, so should scroll mice do the same thing when you scroll the wheel past the end of a document? Do you think your PC froze up when you get to the end and the scroll mouse doesn't do anything?
 
2012-10-24 11:35:09 AM  

gingerjet: vermicious k'nid: I genuinely like this feature. It's hard to explain, but it gives scrolling on an iOS device a certain "physicality".

Should it have been patented? *shrug* I have no idea.

Apple got sued over some narrow feature after the iPod was first introduced. Until that point - Apple patented very little. So Apple basically said - fark it - and started patenting everything but the kitchen sink (which I'm sure they will patent in their new headquarters) to defend themselves against future lawsuits.


Right up until this Samsung crap, everyone was saying not to worry, because Apple only wanted defensive patents. Then Samsung made a phone that clearly beat the iPhone (and possible still FUTURE iPhones) and suddenly Apple had their patents playing both ways.
 
2012-10-24 11:36:25 AM  

TNel: Theaetetus:

Allegedly, the point is that when you try to scroll off the bottom of a page, it responds by scrolling slightly and bouncing back to let you know that it's properly responding to your finger and not frozen, which isn't a bad idea.

Why isn't it a bad idea? Who would think their device is frozen because you are at the end of the page or document? Most people would move their finger up a little to test if it's frozen so it saves a fraction of a second and atleast for me annoying. Some people like gimmicks, so should scroll mice do the same thing when you scroll the wheel past the end of a document? Do you think your PC froze up when you get to the end and the scroll mouse doesn't do anything?


No, because unlike with a touch screen, the cursor is visible and will twitch slightly when I'm moving the scroll wheel. Accordingly, I have visual feedback that it's responding to some commands.
And as you note, this "saves a fraction of a second," which makes it useful.
 
2012-10-24 11:37:17 AM  

TNel: Theaetetus:

Allegedly, the point is that when you try to scroll off the bottom of a page, it responds by scrolling slightly and bouncing back to let you know that it's properly responding to your finger and not frozen, which isn't a bad idea.

Why isn't it a bad idea? Who would think their device is frozen because you are at the end of the page or document? Most people would move their finger up a little to test if it's frozen so it saves a fraction of a second and atleast for me annoying. Some people like gimmicks, so should scroll mice do the same thing when you scroll the wheel past the end of a document? Do you think your PC froze up when you get to the end and the scroll mouse doesn't do anything?


You aren't think about the correct use case. This is to indicate, for example, if you're loading a webpage on the a slower connection, and the webpage is still loading content but you're at the end of the page. You might see a loading indicator, and think there should be more page content to come, while you're actually loading content above. It's not like it's a super critical feature, but there are uses.
 
2012-10-24 11:37:47 AM  
That said, having now read the claims, I'm not sure how they get that this is the rubber-banding patent. That feature is mentioned in the specification, and may be claimed in another related application, but this patent is about determining whether a gesture corresponds to scrolling, translation, or next-screen. The bounce behavior isn't claimed at all.
 
2012-10-24 11:45:30 AM  

Theaetetus:

No, because unlike with a touch screen, the cursor is visible and will twitch slightly when I'm moving the scroll wheel.


My mouse does not twitch when I scroll it.
 
2012-10-24 11:47:31 AM  

Theaetetus: vermicious k'nid: I genuinely like this feature. It's hard to explain, but it gives scrolling on an iOS device a certain "physicality".

Should it have been patented? *shrug* I have no idea.

Allegedly, the point is that when you try to scroll off the bottom of a page, it responds by scrolling slightly and bouncing back to let you know that it's properly responding to your finger and not frozen, which isn't a bad idea.


Stop thinking and start despising a feature that other people's preferred telephone brand don't have.

/I have yet to play with a non IOS device that scrolled nicely
 
2012-10-24 11:53:32 AM  

gingerjet: Honest Bender: That's cool and all but what I want to know is why they validated it in the first place.

The patent system is broken. Plain and simple. Don't blame every single company out there taking advantage of a broken system. Blame the companies who are buying the politicians who so they won't fix it.

FTFY
 
2012-10-24 12:06:36 PM  

Faddy: Honest Bender: That's cool and all but what I want to know is why they validated it in the first place.

Because they got a friendly patent clerk who rubber stamps whatever they want. (This doesn't just apply to Apple but a whole load of other tech companies)

Understaffed and legally overmatched (not in court but in a review process company X patent lawyers can argue the validity of patents) means that the system is ripe for exploitation.

Invalidating bullshiat patents is good, minimising damages is way more effective at stopping this tech patent war.


Surely the entire point of a patent office is just to ensure that the patent applications are correctly filled in and satisfy a few basic criteria, they don't judge whether the patents are valid (that would then mean government appointments had power over innovation and who wins and loses) - that is left to the courts to decide. So the "friendly patent clerk" is just doing what he is supposed to by rubberstamping everything.
 
