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Patents Apple

Move Over Apple - Samsung Files For a Patent On Page Turn 125

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-I-am-on-the-road-again-there-I-am-up-on-the-stage dept.
Nate the greatest writes "Remember last year when Apple received a patent on the faux page curl in iBooks? Lots of people laughed at the idea that Apple could patent the page turn, but not Samsung. The gadget maker has just filed for their own page turn patent. The paperwork explains in great detail what the page turn looks like, how the software would work, and what on screen gestures could be used to turn the page."
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Move Over Apple - Samsung Files For a Patent On Page Turn

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  • by stevez67 (2374822) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @08:07PM (#43605467)
    ... the "on" button. Because no one has ever pressed an on button before. No one has turned a page. No one ever thought to make a phone a rectangle with rounded edges. The only ones these ideas are novel to are the nitwit patent attorney's who convince companies to pay them to file this crapola lol. But ... I'm sure there's an app for that.
  • If I were (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ganjadude (952775) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @08:13PM (#43605489) Homepage
    If I were getting beat up by a competitor for what I consider stupid patents I would start filing stupid patents to fight back as well.

    all this does is show once again that the patent system needs work.
    • Re:If I were (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @09:01PM (#43605725) Homepage Journal

      AC's response is kinda messed up.

      I don't entirely agree with you, but it has been pointed out that some "rights holders" have bought up patents as a defense against being sued by patent trolls. So yeah, it makes sense, in a way, to file for trivial patents as a defense against other trivial patents.

      It would be better though, if all the legitimate big players in the patent games would just declare a truce, get together, and lobby for patent reform - along with copyright reform.

      The system is most definitely broken. I don't think that Samsung is taking the "best" approach to fixing the real problem - not by a long shot.

      We need an analogy here, I think. A housing developer built on some low lying land, in a "classy" area of town. All the in-crowd bought his houses - that is, the "rights holders bought homes in the subdivision. The city's sewer system backs up onto these properties. Samsung's "fix" here, is to add three inches of topsoil to their own property to keep the sewerage from running onto their own property. Of course, that does nothing about the sewerage running in the streets, or on their neighbor's yards. The whole neighborhood still stinks to high heaven, and it's an unhealthy place to live.

      It's time for the subdivision to partner with government, and get the damned sewer system fixed, and get the crap out of everyone's neighborhoods!!

      • We need an analogy here, I think. A housing developer built on some low lying land, in a "classy" area of town.

        Oh yea? You forget you're on /. punk! Explain to us with the one and only, the Car Analogy! Yeah! ... you're free to go this time.

        • Alright - you've driven your car into the city's sewer plant, and the roof is six inches under the surface of one of the ponds. You and all the other "rights holders" are hoping to use some jumper cables to get the car started again, so that you can drive it out of the pond.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        It would be better though, if all the legitimate big players in the patent games would just declare a truce, get together, and lobby for patent reform - along with copyright reform.

        There's a saying of "be careful what you wish for" because you can bet Google, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung would love to do this. But the patent reform they want would ensure that no one else can enter the market.

        Ditto copyright - they're going to ensure that the big companies can take copyright with a token payment and anyone else

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        It would be better though, if all the legitimate big players in the patent games would just declare a truce

        They did try that but Apple and a bunch of random patent trolls wouldn't play ball. In Apple's case it is because they don't have any valuable technology patents, only daft design patents on rounded corners and the like. Even if there was a truce Apple would still need to license tech patents under FRAND terms, but no-one needs their patent on page curling.

      • I don't entirely agree with you, but it has been pointed out that some "rights holders" have bought up patents as a defense against being sued by patent trolls. So yeah, it makes sense, in a way, to file for trivial patents as a defense against other trivial patents.

        Obviously Samsung, being Samsung, will use this patent purely defensively. Most probably to defend sales if HTC, LG and others wake up and spend some more money on marketing their phones :-) I mean they are such an outstanding company with only the best of motives, several convictions in 2012 for price fixing, a CEO who was convicted for tax evasion, people getting cancer in their factories from chemical poisoning. And let's not forget their patents on rounded corners (which are strangely never mentioned, b

    • IMNSHO anything that is an obvious idea, and can be trivially implemented by one skilled in said craft should not be patentable... This includes any [simulation of real-world activity] on a [generic computing interface]. I really with the US-PTO would get a clue already.
      • IMNSHO anything that is an obvious idea, and can be trivially implemented by one skilled in said craft should not be patentable... This includes any [simulation of real-world activity] on a [generic computing interface]. I really with the US-PTO would get a clue already.

