Apple Sued For Patent Infringement Over One Of The Broadest Patents You'll Ever See

from the take-a-gander dept

So we see bizarre and ridiculous patent claims all the time, but this one really seems to go beyond any level of ridiculous, and I can't wait to see how patent system defenders explain this one. A company called NetAirus has sued Apple for patent infringement over a patent it applied for in 1999 and received in 2006 for a wireless handset communication system (patent 7,103,380) that is so broad and so generic, it's hard to see how it could possibly have been approved. Patents are supposed to be for specific implementations, not the idea, but if you read through the claims (there are just 14 of them), they seem to all cover very generic concepts that describe putting a mobile phone and a PDA on the same device -- a concept that was widely discussed in the mid-90s when everyone was using their PalmPilots, and wondering when they'd merge into mobile phones. It's really quite stunning that a patent so broad got approved. Please, patent system defenders, explain how the claims on this patent make sense.

In the meantime, though, this lawsuit really highlights the difference between an idea and execution. Having an idea and getting a patent is pretty meaningless if you don't actually build something. Apple built a product -- and not just the vague product described in the patent: they built something really impressive. Ideas mean little in the long run. Execution is everything. But when we allow companies to patent basic ideas and sue the companies that actually execute? You've set up a market that hinders true innovation.


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  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 12:15pm

    Careful

    "... that is so broad and so generic, it's hard to see how it could possibly have been approved."

    As opposed to...?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Careful

    So narrow and so specific that it's hard to see how it could possibly not have been approved?

     

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  3.  
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    Hulser (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 12:25pm

    a patent...so broad and so generic, it's hard to see how it could possibly have been approved

    This question comes up all of the time on TechDirt, but as far as I've seen, it seems to always just be as background leading to a another example of an outrageous patent. But seriously, why do patents like this get approved? What could possibly have been going on in the mind of the person who approved this patent? I believe that the patent office is incentivized to approve patents, but it just seems like there has to be more to it than this.

    Has there been a study actually done of the patent office itself or interviews done of patent office employees?

    Don't the people who work in the patent office know that to a large segment of the population, they are a laughing stock?

    Do they just not care that people think they're stupid, evil, or both?


    (Personally I'd be in favor of major patent reform, but it seems like even if just this simple problem could be identified and fixed, a lot of the worst examples would go away.)

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Another example of the patent system doing just what Thomas Jefferson intended

    If NetAirus' idea was so great, why couldn't they get funding to bring the idea to market?

     

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  5.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Careful

    [Citation Needed]

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Another example of the patent system doing just what Thomas Jefferson intended

    No doubt it was Apple's fault somehow.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Another example of the patent system doing just what Thomas Jefferson intended

    "If NetAirus' idea was so great, why couldn't they get funding to bring the idea to market?"


    Because it's cheaper to invest in a lawyer than it is to invest effort in hiring the right people, and find a VC firm to bring a product to market.

    That said, we should all continue investing our time searching for that parallel universe that realistically values ideas and patent claims to something tangible, and on store shelves. Once upon a time, there was this thing called "profit" where you were rewarded for your own hard work, not the hard work of others.

     

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  8.  
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    Alan Gerow (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Careful

    Citation for what? Making a logically inverse statement?

     

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  9.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Re: What could have been going on in the mind . . .

    > What could possibly have been going on in the mind
    > of the person who approved this patent?


    This: . . . man I've got so many patents to rubber stamp today. I get paid so little. I get no time to research any of them. Oh, and it's almost lunchtime.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: What could have been going on in the mind . . .

    You clearly have no clue how the PTO works. They have their own GS pay scale, well above the OPM GS scale. They make plenty and have plenty of time for research. Who pays their salaries? Inventors paying filing fees.

     

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  11.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Careful

    *sigh*

    Comedy Fail.

     

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  12.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Careful

    It wasn't drama win?
    I seriously wanted to know what happens to the guy at lunch...
    ; P

     

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    Mugwump (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    Smartphones predate the application

    Qualcomm's PDQ phone (Palm PDA + phone) _shipped_ in 1999, and was announced in 1998.

    Wikipedia says the first "smartphone" was sold by IBM in 1992.

     

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    Jimr (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    It is easier to just approve everything and then let the court system determine the validatility. In the seemingly infinite information age no one group can actually determine all prior art for a patent - it is just to hard so it must be left up to the courts in the case of any challenge.

    Plus it generates work for lawyers and hence some tax money.

     

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  15.  
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    Anon, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Careful

    Rather:

    So narrow and so specific that it's easy not to see how it could impossibly haven't not been unapproved.

     

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  16.  
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    Hulser (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: What could have been going on in the mind . . .

    Who pays their salaries? Inventors paying filing fees.

    So, is it really just as simple as that? The patent office is incentivized to approve more patents because they are paid per approved patent? (It seems like they should get paid regardless of whether the patent is approved or not.) If this really is the case, then whenever someone suggests a major overhaul of the patent system or even getting rid of the patent system, the reply should be "Well, why don't we just start with the relatively small change of altering the incentive so that patent approvers are not paid per approved patent, but per reviewed patent." In my experience, implementing a small change that can have a big effect is the better option than jumping right to a major change.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Careful

    My head exploded.

     

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  18.  
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    Bubba Gump (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Careful

    Don't worry, CHT, most of us get it (and laugh) :-)

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: What could have been going on in the mind . . .

    "They make plenty and have plenty of time for research."

    Sure, but what do they end up spending those research dollars on? Where does it all go? I wonder if patent office administrators own fancy cars and big houses.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Expect TAM to jump in any second with the argument that it wasn't obvious then but it's obvious now.

     

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  21.  
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    Make the PTO pay for their mistakes, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: What could have been going on in the mind . . .

    Ok, so if we are going to keep this ridiculous system then there has to be a penalty paid by a patent officer (or the Patent Office itself) that approves a patent that subsequently gets struck down.

