Originally Posted by kppanic
Which pretty much boils down to the question: How do you patent such things as a design that is not particularly associated with a company's image or brand but is actually a basic requirement and necessity of a said device?
Anyone can argue that Apple came up with the idea of "Icons" which was derived from NeXT and Lisa (iirc). However, these "icons" that we use on operating systems nowadays is the foundation of our current user interface that no one company should be able to patent it.
If this had been a legit complaint Apple should have brought it at the time where the very first line of Galaxy S was introduced in Korea in July of 2010. This is a very bad timing indeed; it is hard to believe that Apple's lawyers took about a year to prepare this case that they're claiming it to be an obvious and a blatant one. If it were, why did they take this long to prep the case?
This reminds me of the U.S. Patent office rejecting Intel's request to patent 80586 due to the fact that a string of numbers cannot be patented. I agree, it would be silly to put down (TM) or (R) every time I wrote the number 80586 when it appears in my calculations. But can't the same thing be said for basics of interface? Do I have to see an Apple logo every time I touch on icons?
Yeah, I agree--I think it boils down to using an antiquated patent system that grants far too broad of terms.
But it's pretty frequent that companies are aware of infringements, but don't pursue litigation until later (if at all). It's all about the benjamins. And also about the law(s) where the infringement occurs. For example, US patents and European patents are not interchangeable (i.e., having a US patent doesn't also qualify for a European one, and vice versa). Not sure what the laws are in Asia/Korea--could very well be that Apple didn't have the ability to pursue litigation there vs. in Europe where all of this started.
While I agree, trademarking a number alone should not be allowed, the design for the basics of an interface should be protected--someone had to do work to invent it, therefore they should get credit for it. It's a lot more advanced than picking a number to trademark/patent.
I still think that the way things are defined in patents are too broad--though I understand that's how the entire system is implemented, in terms of general/broad claims. If you read a sample patent for something like a chair, you'd be shocked at how general it is, and hence why it's so easy to defend claims made in a patent vs. accused infringements.