2012-10-24 12:12:54 PM  

gingerjet: Honest Bender: That's cool and all but what I want to know is why they validated it in the first place.

The patent system is broken. Plain and simple. Don't blame every single company out there taking advantage of a broken system. Blame the politicians who won't fix it.


I'll blame both, thank you.
 
2012-10-24 12:23:18 PM  

xria:
Surely the entire point of a patent office is just to ensure that the patent applications are correctly filled in and satisfy a few basic criteria, they don't judge whether the patents are valid (that would then mean government appointments had power over innovation and who wins and loses) - that is left to the courts to decide. So the "friendly patent clerk" is just doing what he is supposed to by rubberstamping everything.


Not in this country, although that is true in "registration" countries (Australia, Hong Kong, etc.). Here, the PTO does an examination to determine whether patents are useful, novel, nonobvious, clear and non-ambiguous, and include a written description sufficient to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention, and the Examiners do have power over who wins and loses... but there's still due process, because it's an appealable decision.
And upwards of 90% of applications are rubber stamped "rejected" by the "friendly" patent clerk.
 
2012-10-24 12:23:40 PM  

TNel: Theaetetus:

No, because unlike with a touch screen, the cursor is visible and will twitch slightly when I'm moving the scroll wheel.

My mouse does not twitch when I scroll it.


But you have a scroll bar, which tells you that you're at the end of the document. Most touch UIs that I've used don't have an indicator of your position within the document.
 
2012-10-24 12:23:59 PM  

Theaetetus: xria:
Surely the entire point of a patent office is just to ensure that the patent applications are correctly filled in and satisfy a few basic criteria, they don't judge whether the patents are valid (that would then mean government appointments had power over innovation and who wins and loses) - that is left to the courts to decide. So the "friendly patent clerk" is just doing what he is supposed to by rubberstamping everything.

Not in this country, although that is true in "registration" countries (Australia, Hong Kong, etc.).


I should add, not in your country either - the UK has an examination system too.
 
2012-10-24 12:24:53 PM  

TNel: Theaetetus:

No, because unlike with a touch screen, the cursor is visible and will twitch slightly when I'm moving the scroll wheel.

My mouse does not twitch when I scroll it.


With my stupid Dell "requires 10 pounds of force to move the click wheel" mouse, the cursor usually twitches a pixel or two. ;)
 
2012-10-24 12:25:54 PM  

ShadowLAnCeR: Hopefully this will be the beginning of the pendulum swinging back and clocking Apple right in the head. They deserve it.

/Vista and 7 at home
//Mac at work


Pay no attention to the Vista troll (I hope - for your sake - that's what you're doing).
 
2012-10-24 12:28:09 PM  

Theaetetus: xria:
Surely the entire point of a patent office is just to ensure that the patent applications are correctly filled in and satisfy a few basic criteria, they don't judge whether the patents are valid (that would then mean government appointments had power over innovation and who wins and loses) - that is left to the courts to decide. So the "friendly patent clerk" is just doing what he is supposed to by rubberstamping everything.

Not in this country, although that is true in "registration" countries (Australia, Hong Kong, etc.). Here, the PTO does an examination to determine whether patents are useful, novel, nonobvious, clear and non-ambiguous, and include a written description sufficient to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention, and the Examiners do have power over who wins and loses... but there's still due process, because it's an appealable decision.
And upwards of 90% of applications are rubber stamped "rejected" by the "friendly" patent clerk.


But are allowed to try again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Eight times in fact. Until they finally hit an examiner who accepts it. And then immediately sue people with the patent that took eight tries to get right.
 
2012-10-24 12:29:33 PM  

Theaetetus: TNel: Theaetetus:

No, because unlike with a touch screen, the cursor is visible and will twitch slightly when I'm moving the scroll wheel.

My mouse does not twitch when I scroll it.

With my stupid Dell "requires 10 pounds of force to move the click wheel" mouse, the cursor usually twitches a pixel or two. ;)


My MS 5 year old mouse has no issue like that and I can swirl the wheel and the pointer just sits there. I just hate the rubber band effect and wish it would just put up an X or flash "End of Page"
 
2012-10-24 12:30:46 PM  
Next up, Apple sues Amazon for having an A in their name.
 
2012-10-24 12:46:51 PM  
Okay, that's one down. Now go back and reverse the rest of those BS design patents. Then go stand in the corner and think about what you've done.
 
2012-10-24 01:16:41 PM  

xria:
Surely the entire point of a patent office is just to ensure that the patent applications are correctly filled in and satisfy a few basic criteria, they don't judge whether the patents are valid (that would then mean government appointments had power over innovation and who wins and loses) - that is left to the courts to decide. So the "friendly patent clerk" is just doing what he is supposed to by rubberstamping everything.


