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Apple Sued Over OS X Quick Boot 196

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the the-rms-says-patents-are-baaaad dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With a patent originally owned by LG in tow, a Florida based company called Operating Systems Solutions LLC recently filed suit against Apple claiming that OS X's use of quick booting infringes the aforementioned patent." The company in question is a bit suspicious — having formed very recently — and so others are speculating it was created for a proxy battle against Apple by LG.
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Apple Sued Over OS X Quick Boot

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  • by firex726 (1188453) <firex726&yahoo,com> on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @06:12PM (#37037954)

    These patent lawsuits are getting out of hand.

    Everyone is suing everyone else, minimal innovation is happening and when it does it's from some upstart who gets buried the moment it makes a press release.

    • These patent lawsuits are getting out of hand.

      You make it sound like they weren't _already_ out of hand.

    • by StripedCow (776465) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @07:01PM (#37038328)

      Doesn't matter. Lawyers (being good friends with law-makers) are making money, that's all that counts.

    • Oh, you're absolutely right. However, considering what a bunch of assholes Apple is being, I get a warm tingly feeling every time another company tells Apple to go fuck themselves.
      • by rsborg (111459)

        Oh, you're absolutely right. However, considering what a bunch of assholes Apple is being, I get a warm tingly feeling every time another company tells Apple to go fuck themselves.

        This old "enemy of my enemy is my friend" bullshit is getting tiring. I didn't applaud Eolas when they won against Microsoft [seattlepi.com], and I don't support this either. This kind of activity will NOT make the patent system more sane. The only thing that will do that is a sane and non-corrupt judiciary and real patent reform (which, if corporations still control the government will be right between never and hell freezing over).

        • Um ... I suspect it's not so much an "enemy of my enemy is my friend" feeling, as schadenfreude.

          I'd be incredibly happy if this whole software-patents bullshit disappeared through a sudden outbreak of commonsense. But if the alternative is that the main perpetrator of the patent wars gets sued so hard they're forced to declare a truce, I'll take it ...

          • I suspect it's more that haters will be haters no matter the news. Apple suing? Apple bad. Apple being sued? They deserve it.
        • It's not that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. It's that if software patents start hurting everyone, instead of just the little guys who are kept out of established markets by existing large players with cross-licensing agreements, then we may start to see some of the reform that we've been wanting for the last decade or so, instead of having it blocked by deep-pocketed lobbyists from the few big companies that benefit from the current situation.
    • Exactly they should innovate and not be a copycat.
  • Prior art? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by guruevi (827432) <evi.smokingcube@be> on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @06:15PM (#37037970) Homepage

    There have been many implementations of this any many variations since at least the early 90's. I don't know when the patent was lodged but I think Apple themselves may have prior art on this.

    Patents and patent trolls should become illegal in our current economic environment.

    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      There have been many implementations of this any many variations since at least the early 90's. I don't know when the patent was lodged but I think Apple themselves may have prior art on this.

      Patents and patent trolls should become illegal in our current economic environment.

      I suddenly find myself wanting to know EXACTLY how the NeXTSTEP boot process worked. Hopefully this feeling will pass soon.

      • Re:Prior art? (Score:5, Informative)

        by DJRumpy (1345787) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @07:00PM (#37038322)

        I think this is the info you are hinting at. the patent in question specifically mentions config.sys and auto exec.bat, as well as POST processes.

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/08/apple_sued_over_mac_x_fast_boot/ [theregister.co.uk]

        "The method for a quick boot process includes the steps of performing a power-on self test (POST) operation when a personal computer system is powered on or a reset button is pressed; performing a normal boot process after the POST operation; saving the contents of memory and the status of the attached devices to a hard disk; checking if a reboot is requested; restoring the saved boot configuration information from the hard disk, after POST is completed during the reboot process; checking whether or not an initial device configuration file and/or an automatic batch file were changed; and executing commands in the two files and saving a newly created boot configuration information to the hard disk for future boot," the patent reads.

        "The personal computer system, may reboot quickly because of omission of execution of the initial device configuration filed and the automatic batch file."

        Yes, the patent specifically discusses CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files, carefully laying out the entire boot process for an IBM PC running MS-DOS. But it says the scope of the method is broader. "Though the description hereinbefore may refer to terms commonly used in describing particular computer systems and software, such as IBM personal computer and Windows95 operation system, the concepts equally apply to other systems and software," it reads.

        • by Qzukk (229616)

          "Though the description hereinbefore may refer to terms commonly used in describing particular computer systems and software, such as IBM personal computer and Windows95 operation system, the concepts equally apply to other systems and software," it reads.

          Well fuck. I'm totally going to go get a patent claiming:

          1. The method for using a whatsit to perform a thingamabobber. The description hereinbefore may refer to terms commonly used in describing specific things, but the concepts equally apply to everyt

        • by gutnor (872759)

          the concepts equally apply to other systems and software

          Wasn't it the goal of patent to protect actual invention rather than a concept ? They have patented the real life equivalent of "preparing your clothes for the next day before going to bed may save you time the following morning".

      • by Stele (9443)

        I heard that it actually didn't boot at all, but flew directly out of Steve's ass over the ether into your computer.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      I think they've changed rules on prior art. Isn't it now a "first to file" process, following the broken system the rest of the world uses? This shouldn't matter on patents granted in the past though unless this rule applies retroactively.

      • by Qzukk (229616)

        First to file doesn't eliminate the "within one year of publication" rule. If you've got prior art over a year before the patent was filed, it's still fair game. In fact, it doesn't really change much since under "first to invent" everyone declared that they invented it 364 days prior to filing the patent just to make sure they got as much "prior" art edged out as possible, no matter how quickly they scribbled out a patent application after looking at a competitor's demo.

  • How is something everyone who has ever used a computer for the past 30+ years thought of on their own patentable?

  • "They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind."

    I'm sure before nearly every nation on earth was dragged into World War 1 that they thought it was a good idea to get into a 'little fight.' At least times will be interesting again...

  • by pbjones (315127) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @07:05PM (#37038368)

    I think that Apple, and others, have been using truncated boot processes for a decade or so. I can't see this one going anywhere.

  • "...The company in question is a bit suspicious — having formed very recently..."

    Formed recently you say? Gee, with a name like Operating Systems Solutions, what ever gave anyone that idea?

    Probably takes the cake for the most unoriginal company name ever...makes you wonder if someone lost a bet in the marketing department, or perhaps that name was pulled out of someones ass after a late-night binger...

    • by Lifyre (960576)

      Or they were looking for a headline something like "OSS Sues Apple" Very easily confused headline that could generate some publicity.

  • 'nuf said?

  • by KeithIrwin (243301) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @08:48PM (#37039196)

    Having read the patent (RE40,092 [uspto.gov] in case anyone is interested), it's claims are so broad and complete that any implementation of any kind of acceleration of the booting process would violate it. In fact, they're so complete, that any hibernate mode would also likely violate them, which suggests that it shouldn't be hard to find prior art since hibernate modes substantially predate this patent. I suspect that Apple will use prior art to get the patent invalidated, but it's tough to say for sure.

    The real problem with this patent, though, is the standard one for software patents: it's just a set of general ideas about what you could do to make booting faster (store configuration data, check configuration data, write some or all pages of memory to disk, read some or all pages of memory from disk) with nothing that could actually be described as a specific invention or process. As such, the patent (as is almost always the case with software patents) is so broad that it's ridiculous. They've basically been granted a patent on any feasible idea for speeding up the boot process.

    • Having read the patent (RE40,092 [uspto.gov] in case anyone is interested), it's claims are so broad and complete that any implementation of any kind of acceleration of the booting process would violate it. In fact, they're so complete, that any hibernate mode would also likely violate them, which suggests that it shouldn't be hard to find prior art since hibernate modes substantially predate this patent. I suspect that Apple will use prior art to get the patent invalidated, but it's tough to say for sure.

      Having read the patent claims, I came to quite the opposite conclusion, that they are suggesting a very specific technique that Apple is definitely not using. They suggest that just after a boot, you make a copy of the computer's memory and save it to disk. On the next boot, you read that copy from disk instead of performing the actual boot operations, then you check whether the configuration (like config.sys) has changed, and if it has changed, you perform the full boot. That is a very specific (and in my

      • by makomk (752139)

        I could've sworn that Apple announced they were using exactly this technique - saving a system snapshot after the boot process had completed and resuming from it to speed up the boot process the next time around - in OS X Lion.

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