from the this-raises-some-questions dept
This seems odd for a whole variety of reasons. First, it seems positively silly for Apple to do this, as it severely limits the market for the devices, and lessens the value of the iPod. You can see why Nike might ask for it, but it's hard to see why Apple would implement it. Second, however, is that this seems highly questionable as a patent. I mean why would you patent something that makes your product less desirable? Would Apple actually sue someone else (say, Microsoft) for doing the same thing? That would (oh no!) force Microsoft to make its product more useful and more valuable. Finally, as a patent, how is this not "obvious"? It seems like a bad idea to implement, but that doesn't make it non-obvious. If any engineer wanted to create such a system, it wouldn't take much thought at all. The whole thing seems rather pointless.