    How about something simple like awarding costs for a failed patent against the Patent Office. Make them liable for their mistakes. If they have a rogue/lazy/incompetent patent officer who caused them repeated costs then I am pretty sure he would be 'reassigned' pretty quickly.

    The problem is that by the time a failed patent gets struck down the assigning officer has probably been promoted to senior management at the PTO.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What could have been going on in the mind . . .

    Well there are subsequent fees later (i.e. maintenance) if a patent is approved but that doesnt mean a particular application fee was a bribe to a particular examiner. However: the PTO takes no money from Treasury, they're funded via fees. So...

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What could have been going on in the mind . . .

    You have to look at it from an economics perspective. Every time someone applies for a patent they pay fees. Well, if the patent office approved no patents people would stop applying for patents and so no one would be paying fees. So they have incentive to approve enough patents to give patent applicants incentive to apply for new patents and pay patent fees.

     

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  24.  
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    Jack, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    It doesn't matter what tech types/engineers think about patent law or copyright law - they are as utterly lost, ignorant and uninformed about law as a lawyer is regarding the nuts & bolts of coding in C++ vs. Java. Truthfully, even more so.

     

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  25.  
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    Hulser (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What could have been going on in the mind . . .

    the PTO takes no money from Treasury, they're funded via fees

    By itself, this doesn't seem to be a conflict-of-interest problem, but if this gets pushed down to the individual examiner level such that they are rewarded for more approved patents, then yeah, that'd be a problem in my mind.

    I'm actually not sure if what the incentive is for an individual examiner, but however it works, it just seems to me that much if not most of the discussion on TechDirt of patents would be moot if the patent office incentives were corrected.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

    I think I will apply for a patent where moving images are displayed on a device and meant to convey a message. I could sue EVERYONE!!!!!

     

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  27.  
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    bigpicture, May 5th, 2010 @ 1:52pm

    Straight Forward

    Is everything always as straightforward as it would seem on the surface? When you attack you usually get attacked back. Apple indirectly and directly attacked Google, Adobe and HTC and expected to come away unscathed? How many retaliations against Apple have there been since their attack? And who might actually have initiated them, and who might be paying the lawyers? The companies who actually own the patents might only be a front?

     

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  28.  
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    Josef, May 5th, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    Dead in the water

    After reading through the patent, it seems that patent is centered around the notebook structure of the device. Neither the iPhone nor iPad fit the description of this patent. Neither of them have a separate keyboard.

    This patent looks like some guys back in the 90s who couldn't foresee touch screens, did a mash of 3 things they guessed would merge at some point in the future and just targeted to closest thing they could find that was successful.

    Basically any netbook that uses Skype is infringing on that patent. They should go after Dell and Lenovo and HP next.

     

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  29.  
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    Adam Wasserman (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What could have been going on in the mind . . .

    I clearly remember back when... in 1997-98 before things got too seriously crazy, I was following what was then a minor amount of static emanating from the USPTO.

    USPTO was *begging* for increased budgets to handle both an increase in patent application volumes of about 6% but more importantly the ability to hire new examiners qualified to asses the new breed of patent applications claiming software and business process. In 1995 the existing examiners had not a clue, but had maintained some integrity up to that point. But pressure was mounting to clear out the backlog, and that meant either hiring new qualified people, or somewhat blindly approving or dismissing applications.

    Their pleas were completely ignored by Congress so the choice was to blindly approve or reject.

    Well approving applications rarely increases the workload. Rejecting them however ensures that some percentage of those applications will contest and drag out and just be a general nuisance.

    Guess which road the USPTO chose? That (IMO) led to State Street which led to a gold rush of patent speculation. Patent awards increased by over 30% 1998, God only knows by how much patent *applications* increased.

    Guess what else: processing volumes went up over 30%. Budget (which in those days was collected fees minus a 10% kickback that Congress skimmed off the top) went up almost 100%! Ho ho, maybe rubber stamping patent applications isn't so bad after all.

    Just for giggles, here is a point of comparison USPTO is now approving 190k patents per year and is collecting/spending 2.3 billion.

    You do the math. Hulser has a good point.

     

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  30.  
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    Adam Wasserman (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    small clarification

    I just realized I only mention percentages, not volumes for 95 and 98.

    Volumes look like this:

    1991 107K
    1995 114k
    1998 163k
    2009 192k

     

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  31.  
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    SD, May 5th, 2010 @ 2:49pm

    What other device do you know of that existed before 1999 that had a short range transceiver in it for exchanging email and a long range transceiver most likely for voice?

    You are so quick to trash the patent system because technologies developed 10 years ago are obvious now, but think back to 1999, Windows 98 still didn't even work right and the Motorola TAC (analog AMPS) was about the best phone available. There were no major digital wireless carriers, CDMA was new, GSM didn't show up in the US for another couple years. And our offices still mostly used 10baseT Ethernet. Wireless email in a digital phone in or before 1999? My guess is that those trashing this patent weren't there.

     

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  32.  
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    JTO (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    SD,
    When dinosaurs ruled the Earth, my pager had a phone feature. It could do 2-way text paging and, therefore, could be interpreted as email. I always had the option of calling back the number right from the pager. It was a pretty fancy pager.

    A few years later, my fancy mobile phone could accept pages, but they were brought in through the local pager network, as text messaging wasn't around yet. It was nice because, even though my mobile service would die, I could still receive text pages. Again, that pager could be considered a form of electronic mail...

     

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  33.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 4:28pm

    Masnick is qualified to render opinions ?

    Mike Masnick says: "So we see bizarre and ridiculous patent claims all the time" "Ideas mean little in the long run. Execution is everything."

    To which I ask, except for his business interactions with various members of the Coalition for Patent Piracy & Fairness what does Mike actually know about the subject?

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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  34.  
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    Hulser (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What could have been going on in the mind . . .

    But pressure was mounting to clear out the backlog, and that meant either hiring new qualified people, or somewhat blindly approving or dismissing applications.