No, the patent office should search for prior art and try to establish if any exists. I have filed patents here in the UK and the patent office sent me lots of earlier patents they considered could be prior art. That's what you pay the patent office to do when you pay them for a search.
 
2012-10-24 01:58:57 PM  
So the PTO is pretty much useless nowadays, given all the clueless examiners.
 
2012-10-24 01:59:13 PM  
Typical of Gizmodo that they didn't mention that this patent is invalidated by a prior patent HELD BY APPLE.

Guys, if you're applying for so many patents that you're repeating yourselves, it's time to take a break.
 
2012-10-24 02:25:20 PM  

Theaetetus: TNel: Theaetetus:

Allegedly, the point is that when you try to scroll off the bottom of a page, it responds by scrolling slightly and bouncing back to let you know that it's properly responding to your finger and not frozen, which isn't a bad idea.

Why isn't it a bad idea? Who would think their device is frozen because you are at the end of the page or document? Most people would move their finger up a little to test if it's frozen so it saves a fraction of a second and atleast for me annoying. Some people like gimmicks, so should scroll mice do the same thing when you scroll the wheel past the end of a document? Do you think your PC froze up when you get to the end and the scroll mouse doesn't do anything?

No, because unlike with a touch screen, the cursor is visible and will twitch slightly when I'm moving the scroll wheel. Accordingly, I have visual feedback that it's responding to some commands.
And as you note, this "saves a fraction of a second," which makes it useful.


I don't know what sort of OS you're using, but why would your cursor twitch while using the scroll wheel?

/Edge glow is better UI anyway
//Doesn't decouple the finger motion from the document's motion
 
2012-10-24 02:30:38 PM  

Theaetetus: That said, having now read the claims, I'm not sure how they get that this is the rubber-banding patent. That feature is mentioned in the specification, and may be claimed in another related application, but this patent is about determining whether a gesture corresponds to scrolling, translation, or next-screen. The bounce behavior isn't claimed at all.


That's because the link in the article doesn't even go to the right farking patent (link goes to 7,479,949). Way to go Gizmodo.

Actual Claim 1:

A computer-implemented method, comprising: at a device with a touch screen display:
i) displaying a first portion of an electronic document; detecting a movement of an object on or near the touch screen display;
ii) in response to detecting the movement, translating the electronic document displayed on the touch screen display in a first direction to display a second portion of the electronic document, wherein the second portion is different from the first portion;
iii) in response to an edge of the electronic document being reached while translating the electronic document in the first direction while the object is still detected on or near the touch screen display:
a) displaying an area beyond the edge of the document, and displaying a third portion of the electronic document, wherein the third portion is smaller than the first portion; and
b) in response to detecting that the object is no longer on or near the touch screen display, translating the electronic document in a second direction until the area beyond the edge of the electronic document is no longer displayed to display a fourth portion of the electronic document, wherein the fourth portion is different from the first portion.
 
2012-10-24 03:31:14 PM  

gingerjet: Apple got sued over some narrow feature after the iPod was first introduced. Until that point - Apple patented very little. So Apple basically said - fark it - and started patenting everything but the kitchen sink (which I'm sure they will patent in their new headquarters) to defend themselves against future lawsuits.


NARROW FEATURE? They got sued over stealing Creatives music organization features. Being able to sort by Artist, Album, Year, etc... not so Narrow

//settled out of court, Creative got 100 million
 
2012-10-24 03:55:38 PM  

hammer85: Theaetetus: That said, having now read the claims, I'm not sure how they get that this is the rubber-banding patent. That feature is mentioned in the specification, and may be claimed in another related application, but this patent is about determining whether a gesture corresponds to scrolling, translation, or next-screen. The bounce behavior isn't claimed at all.

That's because the link in the article doesn't even go to the right farking patent (link goes to 7,479,949). Way to go Gizmodo.


That makes way more sense. Thanks!
 
2012-10-24 04:03:18 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: TNel: Theaetetus:

No, because unlike with a touch screen, the cursor is visible and will twitch slightly when I'm moving the scroll wheel.

My mouse does not twitch when I scroll it.

But you have a scroll bar, which tells you that you're at the end of the document. Most touch UIs that I've used don't have an indicator of your position within the document.


So you haven't used Android then?
 
2012-10-24 04:16:31 PM  

zedster: gingerjet: Apple got sued over some narrow feature after the iPod was first introduced. Until that point - Apple patented very little. So Apple basically said - fark it - and started patenting everything but the kitchen sink (which I'm sure they will patent in their new headquarters) to defend themselves against future lawsuits.

