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(C|Net)   Microsoft being sued by company that holds the world wide exclusive rights to rectangles with sharp corners   (news.cnet.com) divider line 36
    More: Sick, Windows Live Tiles, Windows Phone 7, Microsoft, Microsoft Surface  
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22716 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Oct 2012 at 3:01 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-10-31 03:11:56 PM
3 votes:
Doesn't Moses have the patent claim to tablets?
2012-10-31 03:09:55 PM
3 votes:
How is their definition of a "tile" any different than just a regular app window?
The BS with IP laws is just getting ridiculous.
If anything, Douglas Adams needs to sue every tablet maker!!
2012-10-31 01:12:28 PM
3 votes:
With IP law being what it is these days, I'd be more surprised to hear a major manufacturer released a new product WITHOUT several suits being filed.
2012-11-01 01:13:22 AM
2 votes:

Theaetetus: because you think some software patents are obvious.


I think all software patents should be considered obvious. If you use language to express a new and original thought, you don't get to protect the concept, just the content of the work in which you expressed it.


Theaetetus: Since she's wrong about the fashion industry not being protected by patents, her argument that patents aren't necessary is a bit hollow.


That shows an incredibly shallow understanding of what she was arguing. You have a tendency to find one technicality that the rest of an argument is not at all dependent on, yell and scream about how wrong a person is on that technicality, and completely ignore the substance of an argument.

Just an observation.
2012-10-31 06:24:44 PM
2 votes:

Theaetetus: ... except that you haven't actually shown any such values or configuration that would remove the control surfaces, including the title bar. So you haven't shown that sentence to be true.


You don't get it. You have to add those. At the lowest level, the basic UI container is a rectangle. The rest is ADDED. So, it's as you say. but a window as you're thinking of it IS already A+B+C, where A is the undecorated rectangular container. If A wasn't already known, the 'window' as you conceive of it could not exist. I don't need to explain to you how to strip the paint of a car to prove that "car before paint is applied" is a non-obvious idea, do I?

In case I do, it's called (at least in VS C#), FormBorderStyle:
www.perceler.com

In X11, I think it's a matter of setting hints.decorations = 0;

/This is what happens when people who know a lot about law
//Pretend they know anything about other subjects
2012-10-31 04:39:44 PM
2 votes:

Antimatter: You just made it impossible for any invention to be profitable, as anyone could copy it and sell it themselves.


Complete and utter rubbish. Presented with a choice between similar products at similar prices, people gravitate towards the brand-names that were there first and are best established.

The system as-is is totally broken. It no longer protects the little guy (the supposed reason for making it in the first place), it's a nuisance to the big guy too (a significant portion of their profits is frittered away on defending themselves against patent trolls, trying to buy up a warchest of patents of their own, and defending themselves against nonsense lawsuits from their closest rivals after every product launch), and that's passed along to the consumer in the form of higher prices for the products (which is part of *why* third-party, no-name knockoffs are so much cheaper.) The big guy will put up with it though, because it's a nuisance they get to wield against others too--but they'd happily do without it if it were gone and couldn't be used against them either.

It's high time it was fixed, but it won't be, because too many people--and especially, too many lawyers--are getting fat off the status quo.
2012-10-31 04:17:35 PM
2 votes:
Patent Trolls versus Microsoft.

Wow. I really gotta cheer Microsoft on this one. The patent trolls really don't know what they're getting into with these guys.

leavinglaw.files.wordpress.com

Microsoft has a direct in with Satan, I hear. It's how they got Windows ME to release.
2012-10-31 03:40:50 PM
2 votes:

BeesNuts: At least patent law allows a small timer to invent something like the slap chop and then sell off the idea to a manufacturer.


No, it doesn't. If the slap chop was anything any major manufacturer wanted, they'd just have strangled its inventor in the courts with an endless succession of lawyers and cases, all the while selling an inferior knockoff product themselves.

The patent system isn't about the small timer, and it hasn't been for decades. The patent system is now about persuading one megacorp not to encroach on another megacorp's territory, and about making the lawyers stinking rich.
2012-10-31 03:22:03 PM
2 votes:

NutWrench: According to some folks over at SlashDot, Surfcast is a company that makes no products or sells any services. In other words, they're patent trolls, disguised as a "company." A quick visit to Surfcast's unimpressive website seems to confirm this. So I guess the question is: should a company that produces nothing of value be able to sue for "patent infringement?"