    A ha. Very interesting. I think "pressure" is just another way to say "incentive" or in the case, "disincentive" would be more appropriate. In other words, if the problem is that the management of the PTO office is being measured by the size of the backlog, then the system needs to change to factor out the backlog. If Congress doesn't want to pay for more examiners, then fine, less patents will be examined. But surely there is a system that could be put in place that used a metric of how much work examiners are doing and (gasp!) the quality of the work that didn't punish the organization for something that was out of their control.

    Well approving applications rarely increases the workload. Rejecting them however ensures that some percentage of those applications will contest and drag out and just be a general nuisance.

    But not all, so if you gave rejecting a patent application equal weight for an how the performance of an examiner is measured as accepting or re-evaluating a patent, then this wouldn't be an issue. In fact, it might even increase the number of rejections and that probably wouldn't be a bad thing.

    Also, I think it's helpful to make a distinction between "workload" and "backlog". An individual's workload is whatever they say it is. If an examiner has to accept, reject, or re-examine (in the case of a contested patent) X number of patent applications, then that's
    their workload. For the most part, an individual's workload should be independent of the organization's backlog.

    The insight you've provided just makes me think all the more that we (people who are concerned about the issues highlighted on TechDirt) should be focused on supporting a restructuring of the PTO's reward system. Heck, couldn't the president just issue an executive order to make this kind of change? It wouldn't be changing any material aspect of patent law, just how to process performance evaluations for patent examiners and their supervisors.

    HR could knock out the new forms in a few hours! /s

     

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  35.  
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    Any Mouse, May 5th, 2010 @ 5:00pm

    Re:

    And lawyers would appear to be no better informed. Off the high horse, jackass, before you break your neck.

     

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  36.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 5:06pm

    Re:

    What other device do you know of that existed before 1999 that had a short range transceiver in it for exchanging email and a long range transceiver most likely for voice?

    But that's the thing: everyone knew it was coming. There was nothing non-obvious about it: it was just that no one had built it yet, because there was still a wait to get stuff smaller and more powerful -- which everyone knew would happen eventually.

    But nothing in this patent is about the *how* of getting all of that into a single device. It just describes the idea of a single device -- which almost anyone could have described at the time.

     

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  37.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Masnick is qualified to render opinions ?

    To which I ask, except for his business interactions with various members of the Coalition for Patent Piracy & Fairness what does Mike actually know about the subject?

    Well, let's see. I've built a successful internet business that does pretty well. I know the difference between idea and execution, because I've done it.

    What business do you run, Ronald?

    And while we're at it, I know I've asked you about 55 times already, but I'm still waiting for you to show me the one piece of evidence that disproves the nearly 2 dozen studies we've discussed here about problems with the patent system. I find it quite odd that you still refuse to point to a single one, since it would do so much to support your argument. That you haven't done this, despite me asking for about 4 straight months now makes me wonder: could it be that such evidence does not exist?

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 6:02pm

    Re: A clown is qualified to render opinions ?

    "To which I ask, except for his business interactions with various members of the Coalition for Patent Piracy & Fairness what does Mike actually know about the subject?"

    To which I ask, except for burger and fries what does a clown like Ronald know about?

    Like all clowns Ronald is always there for a good laugh.

    Just for fun I decided to post Ronald's real associations

    Laughing at his expense.
    President - www.mcdonalds.com
    Executive Director - www.fryguys.com
    Senior Clown - www.worldclown.com
    President - Alliance for shits and giggles
    Caretaker of comedic creations on behalf of deceased founders Richard and Maurice McDonald
    Goobertown, AR
    Direct (555) 555-5555 - (555) 555-555 - Donut time to Happy hour CST.

     

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  39.  
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    SD, May 5th, 2010 @ 7:56pm

    Sorry Mike but I disagree with the comment about everyone knew it was coming. I worked at Airtouch Cellular up to '97 and there was nothing like this even being discussed. No one had yet figured a way to reliably send computer data across a cellular phone network so the concept of devices that could use this service would have been pretty far fetched.

    The US Congress granted the patent office the responsibility to grant patents to the first one to invent a device and file for a patent on it. That is providing that the invention had not already been invented, and that the invention is not an obvious extension or combination of other inventions.

    Show me any device or even combinations of devices that contains most of the elements of either claim 1 or 7 that existed prior to the filing date and I'll accept your argument. But saying that because there were a bunch of Geeks somewhere that envisioned a future with handheld computers that could send email (not text messages as someone said) and place voice calls invalidates a patent is just stupid. Show me the hardware!

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 8:29pm

    Re:

    Even in 1997, a handheld wireless device was blatantly obvious. Why? Moore's Law (which was coined in 1965, a full 32 years prior) dictated that the power of circuits would double every two years. The Law had already been widely accepted and used in the mainstream world, largely because it was so accurate.

    So, in 1997, anyone who had EVER heard of Moore's Law could tell you, with confidence, that if something was presently capable, then sometime in the future a device that was significantly smaller would be able to do the same thing.

    Just because your company didn't know how to extrapolate a graph doesn't mean everyone else in the tech world was so oblivious.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 9:03pm

    Re:

    Here I'll save you some time.. wireless pagers were sending and receiving email in 94. Some had both short and long range transceivers especially the international models. I know this because in 96 I developed a boot strap for a specific type of pager.

     

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  42.  
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    Nick Coghlan (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 10:42pm

    Re: Masnick is qualified to render opinions ?

    RJR wrote:
    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Hey, RJR, if you're really only speaking on your own behalf, why do you insist on padding out every single post (even the one-liners) with half a page of your professional associations?

    Nobody else here seems to find it necessary to appeal to the authority of the positions they hold rather than letting their arguments speak for themselves. Why do you?

    Drop the list of associations and you could drop the disclaimer, too.

     

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  43.  
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    JEDIDIAH, May 5th, 2010 @ 10:54pm

    Re:

    > What other device do you know of that existed before 1999
    > that had a short range transceiver in it for exchanging
    > email and a long range transceiver most likely for voice?