NARROW FEATURE? They got sued over stealing Creatives music organization features. Being able to sort by Artist, Album, Year, etc... not so Narrow

//settled out of court, Creative got 100 million


This. I don't know why everyone thinks Apple invented the ridiculous patent. I mean sure, they popularized it and made it 'hip,' but they were drawing mostly off existing precedents.
 
2012-10-24 04:22:33 PM  
Insert nelson laugh here. Seriously, though - this needs to happen far more often with software patents.
 
2012-10-24 04:42:52 PM  

The Singing Bush: Fish in a Barrel: TNel: Theaetetus:

No, because unlike with a touch screen, the cursor is visible and will twitch slightly when I'm moving the scroll wheel.

My mouse does not twitch when I scroll it.

But you have a scroll bar, which tells you that you're at the end of the document. Most touch UIs that I've used don't have an indicator of your position within the document.

So you haven't used Android then?


Or WP7.5 because even in WP they have a bar that moves down the screen that goes away after a second of none scrolling then comes back to let you know where you are at in the document and when the bar gets to the bottom of the screen you are at the bottom of the document.
 
2012-10-24 04:53:25 PM  

TNel: The Singing Bush: Fish in a Barrel: TNel: Theaetetus:

No, because unlike with a touch screen, the cursor is visible and will twitch slightly when I'm moving the scroll wheel.

My mouse does not twitch when I scroll it.

But you have a scroll bar, which tells you that you're at the end of the document. Most touch UIs that I've used don't have an indicator of your position within the document.

So you haven't used Android then?

Or WP7.5 because even in WP they have a bar that moves down the screen that goes away after a second of none scrolling then comes back to let you know where you are at in the document and when the bar gets to the bottom of the screen you are at the bottom of the document.


So other companies came up with other innovations that weren't identical to the one Apple patented (correctly or incorrectly depending on how this reexamination finishes) to perform a similiar task.

It's almost as if patents worked. But on Fark, clearly Microsoft and Google should have shut down because it's just not worth the money in litigation to come up with new ideas to get around Apple's patent.
 
2012-10-24 06:34:58 PM  
Ha, my patent for a wheel rolls is in it's final stages.
 
2012-10-24 06:44:14 PM  

xria: Faddy: Honest Bender: That's cool and all but what I want to know is why they validated it in the first place.

Because they got a friendly patent clerk who rubber stamps whatever they want. (This doesn't just apply to Apple but a whole load of other tech companies)

Understaffed and legally overmatched (not in court but in a review process company X patent lawyers can argue the validity of patents) means that the system is ripe for exploitation.

Invalidating bullshiat patents is good, minimising damages is way more effective at stopping this tech patent war.

Surely the entire point of a patent office is just to ensure that the patent applications are correctly filled in and satisfy a few basic criteria, they don't judge whether the patents are valid (that would then mean government appointments had power over innovation and who wins and loses) - that is left to the courts to decide. So the "friendly patent clerk" is just doing what he is supposed to by rubberstamping everything.


But the government still has power over innovation and who wins and losers. The court system is still the third branch of the government.
 
2012-10-24 08:20:40 PM  

hammer85: TNel: The Singing Bush: Fish in a Barrel: TNel: Theaetetus:

No, because unlike with a touch screen, the cursor is visible and will twitch slightly when I'm moving the scroll wheel.

My mouse does not twitch when I scroll it.

But you have a scroll bar, which tells you that you're at the end of the document. Most touch UIs that I've used don't have an indicator of your position within the document.

So you haven't used Android then?

Or WP7.5 because even in WP they have a bar that moves down the screen that goes away after a second of none scrolling then comes back to let you know where you are at in the document and when the bar gets to the bottom of the screen you are at the bottom of the document.

So other companies came up with other innovations that weren't identical to the one Apple patented (correctly or incorrectly depending on how this reexamination finishes) to perform a similiar task.

It's almost as if patents worked. But on Fark, clearly Microsoft and Google should have shut down because it's just not worth the money in litigation to come up with new ideas to get around Apple's patent.


Why don't you roll that absurd argument back in the closet.

I think most of us patent oppositioners argue that there's a tax and drag on innovation, because of patents. Not that it's stopped things completely.
 
2012-10-24 10:31:42 PM  

Theaetetus: The USPTO claims "no inventive step" was found between the prior art and Apple's patent

Oh, Gizmodo, is research really so difficult that you just have to parrot what you read from some European patent lawyer? The term for "inventive step" in the U.S. is nonobviousness. The PTO wouldn't say there was no inventive step, they would say it was obvious.

One thing that's a little odd about this reexamination is that one of the pieces of prior art the PTO said anticipated the Bounce patent is another Apple patent, 7,786,975... that is cited and incorporated in the Bounce patent. That sets up some odd implications.


Wait a minute. The patent was invalidated, at least partly, because of a patent that Apple held. Is this an unusual occurrence?
 
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