Yes. They own the patents. Perhaps the better question would be: "why hasn't congress fixed the royally fark'd up patent system?"
2012-10-31 03:11:23 PM
2 votes:

ha-ha-guy: One of the days a big company is going to snap and contract Blackwater to answer the patent suit. That will be an amusing day.


Blackwater had to change their name after all those pesky murders. They're Xe now.
2012-10-31 02:43:38 PM
2 votes:
I need to file a patent on suing for patent infringement.
2012-10-31 02:25:38 PM
2 votes:
♫ I sue you. You sue me.
We all sue, so easily.
Too easily, to let it go.
I'll sue you, and take all your dough ♫
2012-11-02 08:49:50 AM
1 votes:

Theaetetus: Kinek: Generic Republican: I agree that this is a lawsuit being brought only for the profit of an individual who established a patent holding company to extort someone on a technicality. I bet the owner of the patent is crapping himself with glee that MS released Windows 8 with an approximation of what his patent reads.

That being said, Theaetetus is explaining the law as it stands. In law, there is little room for the "spirit". It is deliberately written to discourage "spirit". The law needs to be altered, but that happens with Congress, so good luck!

I don't think anyone sane has ever argued that Thaetus doesn't know the law. That's his/her job. They're probably competent and get paid more than I ever will.

We just hate the law, the justifications that they come up with to defend ridiculous rules, and general defense of the system. (OH NO. TRADE SECRETS. WHARGARBL)

We hate the game, not the rules.

Yes, but here's the thing... If you honestly try to change the game and call up your congresscritter and say "abolish the patent system! Software shouldn't be patentable because it's all obvious!" they're going to thank you politely, hang up the phone, and put your number on the nutjob list. If, on the other hand, you can speak knowledgeably about the current system and have reasonable arguments and proposals for change, then you'll get listened to. And the first step to that is asking questions, listening to answers, and graciously accepting help when someone says "the word you want is 'invalid', not 'obvious' and here's why" or the like. It's not being a dick.

I don't think the patent system is perfect, and I've actually got several proposals for reform. I've talked about them in these threads, with reasonable people. But of course, for every reasonable person, there are a dozen calling me an anti-Apple shill, a pro-Apple shill, a litigator, saying I don't know the technology involved*, a liar, etc. And it's sad, because even if any one of those dozen do have ...


I'm aware of the requirements, it was an option at one point rather heavily pushed by my Undergrad university that also had a decent law school. Lawyers would come into all the chem and engineering classes, dangling the bait. I thought about it, but realized that all the money in the world couldn't fill the harm I felt I would be doing every day.

Some of us do understand the system. I understand that parts ABCD need to be specifically matching the claims. It irritates me when people come into these threads and speak erroneously on obvious things (like the difference between trademark, copyright, patent.) because it weakens the postition.

I don't think you're an imbecile either. I just think your job has so shaped your worldview that you cannot retreat from going with the facts you know. You know HOW the system works. That's not up for debate. We question WHY there is a system at all. What evidence suggests that this system is the best system? And you need to give clear causation. Simply saying that we're still inventing crap is not enough.

And forgive the anti-patent side from not wanting to negotiate. It just seems that every time that there's a patent reform that has teeth, those teeth are slowly yanked out one by one by one. So bold claims are necessary, because anytime there's been compromise, it tends to go farther and farther in favor of not doing anything productive.
2012-11-01 03:23:50 PM
1 votes:

Theaetetus: The funny part is that you guys apparently think I'm arguing that this patent is valid. I'm not - I haven't looked very closely at it, in fact. What I'm trying to educate you about is the process for finding a patent valid or invalid, specifically that you can't just hold up something and scream "prior art", but that you actually have to map that art to each and every element in the claims. If you learned to listen rather than just being angry and defensive, you might actually learn how to make good, persuasive arguments about invalidity rather than just unsupported conclusions. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees.


Like this gem?

"Nah, you just keep everything as trade secrets, invented for your wealthy aristocratic patron. And progress will continue - why, within 100 years, computers will be twice as powerful, 10,000 times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings in Europe will own them."