    If such a device didn't exist, it was because the requisite parts didn't exist or weren't economical to produce on a mass scale. This is like there being a lack of MPEG2 encoder devices available to consumers in 1998.

    Hooking up a wireless modem to a computer becomes pretty obvious once the wireless modem becomes available.

    It's not rocket science to put computer components together like Lego bricks. It's not something that is worthy of becoming yet another legal landmine.

    Not everyone is a clueless n00b consumer that needs to be led around by the nose by Steve Jobs.

     

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  44.  
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    Willton, May 5th, 2010 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Re:

    But that's the thing: everyone knew it was coming. There was nothing non-obvious about it: it was just that no one had built it yet, because there was still a wait to get stuff smaller and more powerful -- which everyone knew would happen eventually.

    I see. Can you provide some evidence to back up this claim? Bald assertions that lack evidentiary support get you nowhere, Mike.

     

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  45.  
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    Willton, May 5th, 2010 @ 11:00pm

    Re: Re:

    Even in 1997, a handheld wireless device was blatantly obvious. Why? Moore's Law (which was coined in 1965, a full 32 years prior) dictated that the power of circuits would double every two years. The Law had already been widely accepted and used in the mainstream world, largely because it was so accurate.

    So, in 1997, anyone who had EVER heard of Moore's Law could tell you, with confidence, that if something was presently capable, then sometime in the future a device that was significantly smaller would be able to do the same thing.


    That's a cockamamie explanation of why you think this is obvious. Your citation to an abstract law does not explain why this specific technology was obvious in light of what was already known. You may as well have said that it was obvious 1999 because God told you so.

     

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  46.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 6th, 2010 @ 12:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I see. Can you provide some evidence to back up this claim?

    Because I was there? Because I had these discussions with people in 1997 when I worked at Intel?

    But, I'm curious Wilton, seriously, what in this patent is new or non-obvious. Please, do explain. What in this patent *actually* explains to someone skilled in the art anything they wouldn't have already known. Really. I'm waiting.

     

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  47.  
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    SD, May 6th, 2010 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike,

    The entire idea of patents being a public disclosure of how to make something where the description needs to be understandable by one skilled in the art presupposes that one skilled in the art is going to understand all of the bits and pieces used and described. Basically the idea is that one skilled in the art is going to be able to build this thing once they read the patent. The ahah comes from it being a new combination of basic building blocks that creates something new. If an EE in the 90s wasn't familiar with each of the claim elements of this patent then they wouldn't be skilled in the art.

    The power of a patent is in the claims not the drawings or the body. Please, before you trash patents, read the independent claims and find a device that includes all or even most of the things described before the filing date. If you can't do it then shut up. Sometimes it is possible, but it is fairly rare.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2010 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mr. Masnick:

    It was you who made an unqualfied statement, and it was Wilton who requested you to provide information of an evidentiary nature to back it up. Just my view, but it seems to me it is incumbent on you to answer his question so that he then has information in hand to provide a proper rejoinder.

     

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  49.  
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    staff, May 6th, 2010 @ 7:26am

    "Having an idea and getting a patent is pretty meaningless if you don't actually build something"

    Often times throughout the course of history fundamental discoveries are later used by others to build businesses and products around. Did you ever hear of James Watt, Joseph Lister, or Charles Babbage? Does that make their discoveries any less important?

     

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  50.  
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    Vic Kley, May 6th, 2010 @ 7:50am

    Apple Sued (this is news? Apple the serial infringer no idea to small to steal)

    The elements of this patent will be tested in court and indeed if the ideas used by Apple were in the public domain they may prevail. A patent is the right to legally protect your idea and suing is and has always been a necessary part of that right.

    Here and in other more criminal matters media types have always tried to influence the public and this blog is no different except it choses to call one litigant a name "troll" while the other litigant is somehow good! That's right FOLKS Apple sues others for patent infringement on patented ideas it did not invent and does not manufacture. In fact Apple hasn't manufactured anything for many years.

     

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  51.  
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    Gatewood Green (profile), May 6th, 2010 @ 8:22am

    Re:

    You say there was nothing like this being discussed, yet in the paragraph: "No one had yet figured a way to reliably send computer data across a cellular phone network"

    It does not matter is the idea was far fetched, that it was considered by people at all means that yes, it was obvious. By '95 modems were fairly common and if one could do it on a land line, one could do it on a cell line if at a (at that time far) slower bit rate to compensate for the line quality.

    Today's side channel communication on cell networks is a far cry different from what was done yesterday, but speaking as someone who sold both computers and cell phones in the early to mid 90's (anyone remember bag phones?), the idea was coming. Even movies of the day hinted at it. Consider also that caller ID is a data stream to the cell phone from the cell company.

    HAMs had been transferring two-way data over wireless before then as had many commercial interests. All that was being waiting on was a convenient sized package. Finally, remember that "3G" or 3rd generation defined in the IMT-2000 specification is actually set of standards *approved* by the ITU in 1999. The writing was on the wall far before then.

    Food for thought.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2010 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you serious?

    So you're saying that in an industry where the main source of advancement is size reduction and technology aggregation, the aggregation of existing mobile phone and wireless technology into a smaller device was not obvious?

     

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    nasch (profile), May 6th, 2010 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Please, before you trash patents, read the independent claims and find a device that includes all or even most of the things described before the filing date.

    That would be prior art. Even if there were no prior art, it could still fail the obviousness test.

    This was filed in 1999? And anybody seriously thinks it wasn't obvious that soon there was going to be a combination PDA/cell phone? Even if the patent only covers something with a keyboard. Weren't there cellular data cards for laptops by then? Wifi was on the market by the early 90s. Bluetooth was invented in 1994. My recollection is that by the early 2000s, PDAs were already on the decline because of the rise of smartphones. It doesn't seem plausible that would be the case if nobody thought of this idea until 1999. Seriously, you think someone working in this field wouldn't see these technologies coming together?

    And that grants your claim that there was no such device on the market already. Depending on what exactly was in the patent that I haven't read because I don't want my head to explode, even that claim may be disputed.