        There could be a lot of people agreeing with this. I also envision them rubbing their palms in excitement because there is now a lot to do for them: When does an idea stop being obvious? Is it related to the skill of the practitioner? Does that mean that if I am an average skill worker and have an idea that clashes with a patent then this idea is patentable and I am a violator, while at the same time some very high skill worker can come up with the same idea and in that case he is OK because the idea can be

        • As to when an idea is obvious, that would be a car by case basis... However, stimulating a real world activity an a computer is always an obvious idea... As is doing something that one device does on another device... As to trivial to someone... If it has been implemented before, in this case the pieces of page turn animation and responding to touch input, then yes it is trivial. For the most part, anything that is written as a program is both obvious and trivial to implement, and as such not deserving of
    • by kawabago (551139)
      The patent system doesn't need work. It needs to be out of work!
    • So it's awful when Apple does it, but when Samsung does the exact same thing, it's a completely justified defensive measure.

      Nope, you're not wearing any blinders at all.

  • OBVIOUS! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chromaexcursion (2047080) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @08:16PM (#43605503)
    why do patent inspectors spend more than 2 seconds on dreck like this before denying it.
    • My theory (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ganjadude (952775) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @08:18PM (#43605513) Homepage
      the issue seems to be that the patent officials either

      A - dont spend even 1 second and just stamp it if it comes from a known company
      or
      B - the patent officers dont understand what they are looking at, yet dont want to sound stupid, so they stamp it

      at least thats my theor
      • The problem is patent officers aren't masters in individual fields of study to be able to determine if something is "obvious". A patent officers approval doesn't necessarily mean that the patent isn't obvious or even not already patented. That's a job for the courts and submitter. There is supposed to be a level of restraint on the submitter to not post something obvious in their field and to do diligence in ascertaining whether or not a patent should be granted for their idea or if there are existing paten

        • by ganjadude (952775)
          I think the easiest way to start to fix this would to be to hire masters of different fields to handle patents of said field. I think that right there would help quite a bit. there is no reason someone who went to school for cooking but gets the qualifications and becomes a patent officer should have any reason saying yes or no to something such as computer systems / hardware or engine design etc.
          • I think the easiest way to start to fix this would to be to hire masters of different fields to handle patents of said field.

            I don't think that is entirely the problem. The other issue is that it is far easier for a patent office to say 'yes' to patents because if they refuse an application this sort of thing [slashdot.org] happens and, if the lawyer is backed by a large multinational you will probably end up with a major legal battle on your hands. It's essentially intimidation with lawyers to approve the application.

          • I think the easiest way to start to fix this would to be to hire masters of different fields to handle patents of said field. I think that right there would help quite a bit. there is no reason someone who went to school for cooking but gets the qualifications and becomes a patent officer should have any reason saying yes or no to something such as computer systems / hardware or engine design etc.

            That's a brilliant idea... We could have a classification system wherein patent applications are sorted by area of technology and assigned to patent units with specialized Examiners who are skilled in those fields to apply prior art and test for obviousness. We can call them "art units [uspto.gov]".

        • There is supposed to be a level of restraint on the submitter to not post something obvious in their field and to do diligence in ascertaining whether or not a patent should be granted for their idea or if there are existing patents that cover the idea.

          Good point. If I recall correctly from my brief encounters with the patent system, if you don't bring the examiner's attention to what could arguably be considered prior art, it explicitly counts against you should your patent be challenged. It may be that large corporations have realized that 'possession is nine-tenths of the law' definitely applies here, and they can cause a lot of trouble for a competitor even with a shaky patent, for example by dragging things out to the point where it becomes moot, or

        • level of restraint on the submitter

          Found your problem!

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      Money.

      • Sadly, too true
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I thought rejecting a patent application would be a better incentive for money. After all if they send in another application for the same innovation/invention they have to pay the fee again, but then I thought, no the corporations would just stop applying for patents of stupid stuff.