Every thread, this bare faced assertion rears its head. This is your motive for the patent system, and everybody in this thread will tell you you're absolutely wrong. Human history says you're wrong. Knowledge spreads. There is nothing about this statement that is even remotely verifiable.

And it's not that any of us are arguing that you don't know the technicalities of patent law. We're saying that this is farking stupid. I don't care if it's within the 'rules'. Or 'legal'. We're arguing that the law itself is farked up. Proceeding to then argue with everybody about the technicalities of the law is missing the point. And you literally cannot argue that point. At all. You make assertions about the law and then retreat to technicalities because that's what you know.
2012-11-01 12:34:07 PM
1 votes:
Calling you pedantic is not petty. It's accurate and quite useful in this conversation to describe the method in which you can't see the forest for the trees. Being technically minded is to be pedantic.

As for personal attacks, you're assuming so much. Perhaps I met "And might I just add, Theaetetus, you are a personification of the traits people don't like about lawyers. Thanks." as a compliment. So I would appreciate it if you didn't project your own thoughts onto my statements or implying upon my intentions.

Thanks.
2012-11-01 12:26:02 PM
1 votes:
I don't care about the rest of the elements. It is just as easily done with VC++ 6 as well, or any other programming language by the arrival of the GUI oriented desktop. The point was in reply to your snark about C#, which was released in 2002.

So you can't say it's not valid. You're going to reply with some "well technically..." or "but the case/claim says..." it doesn't matter. It existed before, and was done before. So the whole thing is bullshiat.
2012-11-01 11:09:18 AM
1 votes:
I am late to the party, but here is a screenshot from VB 6 (released mid 1998), showing the ability of changing border styles with ease. Border Style 0 shows exactly what the other gentleman was talking about. It is an entirely featureless windows, no controls, scroll bars, buttons of any kind.

img189.imageshack.us

And might I just add, Theaetetus, you are a personification of the traits people don't like about lawyers. Thanks.
2012-11-01 07:58:20 AM
1 votes:
The first thing we do is kill all the patent attorneys.
2012-11-01 01:02:32 AM
1 votes:
Basically, competition is good. Protections that allow that enable competition are good. Protections that go to an extreme that restricts competition are very, very bad. Right now, our IP system is very much the latter. Copyrights and patents are a huge burden on implementing new, creative designs. If the producers of Dr. Who wanted to set an episode inside an old western that was long out of distribution, they would have to track down and pay ever single person who participated in each shot they wanted to use. Under our current law, they would have to negotiate with and obtain permission from every single actor, stuntman and extra to use their image. Fair use you say? Maybe in theory legally, but no studio is going to go up against the massive army of lawyers the MPAA would throw against them even for a perfectly legitimate use. The costs are sky high.

Have a new handheld device? Start a small company, build a few, bring it to market, right? Nah. Too many shiatty patents in there. If a small company tried to bring some better piece of tech to market, they would be crushed under legal fees before they ever started. They might be able to sell their design to a company with the lawyers for a pittance, but the legal costs in the system make it impossible for a small company to try and compete and bring a product to market. So the only way a small company can get involved is to sue and leech off the big guys, which ain't exactly helping anyone.

I'm not against IP generally. I am for reigning in its excesses- dramatically. Right now, it's serving to protect existing industry and actively discouraging innovation by making barriers to entry insanely high. That needs to change.
2012-10-31 07:02:18 PM
1 votes:
'tile' just a new name for 'icon'
2012-10-31 05:52:36 PM
1 votes:

Theaetetus: StoPPeRmobile: Theaetetus: StoPPeRmobile: You mean like Trillian has been doing since 2000?
[4.bp.blogspot.com image 300x320]

I don't see how that applies at all. Are you referring to that notification popup?

I'm still stuck on dynamically generated buttons. Think I started with those in 1999. May have been 2001, though. Those seem to fit the bill and I can't afford the type of lawyers needed.

In what way do they fit the bill?

both selectable and live -- containing refreshed content that provides a real-time or near-real-time view of the underlying information

Would depend on the button, I suppose... For example, one that only has the same sort of true or false behavior of the recycling bin mentioned above wouldn't qualify, since it's not providing a view of the underlying information. Additionally, while they'd be a start for a rejection of the patent, a single button wouldn't be enough, since some of the claim is around the grid and refresh of different tiles.