     

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    nasch (profile), May 6th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    Did you ever hear of James Watt, Joseph Lister, or Charles Babbage?

    Yes, yes, and yes. And I would think a great many people around here have, too. You might want to pick more obscure figures if you were trying to find unknown people who made contributions to society. Or post somewhere with more ignorance. ;-) Besides which, if you're claiming those guys had ideas but didn't build anything with them, I'm pretty sure you're mistaken.

     

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    Willton, May 6th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So you're saying that in an industry where the main source of advancement is size reduction and technology aggregation, the aggregation of existing mobile phone and wireless technology into a smaller device was not obvious?

    Without more information about the size of the hurdles for doing so and the extent to which an ordinary practitioner would know how to overcome them, I'm saying that one cannot reasonably come to the conclusion that such aggregation was obvious.

    Just because the industry likes to combine technologies and make them smaller, faster, and cheaper does NOT mean that reducing such technologies to practice was obvious for one of ordinary skill in the art. You have to provide more evidence of obviousness if you want to prove your case.

     

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    Willton, May 6th, 2010 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That would be prior art. Even if there were no prior art, it could still fail the obviousness test.

    No, it can't. A determination of obviousness has to be based on one or more pieces of prior art. You can't claim that something was obvious without basing it off of what was known at the time. Otherwise you are exercising hindsight bias.

     

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    Willton, May 6th, 2010 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But, I'm curious Wilton, seriously, what in this patent is new or non-obvious. Please, do explain. What in this patent *actually* explains to someone skilled in the art anything they wouldn't have already known. Really. I'm waiting.

    Mike, YOU are the one claiming that it's obvious. Why don't YOU explain why it is obvious? Perhaps you could even support your argument with actual evidence, instead of your elitist opinion that "I was there."

    I'm happy to rely on the fact that a USPTO patent examiner examined the claims, compared it to the prior art he or she found in a prior art search, and then determined that the prior art did not anticipate or render obvious the eventually allowed claims. Presumably, the patent examiner was actually doing his or her job. I would suggest that if you think otherwise, then you should have to prove your case.

     

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    Willton, May 6th, 2010 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To wit, Mike, I have not made any claim as to whether the claims allowed in this patent are obvious or not. I am merely pointing out that your bald assertions of whether something is obvious or not are merely that: bald assertions.

     

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    SD, May 6th, 2010 @ 10:51am

    To all of you that say this one was obvious, put yourself in the examiners shoes, your intuition, life experiences, wet dreams, and herd of nerd conversations do not count in turning down someone'e patent application. You must do a search and find a document, any document including tech pubs, master's thesis, product info and conference presentations, issued patents and filed applications. You must identify within these docs or products each of the claim elements or show how the prior art teaches the invention or show why the invention is obvious based upon the prior art. If you cannot than you must issue the patent.

    Saying that there was a cell phone that could receive and transmit text messages shows that you have little understanding of how to compare these features with the claim elements and is just a big demonstration of your ignorance.

    Read the claims find the docs and put up or shut up.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 6th, 2010 @ 11:01am

    Re:

    You must do a search and find a document, any document including tech pubs, master's thesis, product info and conference presentations, issued patents and filed applications.

    As others have pointed out, you seem to repeatedly confuse "new" with "obvious." Prior art shows what's new. Not what's obvious.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 6th, 2010 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, YOU are the one claiming that it's obvious. Why don't YOU explain why it is obvious? Perhaps you could even support your argument with actual evidence, instead of your elitist opinion that "I was there."

    That's not an "elitist opinion." It's fact. I was there. I had those discussions, and I know those discussions were regularly going on because if you hung out with engineers in the mobile space in Silicon Valley around this time, it's what everyone was talking about.

    I'm happy to rely on the fact that a USPTO patent examiner examined the claims, compared it to the prior art he or she found in a prior art search, and then determined that the prior art did not anticipate or render obvious the eventually allowed claims. Presumably, the patent examiner was actually doing his or her job. I would suggest that if you think otherwise, then you should have to prove your case.

    And it's this sort of ridiculousness that makes most people in Silicon Valley recognize how ridiculous the patent system is and all of you who profit off of it. How do you prove the fact that this was a concept that anyone in the space was well aware was coming? There isn't prior art because it hadn't been done yet, but all of the different pieces were there and people were talking about how we would eventually combine them.

    I find it really troubling that you seem to think that my actual experience is somehow "elitist." Or that my actual conversations were meaningless.

    To me, that's stunning and obnoxious.

    You're happy to rely on one guy who was nowhere near where all of this work was going on to tell you, but when someone who WAS there tells you, you mock him as being elitist?

    Wow. Wilton. That's incredible.

     

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    Willton, May 6th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And it's this sort of ridiculousness that makes most people in Silicon Valley recognize how ridiculous the patent system is and all of you who profit off of it. How do you prove the fact that this was a concept that anyone in the space was well aware was coming? There isn't prior art because it hadn't been done yet, but all of the different pieces were there and people were talking about how we would eventually combine them.

    And here is where you show your shortcomings in this discussion. First, as has been said to you numerous times, patents do not protect concepts; they protect inventions. Just because the concept had been bandied about in your conversations does NOT mean that reducing such a concept to a practicable invention was obvious to one with ordinary skill in the art.

    Second, the way you prove that such concepts were available and/or inevitably in the offing is by pointing to public disclosures that say as much, whether it be actual pieces of the invention that had not been combined yet, or a publication on how to put such pieces together to create the invention, or something else along those lines. The public does not benefit from inside baseball conversations held by Intel employees if those conversations remain within the walls of Intel.

    Third, the fact that there is no prior art (or so you say) is pretty strong evidence that this particular invention was not obvious. After all, if it was so obvious at the time, then why hadn't it already been made?

    I find it really troubling that you seem to think that my actual experience is somehow "elitist." Or that my actual conversations were meaningless.

    To me, that's stunning and obnoxious.


