Share/E-mail This Story

Email This



IBM Trying To Patent Cure For Obama's BlackBerry Woes

from the isn't-that-convenient dept

theodp writes "Appearing Thursday on The View, President Obama lamented that his BlackBerry was no fun anymore, noting that only about 10 people had his BlackBerry personal e-mail address. 'I've got to admit it's no fun because they think it's going to be subject to the Presidential Records Act so nobody sends me the juicy stuff,' he ruefully added. Coincidentally, the USPTO disclosed on Thursday that IBM has a patent pending for a Cellular Telephone Using Multiple Accounts, which provides multiple SIM card slots to address the problems faced by 'an elected official [who] may be under legal restraints regarding the nature of calls which may be made from a particular telephone.' Without its invention, explains Big Blue, 'an official may use one telephone for calls in an official government capacity; another for calls to a re-election committee; and another for purely personal use.' IBM ran to the patent office with details of the new 'invention' (image) just days after Obama was told he could keep his BlackBerry for personal use, but would have to use an NSA-approved phone for anything government related."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Johan, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Prior art

    Maybe I'm failing to see the difference, but this seems an awful lot like the Dual Sim phones that are already on the market:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_SIM#Active_dual-SIM_phones

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Cowardly Annon, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    I'm not quite sure why this would need a patent. It's a rather obvious next step really.

    If you can have multiple accounts by using multiple Sim cards, the next step would be to put multiple Sim cards in a phone.

    I honestly hope this patent is rejected. It's fricken obvious!

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:17am

    "just days after Obama was told he could keep his BlackBerry for personal use, but would have to use an NSA-approved phone for anything government related."

    Who did we elect to set policy, the NSA or Obama? Seriously, why is the NSA telling Obama what he can and can't do, shouldn't it be the other way around?

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    Off brand Chinese clone phones have had this "invention" for years and years. What a crock.

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    Berenerd (profile), Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    Re:

    The president still has to abide by "Company Policies" he is not above the policy makers. I know..I made policies for state government departments before. I was not even above them...

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    P3T3R5ON (profile), Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:23am

    Re:

    It's for security purposes...encryption, location scrambling, etc. Having an electronic device with any form of wireless capabilities is like having a homing becon with you. All you need to do is know what device you are looking for and you can find it...

    Don't you watch NCIS man? Probie/Tim does it all the time

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re:

    Wait, so unelected officials get to make policy that potentially reduce govt transparency? Unelected officials get to make policies that govern those elected to govern? What the heck? How does this make any sense?

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    Matthew Stinar (profile), Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:33am

    Re:

    Remember, it's not about what you can create, it's about what you can get the USPTO to believe.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Fortunately, Obama is not a dictator (yet), so he does in fact have to operate within limits.

    Though if you want to complain about unelected officials making policy, I think a much more significant place to start would be the Fed, or any number of "czars" or Cabinet departments that set policy with a complete lack of accountability that should actually be done by Congress (the legislative branch is supposed to make policy, remember - the executive just enforces it)

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:37am

    Re:

    "I'm not quite sure why this would need a patent. It's a rather obvious next step really."

    I was carrying around 3 cell phones a while back. I wondered why no one had ever thought of putting multiple cards in the same phone. Its to fricken obvious.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think the biggest issue is encryption. Wireless signals can be intercepted. Perhaps the NSA broke blackberry's encryption and they know someone else can too. So they want the president to use encryption that they cannot currently break. The president being able to have a conversation that cannot be easily intercepted has nothing to do with transparency. Presidents have had secured telephone lines for a long time, nothing new there.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    moe, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    There's this group of people, collectively called Congress, that made the rules. And "we" elected them. So, the NSA didn't make the rules, they're just enforcing them. Luckily, we get to make changes to the people that make up Congress every 2 years, including this year.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re:

    "The president still has to abide by "Company Policies" he is not above the policy makers. I know..I made policies for state government departments before. I was not even above them..."
    Pish!
    Everybody knows the 'Law Makers' and their black dogs are above the law.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Rob, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:53am

    @Anonymous Coward (#3) - neither are elected to set policy, that's Congress' job. And Congress mandates that the NSA require all POTUS communications be secure, and that's why a standard Blackberry won't work for the President.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Michael, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re:

    Umm...there are lots of phones that can do this.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phones/beyond-e-tech-duet/4505-6454_7-33699725.html

    Are they trying to patent something different?

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And if you question it they send out the black helicopters.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    BruceLD, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 11:39am

    Subject

    They're trying to patent an idea before someone else does and scores a large profit off of it.

    Yes, that's right. It's about PROFIT and absolutely NOTHING more.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Jono, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 11:58am

    not sure what IBM's motives are yet...

    Although IBM has one of the largest patent portfolios in existence, they also, at least publicly, try to get patent law back under control.

    It seems that that they patent the most bizarre things in what may be an attempt to prove their point that patent law is out of control.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Stuart, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 12:59pm

    Re:

    Ummm. Right. The president of the US I am sure knows more about communications security than the NSA. He listens to the NSA on this shit cause they know what they are talking about. Unlike AC posters here I guess.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Michial Thompson, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    Dual Sim or not...

    If the American people provide the phone doesn't ANY use of said phone make it fall under the presidential records act?

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    rtan, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Phone in Asia already has this for at least 2 years. With multiple carriers and no unlimited call concepts, but a huge discount if you call someone on the same carriers, the phone there has multiple sim cards.

    You activate the SIM card to use based on who you want to call.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Of course this makes sense, in every organization across every land. CEOs don't do anything they wish in meatspace just because they want, they have a PR and Legal department that vets out every action. It doesn't seem too difficult that the President doesn't understand security protocols, so that task is left to a professional organization like the NSA.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    The catch is this feature will only be available on some lame featureless unwanted phone. Someone get the president a Kin.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 4th, 2010 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re:

    If "the policy makers" are part of the executive branch, which I'm pretty sure the NSA is, then the President is, in fact, above them.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Yeebok (profile), Aug 5th, 2010 @ 4:24am

    Gmail ?

    Doesn't Obama have the internet at home and know about Gmail?

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 5th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    Re: Law

    > Seriously, why is the NSA telling Obama what
    > he can and can't do, shouldn't it be the
    > other way around?

    The NSA was merely explaining the law to the president. Even the president has to abide by the law.

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 5th, 2010 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    > If "the policy makers" are part of the
    > executive branch, which I'm pretty sure the
    > NSA is, then the President is, in fact,
    > above them.

    This isn't just policy we're talking about. It's law. And Congress makes the laws. And no, the president isn't above Congress.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2010 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well then, that's a different matter. :-)

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2010 @ 8:20pm

    http://www.peertopatent.org/ allows the community to peer review patents/patent applications and submit their opinions and prior art examples in hopes that the USPTO will read the site and consider public input before approving a patent.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 5th, 2010 @ 9:49pm

    Re: Prior art

    Yeah. This has been huge in China for years. They have had a bunch of different cellular providers with different rates, different cheap hours, cheaper incoming, etc, so people just get multiple-SIM phones, and use whichever line is cheaper.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This