        Maybe patent clerks salaries' should be tied for the number of applictions they reject for a valid reason. A QA system would be in set so up where other clerks would check their. If a decision is overturned than they lose point

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The most accurate approach would be to have people with limited power granting patents. There should be very few patents getting granted. Getting a patent is something that you should earn by producing something genuinely novel that advances our society and can net you money. Patents for snowballs should be ignored. Patents for a real innovation (I have not seen one in my life time) that is truly unique. Maybe. Rockets were not even a unique innovation. Going to the moon was just the appropriate application

          • by Anonymous Coward

            See, that's the problem. It's hard to judge what's truly innovative because all work is based on previous work and if we only granted say 1 patent every 30 years it seems pretty ridiculous to have patents anyway. At that point, you would be better off abolishing patents and (here's my idea) rewarding the inventor or group with lots of money. Oh wait, apparently "my" idea has already been proposed according to wiki. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prizes_as_an_alternative_to_patents. Funny how that works, and

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by s.petry (762400)

              The telephone, calculus, and the special theory of relativity were all made or discovered very close to each other.

              Not to be a dick, but you should check your facts before posting. Calculus predates the telephone and theory of relativity by a couple thousand years. If you are referring to infinitesimal calculus, then you are still off by at least a couple hundred years. Here [wikipedia.org] is a reference.

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward

                I think he was referring to three examples of the same idea being discovered twice at around the same time in each case. E.g. Calculus (Newton and Leibniz), and the telephone (Bell and Swan) are classic examples. I don't know of anybody else working on relativity at the same time as Einstein, but considering the explosion in theoretical physics at the time (e.g. quantum mechanics) it is unlikely that relativity would have remained undiscovered for long.

                The point is an important one: great discoveries would

                • I don't know of anybody else working on relativity at the same time as Einstein, but considering the explosion in theoretical physics at the time (e.g. quantum mechanics) it is unlikely that relativity would have remained undiscovered for long.

                  I suspect the GP is referring to the Lorentz transformation [wikipedia.org].

    • It stamps the Patent on the line, or else it can't see the $ sign.

    • I know, I know (Score:5, Informative)

      by Frankie70 (803801) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @09:55PM (#43605931)

      why do patent inspectors spend more than 2 seconds on dreck like this before denying it.

      Because lawyers then write them nasty letters. This was covered a couple of days back - please pay attention - http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/04/29/1216254/lawyer-loses-it-in-letter-to-patent-office [slashdot.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by walterbyrd (182728)

      In all fairness, how can they deny Samsung a bullshit patent, when they have granted Apple so many bullshit patents?

    • why do patent inspectors spend more than 2 seconds on dreck like this before denying it.

      Part of the problem is that 'obvious' has gained a special meaning in this context, partly as a result of case law, and that meaning is not the obvious one. Lawyers aren't paid to be reasonable.

    • by kermidge (2221646)

      Aren't they paid, or at least rewarded, for patents approved, rather than patents reviewed?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Patents are written in rambling legalese and are not straightforward to read, especially software patents since they describe an abstract concept rather than a tangible object and quite often the product doesn't even exist. The abstract of a software patent is thus often meaninglessly vague and the examiner must drill down through all the claims to get an idea of what it's really trying to patent.

    • why do patent inspectors spend more than 2 seconds on dreck like this before denying it.

      Because it's a quasi-judicial decision, and is subject to the constitutional requirements of due process. "Obvious" is a legal conclusion, like "guilty", and must be supported by evidence. No matter how guilty a judge or jury thinks a defendant looks, their conclusion must be supported by evidence, and if there's no evidence, then a conviction of "but we had a gut feeling he was guilty" will be overturned. Similarly, no matter how obvious we feel dreck like this is, that conclusion must be supported by evid

  • Finally, patents are being used for something useful. What an annoying animation.

  • I got your patent right here.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If it is a design pattent, I don't see the problem with this. They may want to ensure that they have a certain look on their ereaders which is not faked by other ereaders.
    This is totally acceptable, kinda like round corners are acceptable (with a lot of other rules) to ensure your device is not faked.

    If its not a design pattent, its certainly not worth being granted on basis that its not really novel.

    And as a personal opinion on the thing, I actually like the kindle approach of just going to the next page a

  • Seriously, with as litigious as everyone is, who WOULDN'T patent every thing they could think of, if only to keep "the other guy" from litigating you to oblivion?

    Not that I'm saying Samsung won't exploit such patents. I'm sure they can, and will. But that's how the game is played, so instead of getting riled at Samsung ( or Apple, or anyone else for that matter ) for suing everyone for absurd patents, shouldn't we, instead, be outraged at the system that allows and encourages such behavior?