    Your actual experience is not something that one can use as evidence to invalidate a patent unless you can provide something that was produced as a result of your actual experience. Merely claiming that "I was there" does not tell us anything unless you have something to show for it.

    What I find elitist is your attitude that, because you were "there," no one should question you as to whether something is obvious or not. If your actual experience provides you with particular insight as to how something is obvious, then you should be able to share that insight in enough detail to be able to prove your case. You'll have to excuse me if I'm not convinced of your position merely because you were "there."

    You're happy to rely on one guy who was nowhere near where all of this work was going on to tell you, but when someone who WAS there tells you, you mock him as being elitist?

    That one guy is charged with the duty of determining whether a particular patent application is worthy of granting for Leters Patent. That one guy did a lot of work examining the claims of the patent application, including issuing over 10 Office Actions, each one rejecting the claims presented by the Applicant. I'm willing to bet that the examiner spent a considerable amount of time searching the prior art looking for publicly available information that would render the claims either anticipated or obvious.

    If the examiner was not privy to the information about which you and your fellow Intel folks were discussing, then perhaps that's because such information was being kept secret. If that's the case, then you and your fellow Intel compatriots have only yourselves to blame for allowing such a patent to issue by keeping such information secret.

     

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    Willton, May 6th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re:

    As others have pointed out, you seem to repeatedly confuse "new" with "obvious." Prior art shows what's new. Not what's obvious.

    And as has been explained to you numerous times, one cannot claim something is obvious without basing it off of what was previously known. Prior art serves as the base of knowledge from which we can make judgments as to whether something is obvious or not. If you cannot produce a piece of prior art that shows what was publicly known at the time the invention was made, then you have no standing for saying that something is an obvious extension of what was already known.

    I am absolutely amazed that after the 3 years I've watched you talk about this issue, you still have not grasped the notion that one cannot make a claim of obviousness out of thin air. If you want to claim something is obvious, then you have to provide a basis for that claim.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 6th, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And here is where you show your shortcomings in this discussion. First, as has been said to you numerous times, patents do not protect concepts; they protect inventions.

    Please, oh great patent lawyer, tell me what was "invented" in this patent. Really. What's new? I wait... What is in there that is an invention and not just taking a bunch of concepts that were already around and lumping them all together?

    Second, the way you prove that such concepts were available and/or inevitably in the offing is by pointing to public disclosures that say as much, whether it be actual pieces of the invention that had not been combined yet, or a publication on how to put such pieces together to create the invention, or something else along those lines. The public does not benefit from inside baseball conversations held by Intel employees if those conversations remain within the walls of Intel.

    Or you TALK TO ANYONE who worked in the space. You know, like the law says. Was it obvious to those skilled in the art? Why not freaking ask them?

    Third, the fact that there is no prior art (or so you say) is pretty strong evidence that this particular invention was not obvious. After all, if it was so obvious at the time, then why hadn't it already been made?


    You clearly are not an engineer. If you understand even the slightest thing about technology trends, you recognize where technology is heading and what can be done in the future with it. As stated earlier, the stuff had not been combined yet because it wasn't small enough to do reasonably, but *everyone* in the space who would qualify as being "skilled in the art" knew that stuff was shrinking and it was getting cheaper (look up Moore's law) and it would be possible soon enough.

    Your actual experience is not something that one can use as evidence to invalidate a patent unless you can provide something that was produced as a result of your actual experience. Merely claiming that "I was there" does not tell us anything unless you have something to show for it.

    Um, plenty of other people in this thread have pointed to plenty of evidence that this was obvious at the time, and other things going on in the field that clearly implied where this was going.

    And I'm not saying no one can question me. Sure, they can. But at the very least you should point out WHY something is not obvious. I mean, all of the pieces in the claims were things that were out there.

    That one guy is charged with the duty of determining whether a particular patent application is worthy of granting for Leters Patent. That one guy did a lot of work examining the claims of the patent application, including issuing over 10 Office Actions, each one rejecting the claims presented by the Applicant. I'm willing to bet that the examiner spent a considerable amount of time searching the prior art looking for publicly available information that would render the claims either anticipated or obvious.

    And he failed. Blatantly. There's no other way to put it, other than the fact that he made a hug emistake.

    If the examiner was not privy to the information about which you and your fellow Intel folks were discussing, then perhaps that's because such information was being kept secret. If that's the case, then you and your fellow Intel compatriots have only yourselves to blame for allowing such a patent to issue by keeping such information secret.

    This wasn't just at Intel. It was everywhere. I'm sorry, it's tough to take you seriously when you make these claims.

    This is why so much of Silicon Valley thinks patent lawyers are ridiculous.

     

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    nasch (profile), May 6th, 2010 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not sure that's true. From Wikipedia: "Teaching-suggestion-motivation (TSM) test Further, the combination of previously known elements can be considered obvious. As stated by Winner Int'l Royalty Corp. v. Wang, 202 F.3d. 1340, 1348 (Fed. Cir., 2000), there must be a suggestion or teaching in the prior art to combine elements shown in the prior art in order to find a patent obvious. Thus, in general the critical inquiry is whether there is something in the prior art to suggest the desirability, and thus the obvious nature, of the combination of previously known elements. This requirement is generally referred to as the "teaching-suggestion-motivation" (TSM) test and serves to prevent against hindsight bias (In re Kahn, Fed. Cir. 2006). As almost all inventions are some combination of known elements, the TSM test requires a patent examiner (or accused infringer) to show that some suggestion or motivation exists to combine known elements to form a claimed invention. Some critics of the TSM test have claimed that the test requires evidence of an explicit teaching or suggestion to make a particular modification to the prior art, but the Federal circuit has made clear that the motivation may be implicit, and may be provided for example by an advantage resulting from the modification. In other words, an explicit prior art teaching or suggestion to make a particular modification is sufficient, but not required for a finding of obviousness." That sounds to me like documentation of someone's suggestion to combine elements (eg a phone, a keyboard, and a data transceiver) could indicate obviousness.

