Apple Sued For Patent Infringement On iPhone Keyboard

from the and-out-come-the-wolves dept

It's almost surprising that it took this long, but someone has finally sued Apple for patent infringement related to the iPhone. Remember, back when Steve Jobs announced the iPhone he hyped up all the patents the company filed associated with the phone. It didn't make sense to us, because many of the technologies in the iPhone weren't new at all and had plenty of prior art. It was just the ability to put them all together in a compelling package that people would buy that was the key -- and no one could simply mimic Apple's ability to do that (though we can all watch others flounder around as they try). Still, with any new technologies these days, there's bound to be a patent thicket, meaning that there would inevitably be patent disputes. We had discussed a potential patent suit over the touchscreen interface, but it's not clear what became of that. In this latest case, the patent is for putting a keyboard on a touchscreen, which hardly seems like such a unique idea that it deserves a patent. Oddly, if you read the actual patent, it notes that "the input area... may not be minimized, maximized, or deleted." Since the iPhone keyboard can be minimized, you would think this patent doesn't apply. But, these days, why let little details prevent a patent lawsuit and potentially billions in payouts for doing nothing? Not surprisingly, the company is demanding a cut of every iPhone sold and wants an injunction against selling more iPhones with this technology included. Update: Turns out there's even more to this story. The guy who holds the patent was recently sentenced to 51 months in prison for fraud.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 4:37pm

    Who has the patent on QWERTY? They should sue for billions and billions for every keyboard in existence..

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 4:39pm

    Ahhhhhh!!!!!!

    No coment!!!!!



    First
    -

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 4:39pm

    Ok second!!

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 4:48pm

    I patened the concept of user interaction. Pay me money.

     

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

  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 4:59pm

    I patented words. Pay me money.

     

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

  6.  
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    Vincent Clement (profile), Aug 6th, 2007 @ 5:38pm

    Wonderful. A doctor who defrauded the state's Medicaid and Medicare owns a patent troll company. Exactly how is he promoting innovation? I'm sure the supporters of the current patent system will be able to defend this with a straight face, right?

     

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  7.  
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    Some other coward, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 5:39pm

    I patented the plastic. Forget everyone else, pay me money! lol

     

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  8.  
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    Yet Another Coward, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 5:55pm

    To continue the stupidity

    for no apparent reason, I patented making, using or giving birth to something that exists. pay me money!

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    SimonTek, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 7:10pm

    No wonder he is suing, he owes the state $900,000

     

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  10.  
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    wnyght, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 7:13pm

    The concept of patents offends my religious beliefs, so i'm sueing all of you who hold them!

     

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  11.  
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    Charles Griswold, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 7:18pm

    More stupid patent fun.

    I patented the idea of exclusive ownership of an idea. Ha! Now the USPTO owes me money! :-P

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Andy, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 7:24pm

    Patent on QWERTY???

    It would be like trying to patent a table or chair.....

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Patent on QWERTY???

    i patented the legs for tables AND chairs. you all owe me money for each individual leg.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 7:42pm

    i patenet the internet you all shall pay!

     

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  15.  
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    Chris (profile), Aug 6th, 2007 @ 7:49pm

    To put an end to this

    I patented the ability to patent things! Anyone who ever tries to patent something again will be in my debt!!!

     

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  16.  
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    boomhauer (profile), Aug 6th, 2007 @ 8:07pm

    and yet again...

    I shall rule the world when my reproductive intercourse patent is granted. I dont think any of you are infringers, but there are plenty out there... oh yes

     

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  17.  
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    boomhauer (profile), Aug 6th, 2007 @ 8:09pm

    always reminds me..

    of playing with legos when we were kiddos... when one of us made something sorta cool, we would yell PATENTED and nobody else could copy it. i guess its about the same thing.

    oh ans infringing contraptions were SMASHED

     

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  18.  
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    yangyang (profile), Aug 6th, 2007 @ 8:13pm

    Enough!!!

    Its patently obvious the joke is wearing a bit thin

     

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  19.  
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    boomhauer (profile), Aug 6th, 2007 @ 8:15pm

    claims in the patents

    Mike, your note about
    "the input area... may not be minimized, maximized, or deleted."
    doesnt matter, because that is in an independent claim. notice that almost all the claims are dependent on claim 1 or a chain off of it, but the last claim is standalone and doesnt depend on 1 or any others.. so he is probably claiming that apple is infringing one of the other claims instead of this one.

     

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  20.  
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    boomhauer (profile), Aug 6th, 2007 @ 8:17pm

    who's joking? ;)

    yang, the human intercoursee one probably sounds like a joke but im really going to do this ;) i just saw a patent granted in 2006 on a free energy device (motor spins generator, generator powers motor!), so its pretty obvious the patent office will allow anything nowdays..

     

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  21.  
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    boomhauer (profile), Aug 6th, 2007 @ 8:19pm

    one more..

    this is the patent i just mentioned:
    http://digg.com/environment/Energy_Crisis_SOLVED_Revealed_in_Patent

    friggin awesome!

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Scott, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 8:52pm

    Re: who's joking? ;)

    and I have heard tell that there are copyrighted yoga positions. Presumably you could at least get a copyright on some novel sex positions! Of course the prior art in the Kama Sutra might invalidate them.

     

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  23.  
    icon
    boomhauer (profile), Aug 6th, 2007 @ 10:05pm

    prior art?

    we dont need no stinkin prior art!!

    actually.. can you send some of that prior art over? ;p

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Paul`, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 11:34pm

    Re:

    Thats from typewriters and i hardly think whoever set up those typewriters thought there was money in patenting some plastic squares.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 6:17am

    Re: one more..

    wow. that actually left me speechless.

    i think the problem in our society is we let the average person do things of importance. its becoming apparent that the average person is no longer capable of making such decisions.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Me, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 8:53am

    QWERTY

    Typewriter keys were laid out in that fashion to slow the person typing down It was to prevent the letter hammers striking the ribbon jamming together.
    Patent ran out long ago on it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qwerty

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    sammy colbert, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 9:07pm

    Software patents are so silly as to be comical. Companies like Apple file dozens of patents on products like the iPhone will little or no concern what else is out there. Employees who file such patents get bonuses (for the filing and then eventually, which is like forever, for the issued patent). Remember when patents meant something? Like good old hardware patents, like a locking mechanism for a medicine bottle or similiar. Again, software patents are jokes, especially UI patents.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    alex, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 4:49am

    Re:

    Wonderful. A doctor who defrauded the state's Medicaid and Medicare owns a patent troll company. Exactly how is he promoting innovation? I'm sure the supporters of the current patent system will cheap battery be able to defend this with a straight face, right?

     

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


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