    • by Shadowmist (57488)

      Seriously, with as litigious as everyone is, who WOULDN'T patent every thing they could think of, if only to keep "the other guy" from litigating you to oblivion?

      Not that I'm saying Samsung won't exploit such patents. I'm sure they can, and will. But that's how the game is played, so instead of getting riled at Samsung ( or Apple, or anyone else for that matter ) for suing everyone for absurd patents, shouldn't we, instead, be outraged at the system that allows and encourages such behavior?

      Remember Apple started playing this game when someone sued THEM for one of those niggling patents on the iPhone. Knowing that their phone was going to be a big ticket item, they really did not have any choice but to play this game... No one, not Samsung, Google, Microsoft, whoever does.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Apple's patent was a design patent -- design patents cover purely ornamental aspects of a functional device.
    Samsung's patent is a utility patent -- utility patents cover functionality only, and are what most people think of when they say "patent" with no specifier.

    Not saying this makes one right and the other wrong, just that it's an important distinction which a lot of press coverage, including /.'s own summary, is ignoring.

  • by Progman3K (515744) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @09:26PM (#43605839)

    When you have nothing left to say and have no innovation, you patent something very obvious.

    clap...
    clap...
    clap...

    • by Artea (2527062)
      I'm afraid "Simulating applause through an electronic device" is patented, you owe me royalties.
    • Apple is the one filing all the scam lawsuits.

      • Apple is the one filing all the scam lawsuits.

        Like the one that Google/Motorola is losing right now against Microsoft over h.264. Google asked for four billion dollars per year for you to watch h.264 videos on an Xbox. But in your warped world view that is probably purely defensive.

  • There is no way on earth that a patent system that allows this sort of BS can be successful in forwarding the basic goals of the patent system, none.
    • There is no way on earth that a patent system that allows this sort of BS can be successful in forwarding the basic goals of the patent system, none.

      You're only realizing this now? I knew the patent system had jumped the shark when someone patented swinging sideways on a swing.

  • So here we have Apple an American company, Samsung a South-Korean one and the United States Patent also an American entity. Now I don't know as a Canadian who has been observing Americans for a while how much credibility, even with truckloads of facts or legal proof, any American is willing to give to a foreign entity, but I still find it far fetched to believe Samsung has any chance at all to have anything enforced in this one. Apple will change the colours, US patents will say it's OK, new patent, case
  • The net comic The Gods of ArrKelann [rmcomics.com] has used a page-turning interface for years.

    I'm not sure whether it was from the start of the run or if it got converted somewhere along the way. But it's pretty clearly a page-turning interface.

    • It's also been a transition in Apple's Keynote software since 1.0, way back when.

      Your point?

      • My point is that I want to be sure any prior art that might be useful for a challenge to the patent is brought out of obsurity, so the challenger's lawyers don't lose when they could have won had they known about it.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Thursday May 02, 2013 @04:51AM (#43607441) Homepage

    Not for infringing the "page turning" patent - for infringing on their patent of "a method to use the US Patent Office for anti-competitive business tactics".

  • This violates my rule 1.

    1. A computer simulation of a real-world thing is not, in and of itself, patentable. This is not to say the programming behind it could not be clever enough to be patentable.

    2. Doing something wirelessly or on a mobile device already done on desktop computers is also not inherently patentable, though it may already be covered by a desktop patent.

  • by RogueWarrior65 (678876) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:28AM (#43609683)

    This reminds me of the patent that was granted (and later revoked) for the method of swinging on a swing. http://www.google.com/patents/US6368227 [google.com]
    So I'm forced to ask the obvious. How is virtual page turning novel and unique compared to doing it with paper?

  • I'm still waiting for my entitlement patents to come back for curves, swirls, bends, wraps, rolls, twists, spins, loops, blips, burps, and farts!
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:29AM (#43609695) Homepage

    This is yet another "patent on a digital analog to a well known physical process" patent. You know, "a system and methodology for doing something we've done for centuries, but on a computer".

    People have been turning pages in books for a very long time. It's a well understood process.

    I seriously doubt that there's any real technical innovation or invention in using existing touch-screen technology to make it look like you're doing something which is already well known for physical books.

    It's a visual metaphor, nothing more. I don't think Apple should have been granted a patent, and I don't think Samsung should.

    These kinds of patents are ridiculous.

    • by sudo (194998)

      Actually I hope they initially get granted as they are a perfect showcase on how retarded the Patent system is.

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