     

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    nasch (profile), May 6th, 2010 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    After all, if it was so obvious at the time, then why hadn't it already been made? By this standard, nothing could ever be obvious, because before it's been made, then it hadn't been made, so must not have been obvious. Circular reasoning.

     

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    Willton, May 6th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Please, oh great patent lawyer, tell me what was "invented" in this patent. Really. What's new? I wait... What is in there that is an invention and not just taking a bunch of concepts that were already around and lumping them all together?

    I don't know, as I am not an ordinary practitioner in the art, and I have not studied the prior art. That is why I have not rendered an opinion as to the quality of the claims that were allowed. Maybe they are obvious; maybe they are not.

    However, what I expect from someone who claims that the claims are obvious is some evidence to back that opinion up. You have yet to provide any such evidence.

    Or you TALK TO ANYONE who worked in the space. You know, like the law says. Was it obvious to those skilled in the art? Why not freaking ask them?

    And where does the law say that? I'm pretty familiar with the Patent Act and patentability jurisprudence, and not once have I seen anything in the law that says an examiner is required or even encouraged to ask people who worked in the space their recollection as to what was known at the time.

    Furthermore, what one person who used to work in the space knew at the time is NOT determinative as to what was PUBLICLY known at the time. Besides, if something recited by such a person was publicly known, then why would it not have been written down and published?

    You clearly are not an engineer. If you understand even the slightest thing about technology trends, you recognize where technology is heading and what can be done in the future with it. As stated earlier, the stuff had not been combined yet because it wasn't small enough to do reasonably, but *everyone* in the space who would qualify as being "skilled in the art" knew that stuff was shrinking and it was getting cheaper (look up Moore's law) and it would be possible soon enough.

    If that were the test, then everything would be obvious. You apparently think that if we have some abstract idea of what is possible, then regardless of when such possibilities become realities, it's all obvious. So much for invention.

    If that were the law, then it would seem to me that those "eventual" improvements on existing technology would take many years to develop, as fewer people would be interested in putting forth much effort to invent them, thereby prolonging the arrival of such improvements. That does not strike me as the proper incentive policy we want to institute. Thankfully, that is not the law.

    By the way, looking at the bolded part, wouldn't you say that getting the technology "small enough to do reasonably" is a significant hurdle to its creation? Wouldn't that hurdle preempt an obvious solution? If so, then why would you not reward the person who overcame it?

    Um, plenty of other people in this thread have pointed to plenty of evidence that this was obvious at the time, and other things going on in the field that clearly implied where this was going.

    And you provided none of it. All you did was appeal to the authority of "I was there." Those other people apparently understand what it means to provide evidence. You apparently do not.

    And I'm not saying no one can question me. Sure, they can. But at the very least you should point out WHY something is not obvious. I mean, all of the pieces in the claims were things that were out there.

    Agreed, I should point out such things if that was what I was claiming. However, if you look through this thread, you will notice that I never made a claim that this invention was not obvious. I merely said that I'm willing to accept the Examiner's determination over your appeal to authority because the Examiner is the one that did the actual work of examining the claims in light of the prior art. You have not done so.

    And he failed. Blatantly. There's no other way to put it, other than the fact that he made a hug emistake.

    Well then if you are so sure of it, perhaps you can point out where he failed.

    This wasn't just at Intel. It was everywhere. I'm sorry, it's tough to take you seriously when you make these claims.

    And it's tough to take you seriously WHEN YOU DO NOT PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF YOUR CLAIMS. You should be able to back up your assertions that "It was everywhere" with some verifiable evidence that such technology was public knowledge at the time the invention was made (i.e., as late as 1997). But again, you still have not done so.

     

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    Willton, May 6th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My appologies for breaking the HTML.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 6th, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    By the way, looking at the bolded part, wouldn't you say that getting the technology "small enough to do reasonably" is a significant hurdle to its creation? Wouldn't that hurdle preempt an obvious solution? If so, then why would you not reward the person who overcame it?

    Um, that's the whole freaking point. NOTHING IN THIS PATENT shows how to make a device small enough to do reasonably.

    Arguing with you is like arguing with a brick wall.

    All you did was appeal to the authority of "I was there." Those other people apparently understand what it means to provide evidence. You apparently do not.

    I'm not saying that by me alone saying it, it must be obvious, but that if the patent examiner had spoken to people who had been there, and yes, that IS the standard: the law asks: was this invention both new AND non-obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art. How best to determine that? YOU ASK SOMEONE OF ORDINARY SKILL IN THE ART.

    But, there are plenty of things that predated this. There was the IBM Simon, the Palm Pilot, the Qualcomm PDQ, the Apple Newton, the early RIM devices such as the RIM 900, the Nokia 9000 and many others, all of which predated this application. Beyond that, if I had the time I could dig out plenty of articles discussing these sorts of things.

    The reason I pointed out that it was obvious because I had been there was because it was true, and it was true of tons of people, and I figured that lots of people would point to those things -- AS THEY DID in the comments.

    Your response is that none of it matters, because you trust one bad patent examiner is really despicable.

     

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    Andrew D. Todd, May 6th, 2010 @ 9:00pm

    Star Trek and Obviousness.

    Science fiction is prior art, too-- don't forget that. That said, the Star Trek television series had a number of relevant props, notably the Tricorder and Communicator, back in the 1960's. Of course, the television shows do not describe any implementation, but they do describe the gross capacities of the devices. To my knowledge, that sort of thing goes back to the Dick Tracy comics in the 1930's.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tricorder

    Apparently, Apple is aware of this, and is asserting it, though I wasn't able to find an authoritative source, only n-th order tweets.

    Parenthetically, the patent is another of those with hardly any references to speak of-- no citations before 1991, and no non-patent citations. All that provides, at most, is a list of the people who paid thousands of dollars to patent attorneys to file patents in the last twenty years or so.

