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Patents Software Apple

Apple Yanks Toddler's Speech-Enabling App 573

theodp writes "TIME reports that four-year-old Maya Nieder's speech-enabling 'Speak for Yourself' app was yanked from the App Store by Apple due to an unresolved patent dispute at the behest of Prentke Romich Company (PRC) and Semantic Compaction Systems (SCS), makers of designated communication devices (not iPad apps). 'The issue of whether or not Apple should have pulled Speak for Yourself from the App Store before the case was decided is trickier. Obviously, Apple would rather be safe than sorry and remove a potentially problematic app instead of risking legal action. The problem, however, is that this isn’t some counterfeit version of Angry Birds.' 'My daughter cannot speak without this app,' writes Maya's mom, Dana. 'She cannot ask us questions. She cannot tell us that she's tired, or that she wants yogurt for lunch. She cannot tell her daddy that she loves him.' If you're so inclined, Dana suggests you drop a note to appstorenotices@apple.com."
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Apple Yanks Toddler's Speech-Enabling App

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  • why not? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @08:21AM (#40307395)

    Why can't the kid communicate these things? If it is big enough to understand how to use an app, it is big enough to figure out how to communicate such things as "I am tired", or "I want yogurt"... not to mention that if you have a toddler and cannot recognize the signs of him/her being tired, clearly you are not paying enough attention to your child. (I speak as a someone who has a toddler and a newborn in the house) Perhaps you should stop letting technology raise your kids?

  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @09:02AM (#40307747) Homepage Journal

    Innocent until proven guilty is criminal law... which I don't believe patent suits fall under.

    Actually patents are polar opposite. If I file a patent dispute against you, the burden of proof lies with you, you must prove your innocence or I win. And there's very little teeth in the ways for you to recover additional damages from me to cover your defense expenses, the inconvenience, the time your product was pulled off the market. That's the other fun thing, while you are trying to prove your innocence, I can get the govt to pull your product off the market so you don't have any money coming in to spend on lawyers for the ~18 months it'll take. Only the big businesses have those kinds of reserves. Even if you do win, you're down a year and a half of income and have lost a lot of market share that you'll have a very hard time getting back since the new customers have been buying from someone else due to lack of you as an option.

    Combine that with near rubber-stamp patent reviews on overly-broad wording, and you have the mess that is the current patent system.

  • Re:Teach her to sign (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nblender ( 741424 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @09:09AM (#40307817)

    Agreed. We started teaching our son ASL when he was 6mos. He signed his first sign at 8mos (milk). By a year, he was telling us what he wanted to eat at mealtime and asking questions like "where is my bear?".. Even after he became verbal and even today (almost 11 yo) he still uses some of his retained ASL to communicate when his mouth is full or when he's too far away to yell ("Mom! 5 more minutes!")...

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI