Hands-Free Cellular In Cars: Patented

from the sarcasm-the-whole-post-through dept

Johnson Controls, a leading provider of automotive sub-systems, has been granted a patent for a "Wireless Communication System That Enables 'Hands-free' Cellular Phone Use in Automobiles." Laws requiring hands-free driving are already enforced in a few jurisdictions, and are set to hit California in July of this year. With these laws, it's nice to know that a method for using Bluetooth as a hands-free conduit to the car's embedded radio and speakers is a patented idea. This way, we can be assured that the quality of implemented solutions is maintained, and that the inventors of this innovative idea are duly rewarded (in perpetuity) for their toil. With this legalized monopoly on Hands-Free car integration, Johnson Controls will now have the financial incentive to focus on the important inventions of tomorrow. Some may argue that a Bluetooth hands-free link is obvious, and doesn't merit a patent. Others will ask silly questions like "Isn't that what Bluetooth was supposed to do from its inception (prior to this patent filing) and later standardization?" But these oppositionazis are mistaken: this patent is "based on a patent application originally filed in the United States in 1999," back when nobody else could have ever conceived of using the car stereo and speakers for hands-free phone calls. The only reason we find this idea obvious today is because we have been exposed to the 1999 patent application, which fully revealed the brilliant invention to us... well, not entirely since the 1999 application was more vague and general, and this patent was actually just based on it and modified from 2000-2002. Wow. Hands-free through the car speakers. What will they think of next?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Brian, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 7:47am

    I'll patent "allows transfer of materials through the oesophagus" and sue everyone who eats.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    acm, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 7:57am

    It's too early in the morning for sarcasm.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Sean, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 7:58am

    Look for my next patent

    I'm in the process of getting a patent for, "doin shit with other shit."

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Sean, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 7:58am

    Look for my next patent

    I'm in the process of getting a patent for, "doin shit with other shit."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 8:01am

    I wonder..

    How much money did this company have to pay again to bribe the patent office?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    brwyatt, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 8:04am

    Next in line:

    Next "invention": a multi-touch interface using plastic "buttons" that provide physical user feedback while inserting characters into a document or controling other computer functions.

    I'm still waiting for someone to patent the patent system!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 8:04am

    Re:

    It's never too early for sarcasm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Ricky @ MWIR.net, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    WINNER!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    9_Lives, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 9:04am

    Johnson Controls better not even think about infringing against my patent:

    "Wireless Communication System that Enables Hands Free Coomunications between Vehicle Passengers"

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Richard Harlos, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 9:07am

    patent-ly absurd

    When I first learned that living things were being patented, I anticipated that the spirit behind applying for patents was forever lost among big money. Like so many things, what was once intended for good has been exploited for greed and power. The answer to such abuses lies in the self-determination of people to have more character and integrity, and since most of us realize how utopian and unlikely such a notion is, the fallback remedy becomes acts of legislation. The trouble with that fallback is that the legal system has already gone the route of exploitation, manipulation, and loop-hole hunting beyond it's original, well-intentioned spirit and, well... I suppose we all have little choice but to ride-out the current wave of power-clashes and greed-inspired abuses until things get better or -- goodness forbid! -- somebody gets hurt in the process ;)

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    dg, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 9:08am

    Even 1999 the patent was an old idea

    I used hands-free cellular in Europe already in early 90s. For example in Germany you can not talk on the cell unless you have hands-free installed in the car since 1995!

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Old Guy, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 9:19am

    Driver Communication Device

    I have just patented a communication device. It does require one hand. Its purpose is to let another driver know your current state of mind. And it's so simple. All you have to do is straighten your middle finger...ka-ching!

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Thom, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 9:53am

    I did this in the 70's

    I used hands free in the late 70's while I was in high school. It was with a good old CB Radio, the redneck equivalent of today's cell phone, and a voice activated microphone clipped to my steering wheel.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 1:03pm

    Finally

    This way, we can be assured that the quality of implemented solutions is maintained, and that the inventors of this innovative idea are duly rewarded (in perpetuity) for their toil. With this legalized monopoly on Hands-Free car integration, Johnson Controls will now have the financial incentive to focus on the important inventions of tomorrow.

    Finally, someone with some sense at Techdirt! After all the outrageous patent bashing done by Mike, it's good to see this Derek Kerton person recognize the true value of the patent system. Kudos!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Jan 17th, 2008 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Finally

    I really hope that post was sarcasm since the entire article was sarcastic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    redhammy, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 2:40pm

    Does anybody else think the name "johnson controls" is funny?

     

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  17.  
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    me, myself, and i, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 2:48pm

    Have they thought of this?

    putting meat between slices of bread...if not, i call dibs

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Re: Finally

    I really hope that post was sarcasm since the entire article was sarcastic.

    Do I really have to put in tags?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Big Bro, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 4:04pm

    "It utilizes Bluetooth technology, an open standard for short-distance, wireless communications."

    My favorite line from TFA.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Shun, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 4:33pm

    Proposed Patent

    Method of bribing Patent Clerk at USPTO with large wads of cash stuffed in plain manila envelopes

    I think this patent has a pretty good chance of surviving. What? Prior art? You don't say...

    Anyway, this doesn't prevent people from using any other method of remote control, other than bluetooth. One could use 2.4 Ghz, infrared, or EKG readings (some sort of telepathic control comes to mind) in order to signal the machine to call.

    Also, there is a large voice-and-speech recognition component in there, with the microphone "in the overhead console". One could conceivably patent a similar system which uses a different speech recognition system, or microphone anywhere but the overhead console. The possibilities are endless.

    I bet someone just pirates this and sells the machines in China for 1/10th the price. I'm hitting up eBay in about 3 months. I'll get me an iClone along the way.

    Just don't pay Johnson Controls their royalty. They obviously deserve however many pennies they get for this little gem.

     

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  21.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jan 18th, 2008 @ 5:54am

    Re #16

    No, you're not the only one.
    It is kind of funny. =D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2008 @ 11:17am

    idea alread existed prior to 1999

    This type of technology already existed in Japan prior to 1999. You could buy a stereo that was integrated with you phone and you used the stereos remote control to dial and answer calls.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Yanni, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 1:54am

    WORLDWIDE client base in the cell phone sector. Tremendous opportunity to get in the stock now. Check out how big the opportunity is at www.icoft.com/roke.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    advder, Dec 25th, 2008 @ 6:26pm

    video converter for mac

    If you want to convert all popular video files from one format to another format and convert video to audio for Mac OS X,just click here video converter for mac

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    mac, Jan 24th, 2009 @ 4:31am

    mac

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    mac, Jan 24th, 2009 @ 4:31am

    mac

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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