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Reexamination Request Filed Against Another Apple Patent 85

Posted by timothy
from the from-the-florian-front dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After the rubber-banding, 'Steve Jobs' heuristics and pinch-to-zoom patents, another Apple patent in use against Samsung comes under pressure. An anonymous filer, most likely Samsung, has filed a reexamination request against Apple's RE41,922 patent on a 'method and apparatus for providing translucent images on a computer display.' It's not among the patents a California jury evaluated this summer, but one of four patents an ITC judge preliminarily found Samsung to infringe. The reexamination request features five new pieces of prior art (three U.S. patents from the early 1990s and two Japanese patents), all of which dealt with translucent images. The patent office will decide next year whether to grant or deny the request for reexamination. Expect more such petitions targeting Apple patents."
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Reexamination Request Filed Against Another Apple Patent

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  • by icebike (68054) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @08:12PM (#42372297)

    Who says its Samsung?

    Microsoft may be just as likely the source of this appeal, since they have used translucent images since Vista.

  • by alen (225700) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @08:47PM (#42372463)

    I thought Microsoft had them in the 1990's

  • Re:wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peragrin (659227) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @09:25PM (#42372605)

    That is the point. with so many absurd patents out there that slashdot and the tech community have been calling for a while now all it took was for a Non troll(apple produces products) to start shooting their patent missiles only to realize that they are not only firing duds but ones that might explode on lift off doing more damage to yourself than the enemy.

    For a while patents were defensive no one wanted to be stupid enough to use them in mass attacks.

    Of course stupidity rises to the top and so all it takes is one dumb CEO and an itchy trigger finger.

    It happened to be Apple. I love my mac hardware but damn the company deserves this.

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @10:31PM (#42372821)

    To be fair, Apple's original patent on this was filed in 1993 [uspto.gov]. That version of the patent talked about pen computing on a tablet, which presumably referred to the Apple Newton [wikipedia.org], which was also released in 1993. This patent covered the opaque image under the pop-up keyboard on the Newton.

    I believe Microsoft introduced translucent windows with Windows 2000, although it is possible that like many other Microsoft new features that it was merely public access to a technology that already existed in previous versions of Windows.

    I don't think that the concept of two programs each building an image and then a third program blending them together is really novel enough to justify a patent. The concept of blending two images together were not unknown then, so the idea that you use that existing technology just to blend two screenshots together seems technically obvious. If they really wanted to patent an opaque representation of the underlying screen under a pop-up keyboard then they should have made it a design patent.

  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iMadeGhostzilla (1851560) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @11:30PM (#42373031)

    I think the rest of the world should organize crowd-sourced reexamination requests and get at them. Apple first, then others.

    "A request for a reexamination can be filed by anyone at anytime during the period of enforceability of a patent. To request a reexamination, one must submit a “request for reexamination,” pay a substantial fee, and provide an explanation of the new reasons why the patent is invalid based on prior art. "

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reexamination [wikipedia.org]

    Granted it depends on how big the substantial fee is. But that's one more Kickstarter project I'd gladly contribute to.

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