Theaetetus: StoPPeRmobile: Theaetetus: StoPPeRmobile: You mean like Trillian has been doing since 2000?
[4.bp.blogspot.com image 300x320]

I don't see how that applies at all. Are you referring to that notification popup?

I'm still stuck on dynamically generated buttons. Think I started with those in 1999. May have been 2001, though. Those seem to fit the bill and I can't afford the type of lawyers needed.

In what way do they fit the bill?

both selectable and live -- containing refreshed content that provides a real-time or near-real-time view of the underlying information

Would depend on the button, I suppose... For example, one that only has the same sort of true or false behavior of the recycling bin mentioned above wouldn't qualify, since it's not providing a view of the underlying information. Additionally, while they'd be a start for a rejection of the patent, a single button wouldn't be enough, since some of the claim is around the grid and refresh of different tiles.


I feel like I should be paid for answering that question.
2012-10-31 05:46:54 PM
1 votes:

Theaetetus: ProfessorOhki: Theaetetus: Well, not really... They're control surfaces for the window itself. Remove them, and is it still a window? Or is it something different?

No, it's still a window. What you're describing are controls and they are optional.

... Here, have some 1997:
[screenshots.en.sftcdn.net image 550x377]

Maybe that screenshot renders differently on your screen. Is your browser cutting off the top 10 pixels that the rest of us can see?


If you're suggesting that turning the titlebar off is patentable, then one would be able to patent a specific window size as well, correct? They both consist of altering configuration values in common UI toolkits. Both change the appearance of the window. Why would they be different?
2012-10-31 05:37:02 PM
1 votes:

Theaetetus: Well, not really... They're control surfaces for the window itself. Remove them, and is it still a window? Or is it something different?


No, it's still a window. What you're describing are controls and they are optional. Especially the scroll bar. What you're suggesting is that if I go into Visual Studio, make a new form, set the border style to none, resizable to false, and scroll bars to none; the only thing standing between me and this patent doing a bounds check on the sides? That's called "docking" and while there's no checkbox for it, it's pretty damn common.

Here, have some 1997:
screenshots.en.sftcdn.net

This. Patent. Is. Garbage.

/Alright, I guess it's technically a "form" and not a "window"
//point stands
2012-10-31 05:32:30 PM
1 votes:

Theaetetus: StoPPeRmobile: You mean like Trillian has been doing since 2000?
[4.bp.blogspot.com image 300x320]

I don't see how that applies at all. Are you referring to that notification popup?

I'm still stuck on dynamically generated buttons. Think I started with those in 1999. May have been 2001, though. Those seem to fit the bill and I can't afford the type of lawyers needed.

In what way do they fit the bill?


both selectable and live -- containing refreshed content that provides a real-time or near-real-time view of the underlying information
2012-10-31 04:38:13 PM
1 votes:

Antimatter: BeesNuts: gweilo8888: BeesNuts: At least patent law allows a small timer to invent something like the slap chop and then sell off the idea to a manufacturer.

No, it doesn't. If the slap chop was anything any major manufacturer wanted, they'd just have strangled its inventor in the courts with an endless succession of lawyers and cases, all the while selling an inferior knockoff product themselves.

The patent system isn't about the small timer, and it hasn't been for decades. The patent system is now about persuading one megacorp not to encroach on another megacorp's territory, and about making the lawyers stinking rich.

Well, obviously it's been bought and paid for. but a *functional* patent system would indubitably protect the interests of smaller inventors.

But mainly, the crux of the issue I have with patent law, is that it fundamentally denies consumers any sort of choice. Allowing someone to carve out a patent with a 17 year shelf life in an industry like computing is insanity, obviously. And yeah, the issues with have with patent law enforcement are numerous and ridden with corruption...

So let's talk:

Abolish ALL patent law. Just boom. Wake up tomorrow and the idea had never existed.

Better world/Worse world?

I'm leaning towards better... but... idk. It's a very complicated territory to navigate, IMO. But I love talking about it.

You just made it impossible for any invention to be profitable, as anyone could copy it and sell it themselves.


That's the case in tech right now, though, just with massive externalities (legal fees) for everyone involved- they cancel out. All this stuff is essentially the same, and they're freely copying off of each other. It's still insanely profitable.