    I am going to say that it is obvious that a set of minimally related electrical or electronic boxes, which are, however, used together in a given context, can be consolidated into a single box and intercoupled. The primal example I can think of is the clock radio, in which appropriate information from the alarm clock is fed into the radio's controls. Clock radios date from about 1930, with the usual disputes over invention, that is, they date from within ten or fifteen years after the start of commercial broadcasting. A clearer case is aircraft instruments. Not only were instruments of the most various sort installed in a single panel, but by 1965 or so, the Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI) had come into use, with the magnetic compass, glideslope indicator, and Omnirange radio-navigation indicator all being reduced to a common display image (*), thus avoiding the need to correlate information by plotting it out on a piece of paper, after the fashion of maritime navigation. Of course, the HSI display eventually got incorporated into modern "glass cockpits."

    http://blog.onlineclock.net/clock-radio-history/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizon tal_situation_indicator

    (*) Achieved by purely mechanical means, with a bunch of nested dials mounted on nested shafts and geared together, rather like the hands of a watch.

    By 1985-90, a well equipped wooden desk had, inter alia, a computer on it, fitted with a hard drive and a modem, and also a telephone. Consulting the PC-SIG Encyclopedia of Shareware, Third Edition (1990), p. 113, I find notices of two different phone-Rolodex-type programs, which maintained databases of names, addresses, telephone numbers, etc., and used the dialer function of a Hayes-compatible voice modem to dial the telephone for voice conversations. Integration was well underway, subject to the limitations posed by the available hardware. The steps which had to be taken to get from the well equipped wooden desk of 1990 to an Iphone were 1) consolidation of everything into one convenient box-- obvious in view of their presence in a "work set" on the desk, 2) reduction in size, weight, and electric power requirements-- straight Moore's Law, in short, and 3) the replacement of the wireline telephone connection to the outside world with a radio set, that is, a cellphone or the equivalent. Again, the patentee does not seem to have contributed in any meaningful way to basic cellphone technology, any more than he has contributed to Moore's Law.

     

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    Any Mouse, May 7th, 2010 @ 12:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Obviousness? http://bit.ly/9EOd6t There's your obviousness. Your continued obnoxiousness is grating on the nerves. The fact that you refuse to follow the arguments given just proves you're trolling, a shill, or too dense for polite discussion, so let me break it down for you. I was in college at that time. Engineering, in fact. This sort of crap, and yes, it IS 'crap,' was being openly discussed even in college. You don't need a damned paper to 'prove' obviousness. There are times when a paper is just a waste of time, because everyone is already discussing it and making their own ideas on implementation. Implementation couldn't come around until certain advancements were already made, and they were NOT made towards this particular idea. I read the patent. Seriously, if you were to read it and understand it, you'd see issues with it, too. If you weren't making a buck off this sort of bullshit, anyways.

    Don't bother with a reply. It'll just wind up being the same brick wall you've been tossing up, anyways.

     

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

  72.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), May 14th, 2010 @ 4:38am

    Mike Spent His Formative years At Intel?

    Now I understand the combination of ignorance and arrogance. Intel has been breeding this kind of mindset for a very long time.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    I am speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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

  73.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), May 14th, 2010 @ 4:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike Masnick says "Silicon Valley around this time, it's what everyone was talking about."

    Mike, do you think that rubbing elbows with "everyone talking about" something actually confers any real expertise?

    There is a huge difference between talking about something and actually producing an invention. It is notable that Intel has been missing the boat on important inventions for a very long time.

    That is why their ass keeps getting sued and kicked by inventors and that is why Intel is a founding member of the Coalition for Patent Piracy & Fairness.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    I am speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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

  74.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), May 14th, 2010 @ 6:09am

    Re: Apple Sued (this is news? Apple the serial infringer no idea to small to steal)

    Isn't it gratifying that the public is finally starting to see Apple and other members of the Coalition for Patent Piracy & Fairness for what they are?

    It is a shame that the reality of producing a valuable invention is that Piracy Coalition members leave inventors with no choice except to sue. Media savvy, hiring bloggers and what not is not a good substitute for actually producing significant inventions.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    I am speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), May 14th, 2010 @ 6:17am

    Mike has never produced credible evidence.

    All the corporate shills on TechDIRT do is cite propaganda produced by other corporate shills. One big happy family of corporate stooges and shills.

    Clearly, some are paid stooges while others are just stupid pawns (read programmers).

    By the way, Patent Deform, a thinly veiled attempt to facilitate theft of inventions is going down in flames once again :)

    Ronald J. Riley,


    I am speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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

  76.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), May 14th, 2010 @ 6:30am

    Re: Re: Masnick is qualified to render opinions ?

    Mike asks "What business do you run, Ronald?"

    You should be able to easily find this information for yourself.

    I started my first business when I was 19, over forty years ago. I guess that means I have more experience at executing that you :) I run several for profit businesses, a 114 acre farm which produces nursery stock (trees which turn CO2 in oxygen), a R&D business, and we manufacture electrified monorail controllers and other industrial control products.

    I also run several community service organizations which for the purposes of these discussions I detail in my sig file.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    I am speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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

  77.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), May 14th, 2010 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: A clown is qualified to render opinions ?

    I disagree with much of what Mike Masnick has to say, especially when it comes to patents and inventions. But at least he is man enough to sign his name regardless of how ignorant some of his comments may be.

    You need to start doing the same and you also need to start replying to the substantive parts of a comment rather than focusing on petty crap like a sig file.

    I submit that this is evidence of your suffering from the Little Person Syndrome. It does not have to be this way, you do not need to wallow in self pity.

    Your self esteem will greatly improve if you start doing productive things. Become a creator rather than a destroyer.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    I am speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 2:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Masnick is qualified to render opinions ?

    And yet you still don't answer the big questions he asks. You keep looking for the petty answers, the easy way out, and never support your arguments with hard fact. Come on, come clean. You don't actually know what you're talking about, do you?

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    Ravi, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    These Patent Laws Need Improvements

    patents are not for fighting and suing other companies, i guess an improvement is required in patent laws (i am no expert in patents).

     

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


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