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Bill Gates' new tattoo?

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by BLKDOG40, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. BLKDOG40

    BLKDOG40

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    [​IMG]

    Gates = :grinpimp: :grinpimp: :grinpimp: :grinpimp:
    Jobs = :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh:
    Article

    Apple blunder gives Gates iPod royalty
    By Katherine Griffiths in New York
    Published: 14 August 2005

    Apple Computer may be forced to pay royalties to Microsoft for every iPod it sells after it emerged that Bill Gates's software giant beat Steve Jobs' firm in the race to file a crucial patent on technology used in the popular portable music players. The total bill could run into hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Although Apple introduced the iPod in November 2001, it did not file a provisional patent application until July 2002, and a full application was filed only in October that year.

    In the meantime, Microsoft submitted an application in May 2002 to patent some key elements of music players, including song menu software.

    Apple and Microsoft were two of several companies that developed portable players, but the iPod, with its sleek design and user-friendly controls, has dominated the market.

    IPods make up three of every four portable music players bought in the US and account for almost one-third of Apple's sales. Piper Jaffray, a US analyst, believes Apple will sell 25 million iPods this year, bringing the total sold in the four years since its launch to 35 million.

    In July, the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected Apple's application, saying some ideas were similar to an earlier application filed by a Microsoft employee, John Platt.

    The dispute, which emerged this week on the closely watched website, Appleinsider.com, could lead to Apple having to pay a licence fee for the technology of up to $10 a machine.

    David Kaefer, Microsoft's director of intellectual property licensing and business development, said: "In general, our policy is to allow others to license our patents so they can use our innovative methods in their products."

    Apple has signalled it will resist the move. A spokeswoman said Apple would continue to try to get its patent recognised. The company could take the case to the patent office's appeals board. "Apple invented and publicly released the iPod interface before the Microsoft patent application was filed," it said in a statement.

    The battle comes as Microsoft is squaring up against another competitor, Google. Microsoft last month launched a lawsuit against the search-engine giant, accusing it of poaching a top executive to head a new research laboratory in China. The Redmond, Washington-based company also sued the executive, Kai-Fu Lee.

    Apple Computer may be forced to pay royalties to Microsoft for every iPod it sells after it emerged that Bill Gates's software giant beat Steve Jobs' firm in the race to file a crucial patent on technology used in the popular portable music players. The total bill could run into hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Although Apple introduced the iPod in November 2001, it did not file a provisional patent application until July 2002, and a full application was filed only in October that year.

    In the meantime, Microsoft submitted an application in May 2002 to patent some key elements of music players, including song menu software.

    Apple and Microsoft were two of several companies that developed portable players, but the iPod, with its sleek design and user-friendly controls, has dominated the market.

    IPods make up three of every four portable music players bought in the US and account for almost one-third of Apple's sales. Piper Jaffray, a US analyst, believes Apple will sell 25 million iPods this year, bringing the total sold in the four years since its launch to 35 million.

    In July, the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected Apple's application, saying some ideas were similar to an earlier application filed by a Microsoft employee, John Platt.

    The dispute, which emerged this week on the closely watched website, Appleinsider.com, could lead to Apple having to pay a licence fee for the technology of up to $10 a machine.

    David Kaefer, Microsoft's director of intellectual property licensing and business development, said: "In general, our policy is to allow others to license our patents so they can use our innovative methods in their products."

    Apple has signalled it will resist the move. A spokeswoman said Apple would continue to try to get its patent recognised. The company could take the case to the patent office's appeals board. "Apple invented and publicly released the iPod interface before the Microsoft patent application was filed," it said in a statement.

    The battle comes as Microsoft is squaring up against another competitor, Google. Microsoft last month launched a lawsuit against the search-engine giant, accusing it of poaching a top executive to head a new research laboratory in China. The Redmond, Washington-based company also sued the executive, Kai-Fu Lee.
     
  2. brian

    brian SILVER Star

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    nope, that would be jesse james ;p
     
  3. GetsUThere

    GetsUThere

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    Ok. I'm gonna rant now. The patent system in this country is completely broken. The US, after implementing changes over the last few years, has one of widest definitions of what's patentable on the entire planet. IANAL, but here's a stripped down list of the criteria for Patents. Patents are supposed to require:

    • Statutory

      Has to be something. This covers pretty much everything that isn't a natural phenomenon and isn't methods of doing business.
    • New
      Not offered for sale prior to being patented and not known to the public before patent was applied for
    • Useful

      Pretty much speaks for itself.
    • Non-obvious

      Must be original or not an obvious improvement over existing prior art.

    In this particular case, described in more detail here, we see that Apple's patent was "rotational user inputs" whereas Microsoft's was " "playlist generation based on seed items". IMO both of these are bogus and should not have been granted. (Apple's wasn't by the way).

