Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Displays Patents Apple

Apple Patents Portrait-Landscape Flipping 354

Posted by timothy
from the video-is-unrelated dept.
theodp writes "On Tuesday, the USPTO granted a patent to Apple for Portrait-landscape rotation heuristics for a portable multifunction device (USPTO), which covers 'displaying information on the touch screen display in a portrait view or a landscape view based on an analysis of data received from the one or more accelerometers.' Perhaps the USPTO Examiners didn't get a chance to review the circa-1991 Computer Chronicles video of the Radius Pivot monitor before deeming Apple's invention patentable. Or check out the winning touchArcade trivia contest entry, which noted the circa-1982 Corvus Concept sported a 15-inch, high-resolution, bit-mapped display screen that also flipped between portrait and landscape views when rotated, like our friend the iPhone. Hey, everything old is new again, right?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Patents Portrait-Landscape Flipping

Comments Filter:
  • But ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tjp($)pjT (266360) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @08:41PM (#36770588)
    The others used other gravity sensors like little metal balls and contact sets or mercury switches not accelerometers. And they weren't touchscreen devices. Trivial differences, but different technology. Better to argue it was obvious than say the others represent prior art. Still accelerometers in portable media players and phones is pretty much an Apple thing for display orientation, since everyone before had an attached keyboard!
  • Re:Not prior art (Score:5, Informative)

    by bmo (77928) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @08:58PM (#36770716)

    It's a cheap kind of accelerometer.

    In the Pivot monitor, it's a mercury switch, operated by gravity (acceleration at 9.8m/sec^2).

    Apple could have used a mercury switch and done the same thing and the user would not have noticed the difference. The only thing about an acelerometer chip is that it's a mercury switch without the mercury (I'm oversimplifying, of course).

    --
    BMO

  • Re:Not prior art (Score:3, Informative)

    by pauljlucas (529435) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @09:01PM (#36770742) Homepage Journal

    And taking an existing invention and putting it into something smaller is patentable innovation?

    The cited "prior art" didn't work using accelerometers either, so there was really no "existing invention" (at least the cited ones weren't).

  • by KNicolson (147698) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @09:34PM (#36770978) Homepage

    Stupid question I know, but Apple is NOT patenting rotation, but rather two gestures to lock the screen in either portrait or landscape mode, regardless of detected orientation. Whether or not such a matter is patentable is another kettle of fish.

    On a related matter, Apple long ago bought a patent from British Telecom that appears actually to be for screen rotation [theregister.co.uk].

  • Re:But ... (Score:2, Informative)

    by pdabbadabba (720526) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @09:48PM (#36771074) Homepage

    As is so often the case, Slashdot has mischaracterized the patent. (I'm only talking about "Portrait-landscape rotation heuristics for a portable multifunction device." I don't have time to read the others.)

    The patent is on a touch-based mechanism to change and lock screen orientation IN CONJUNCTION with the use of accelerometers. Filing a patent requires a lot of expensive lawyer time; a company like Apple typically will not file one that it cannot defend. It knows that it's competitors have plenty of lawyers of their own to challenge invalid patents and, in egregious cases, they can find themselves on the hook for both sides' legal bills.

    Here's the abstract of the actual patent; it's in the mind-numbing legalese that is the specialty of patent attorneys, but you can probably still see the problem with the /. description starting in the third sentence:

    "In accordance with some embodiments, a computer-implemented method is performed at a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display and one or more accelerometers. The method includes displaying information on the touch screen display in a portrait view or a landscape view based on an analysis of data received from the one or more accelerometers. The method also includes detecting a predetermined finger gesture on or near the touch screen display while the information is displayed in a first view, and in response to detecting the predetermined finger gesture, displaying the information in a second view and locking the display of information in the second view. The method further includes unlocking the display of information in the second view when the device is placed in an orientation where the second view is displayed based on an analysis of data received from the one or more accelerometers."

  • Re:Not prior art (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 14, 2011 @09:57PM (#36771118)

    Can you name a product that used them together the way the iPhone and iPad do? If not, then, apparently, it's not sufficiently obvious to all the other consumer gadget makers out there otherwise somebody else would have done it.

    Nokia N95. 3-axis accelerometer used to orient screen. 2006.

  • Re:What's next? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday July 14, 2011 @11:40PM (#36771652) Homepage Journal

    And my Kodak C743 has done EXACTLY that WELL before Apple ever thought of it.

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr

Working...