Now, when you're talking about complicated bits of chemical engineering, you might have a case, but in the tech world? Patents impose a cost with no benefit. Especially in regards to software, which should never have been patentable in the first place. The system we have for patenting software would be akin to a copyright system where you could protect not just the text of your book, but anything like it. David McCullough, instead of having protection for John Adams, would have protection for "History books regarding executive branch politics during the Federal Period". Another author might have protection for, "History books regarding operations of the Presidency immediately after ratification". Despite the immense overlap, nobody would think this a strange system, and David McCullough and Ron Chernow (His recent Washington bio) would be suing and counter-suing for 10 million dollars or so.
2012-10-31 04:34:28 PM
1 votes:

Theaetetus: Nah, you just keep everything as trade secrets, invented for your wealthy aristocratic patron. And progress will continue - why, within 100 years, computers will be twice as powerful, 10,000 times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings in Europe will own them.


Exactly. This is why there is absolutely no software or product development or advancements taking place in places with stricter patent systems like Canada.
2012-10-31 04:16:26 PM
1 votes:

NutznGum: That's nothing, Apple just patented displaying a map on a mobile device. I guess that's one way of fixing Apple Maps.....


No, they didn't. And since "Google Maps for Mobile (beta)" was cited as prior art, it couldn't infringe that patent, at least in its 2006 form.
2012-10-31 03:54:40 PM
1 votes:
Man, round corners AND sharp corners are taken?

If someone patents chamfered corners, the rectangle industry is going to be Farked.
2012-10-31 03:49:27 PM
1 votes:
FTA: "Tiles can be thought of as dynamically updating icons. A Tile is different from an icon because it can be both selectable and live -- containing refreshed content that provides a real-time or near-real-time view of the underlying information."

The Recycle bin in windows fits that description and has been around a lot longer than that patent. Prior Art, case dismissed. There are many other examples of the same concept. Printer icons changing to reflect availability, Yahoo Messenger icon changing to denote whether it's online or off, and a ton of others that have been in windows system tray since Win95.
2012-10-31 03:44:07 PM
1 votes:

WhackingDay: Eventually corporations are going to realize that it'll be far cheaper to employ a crack paramilitary commando squad than the hordes of lawyers it's currently using.


Yeah! Shadowrun.
2012-10-31 03:39:59 PM
1 votes:

sp86: Tellingthem: Academi

Jesus Christ, I missed that one. What will they be next week?


Displace International.
2012-10-31 03:30:42 PM
1 votes:

malfist: Tellingthem: sp86: ha-ha-guy: One of the days a big company is going to snap and contract Blackwater to answer the patent suit. That will be an amusing day.

Blackwater had to change their name after all those pesky murders. They're Xe now.

Xe had to change their name after all those pesky murders. They're Academi now.

I should have refreshed the page before posting...


It's alright guy, you're less out of the loop than I am.
2012-10-31 03:26:36 PM
1 votes:

sp86: ha-ha-guy: One of the days a big company is going to snap and contract Blackwater to answer the patent suit. That will be an amusing day.

Blackwater had to change their name after all those pesky murders. They're Xe now.


Actually Xe had to change their name after all those pesky murders. They're Academi now.
2012-10-31 03:26:04 PM
1 votes:

gingerjet: NutWrench: According to some folks over at SlashDot, Surfcast is a company that makes no products or sells any services. In other words, they're patent trolls, disguised as a "company." A quick visit to Surfcast's unimpressive website seems to confirm this. So I guess the question is: should a company that produces nothing of value be able to sue for "patent infringement?"

Yes. They own the patents. Perhaps the better question would be: "why hasn't congress fixed the royally fark'd up patent system?"


They have! They reduced funding for the system and allowed companies who can afford it to claim to have done the patent office's work for them ahead of time, in return for faster patent granting. Fixed! And in no way does an overburdened patent office find it easier to just grant patents and make the courts work it out later!
2012-10-31 02:06:57 PM
1 votes:
Looks like Emacs from the 1970s.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-31 01:17:55 PM
1 votes:
Apparently both companies have patents on technology I saw in the "tiling window manager" for the X Window System c. 1990. It was an annoying window manager because it refused to let windows overlap.

If they both have patents each should pay each other a trillion dollars.
 
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