    Rotational user inputs? Think PONG! Good grief, nobody would ever think of that. (My 1930's Philco uses a volume knob. My goodness, they should have patented that and beat Apple to the punch!) Microsoft's looks like a random playlist generator to me. Yep, better sue the guys who made my CD player too. In fairness they do seem to be patenting a specific algorithm for doing random play, but how that is infringed on by Apple escapes me.

    Software patents should never have been allowed in the first place (fairly recent change). All that has been done is to start allowing large companies accumulate patent portfolios that cover absurdly simple things and hold that over competitor's heads backed up with lawsuits. The OP's article is a fine example of that.

    They are taking the basic tools of software development and making them proprietary. Some really stupid, obvious and long known things are now being granted patents which can be used to perpetuate lawsuits for the rest of time.

    Here are a few recent ones: Microsoft: Break strings into tokens - while they say it can be used for natural languages, the patent just covers tokenizing. Compilers have been making tokens out of strings since the 60s.

    Microsoft: Method for visually emphasizing numeric data Yep. They're pretty much patented BOLD when used on numeric data.

    And lest we think that all this nerd stuff doesn't apply to us, here's Microsoft: Creating Emoticons Another non-obvious idea that NOBODY would ever think of until Microsoft invented the concept. (Hey Microsoft :flipoff2: while it's still legal to do it).

    This is like GM patenting the bolt or something and demanding licensing fees from the rest of the world. Some people claim this is actually a long term strategy by large companies to be able to crush startups and other competitors, since almost any new program will infringe on something. The longer they keep getting patents on basic things, the harder it will be to do anything at all without getting sued or paying licensing.

    Whew I feel a little bit better. Gotta cut down on the coffee I think...and head over to the cheerleader thread instead. But hopefully anybody who read this and doesn't work in software will get some insight into what's happening with USPTO and software patents in this country. And understand why it's a bad thing.
     
  4. T Y L E R

    T Y L E R

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    Beat me to it . :beer:


    TY
     
  5. PUPTLAM

    PUPTLAM

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    Seems to me that Apple hired some really dumb lawyers. Maybe they need to hire some new lawyers to sue the crap out of the old lawyers.
    Someone must have known a patent was needed? Is Microsoft wrong for suing someone who broke patent laws?
    If I had the first patent, you can bet your ass someone would pay me!
     
  6. drexx

    drexx

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    16Aug2005 (UTC +8)

    I think there shouldn't be any patents for software...
     
  7. PUPTLAM

    PUPTLAM

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    You think all this internet stuff should just be free,,, whoever comes up with something better after years of working on it should just pass it along? when you get your rig fixed up the way you want it give me a call,,, i dont believe in ownership. I'LL just come and pick it up.
     
  8. GetsUThere

    GetsUThere

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    Possibly you're confusing copyright, which covers the software itself and has existed for many years, with patents? The programs are already protected that way, and I think that's a good thing. I neither condone nor participate in software piracy. I, in fact, write software for a living, so the last thing I expect is for it to be freely given away. What I do object to, and the whole point of my original post, is somebody being given a government granted monopoly over public domain and common knowledge.

    Maybe I wasn't very clear. Try to imagine where we would be today if the first person who ever put a button on a screen had patented "Initiating a software action in response to user action by simulated button". Would every other GUI builder suddenly have to license this amazing new technology? No, because there wouldn't be any other GUI developers. Windows certainly wouldn't exist because Apple would have patented most or all of the common User Interface elements that they now use, as well as the whole concept of a GUI. (Of course Apple's right to this might be in question since it's widely suggested that they saw it at Xerox first). Apple couldn't do it then, but they can and do now.

    If patent laws in the 80s were like they are now, there would today only be one spreadsheet (Visicalc?) and one wordprocessor (not Word) because the first person who came up with the ideas would have owned them totally. There would never be a better, alternate, or freeware version because all those guys would have gotten sued. Innovation and improvement by competition would have been eliminated.

    You seem to have missed another subtle point as well. That USPTO issued patents not on an implementation of an idea "parse a string by this clever new scheme we invented" but the idea itself: "parse a string". Like I said above, parsing is something that's been done for ages, in many different ways. All will apparently be infringing on Microsoft's new patent. Not at all unlike rushing out to get a patent on "putting a picture in a document" or "printing computer document to paper". These are of course exaggerated, but the examples above are almost that bad.

    Maybe from your last statement I can offer another more relevant example. Rather than you coming to get my cruiser, suppose I as a large and unscrupulous 4wd company patent the ideas of sliders, roof rack, locker, dual battery, winch bumper etc. Not a specific design, but the idea itself. Sure these have all been around for a long time, but suddenly a new policy allows me to patent ideas so I pick these. Now if you put any of these things on your rig (provided they're not the ones I or one of my licensed manufacturers sold you), I can come get yours instead. At least after we get done in court. Even if you fabbed them up yourself, you're still infringing on my intellectual property. See the problem?