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Apple are scared of HTC

A Forum Thread for GameBanana

No really, and Mr Jobs made it obvious.

So, some of you may have heard this, others may not. Apple are suing HTC for about 20 patents ... they've waited a while to do this huh? Here's a nice little guide on everything they're suing for in the form of images And then let me take a LARGE extract from another website which makes it easier to understand:
Patent #7,362,331: Time-Based, Non-Constant Translation Of User Interface Objects Between States This is an interface patent granted in 2008 -- it's not specifically related to phones. According to the claims, it's a method of moving a GUI object along a path with a non-constant velocity for a period of time -- one of the claims specifically covers minimizing windows with a scaling effect like OS X, and two others describe a row of icons that rearranges itself when icons are added or removed, just like the iPhone's app dock. Patent #7,479,949: Touch Screen Device, Method, And Graphical User Interface For Determining Commands By Applying Heuristics We did this one at length after it was issued in January of last year -- check out our Palm discussion for more. The big one here is scroll behavior: starting a scroll in a single direction locks you in that direction, but starting it at an angle lets you pan around freely -- just like the Android browser. Patent #7,657,849: Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image This one's cute 'cause it's brand new -- seriously, it was just granted on February 2. It's almost exactly what it says on the tin: it covers unlocking a touchscreen device by moving an unlock image. It's broad enough for us to say that it covers virtually every unlock behavior we've seen on phones, not just the iPhone's slide-to-unlock implementation. Patent #7,469,381: List Scrolling And Document Translation, Scaling, And Rotation On A Touch-Screen Display Yep, we covered this 2008 patent in our Palm piece too -- well remembered, friends. Jump back to that for the full details, but the executive summary is that it covers the iPhone's distinctive scroll-back-and-bounce behavior. Patent #5,920,726: System And Method For Managing Power Conditions Within A Digital Camera Device Granted in 1999, this patent is surprisingly broad -- it flatly covers managing power in a digital camera device to a power manager that sends state information to a processor controlling the camera. Patent #7,633,076: Automated Response To And Sensing Of User Activity In Portable Devices This was issued in October of 2009, and it's really quite specific: it covers a phone with multitouch input, a proximity sensor, and an ambient light sensor, which allows input when the sensors indicate one condition and doesn't allow input in others. In simple terms? It's how the iPhone shuts off the touchscreen when you hold it to your ear, a scenario that's specifically called out in the claims. Patent #5,848,105: GMSK Signal Processors For Improved Communications Capacity And Quality The year was 1998, and times were lean in Cupertino. Steve Jobs had just returned to Apple, and although the company's fortunes were turning with the introduction of the iMac, it was clear that a true breakout was needed. "We have the answer!" cried William A. Garnder and Stephan V. Schell, two of the company's employees. "We'll develop an an apparatus for extracting a signal of interest from a plurality of spectrally and temporally overlapping input signals containing digital data having a bit rate!" Years later, this patent would thoroughly confuse a young lawyer simply trying to make sense of this mad, mad world. Patent #7,383,453: Conserving Power By Reducing Voltage Supplied To An Instruction-Processing Portion Of A Processor Another deeply technical patent, granted in 2008. On reading the claims, we're going to hazard a guess and say it covers powering down a processor when told to sleep, but this sort of patent is exactly why this litigation will take years and require many hearing to determine exactly what's covered. Patent #5,455,599: Object-Oriented Graphic System This is the oldest patent of the bunch, issued in 1995. (You can really get a sense for how Apple's counsel has changed the way it writes patents over time by reading all of these, by the way. The older ones are really quite terse.) Again, it's technical to the point where we don't feel comfortable saying exactly what it means, but it covers building graphics objects with a processor and outputting them through various means. Given the fact that this predates Steve Jobs' return to Apple, we'd say this one was thrown in because Apple's lawyers think it's particularly strong, not because it has something to do with phones specifically. Patent #6,424,354: Object-Oriented Event Notification System With Listener Registration Of Both Interests And Methods This one is actually quite interesting: it's from 2002 and is illustrated with drawing from Mac OS 9, but it covers event notifications passed among objects -- a system specifically described in the abstract as presenting a context-sensitive menu on the screen. That's very much the core of the Android UI, if you think about it. We don't know exactly what Apple thinks HTC is infringing with this patent, but it's one to keep an eye on, since it could have huge implications. Okay, that's it for the federal case. Ready for the patents claimed in the ITC complaint? They're even more dryly technical, it's going to be a blast. Patent #5,481,721: Method for providing automatic and dynamic translation of object oriented programming language-based message passing into operation system message passing using proxy objects This one's fun -- it's actually an old NeXT patent from 1996. And we're talking old-school NeXT -- the inventors are listed as Betrand Serlet, Avie Tevanian, and Lee Boynton. Anyway, this one is large, broad, and technical: it covers passing objects in an OS between processes by way of a proxy object. Again, given that this is primarily an OS patent and that Apple claims all of HTC's Android phones infringe it, it's hard to shake the impression that this case is anything but a proxy for a larger fight to come. Patents #5,519,867 and #6,275,983: Object Oriented Multitasking System and Object-Oriented Operating System Apple lumps these older OS patents together, so we are too. '867 is from 1996 and covers accessing OS level services in a multithreaded way; '983 is from 2001 and describes an OS in which apps can access native system services and those services can make use of data associated with an object. Again, dry, technical -- and totally aimed at Android, not HTC itself. Patent #5,566,337: Method and apparatus for distributing events in an operating system Another OS patent from 1996, this time relating to passing event notifications between objects -- like changing app behavior based on battery status. If you're not getting that Apple is targeting Android with the ITC case in particular by including low-level patents like these, there's really nothing more we can do. Oh, wait -- we can drop another six patents on your head. Patent #5,929,852: Encapsulated network entity reference of a network component system This one is also interesting because of it's age -- it's from 1999, and describes a way for users to get at remotely-stored resources more effectively by using software "components" that deal with different data types. Patent 5,946,647: System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data Seriously, we're almost impressed at how deeply Apple is pulling here. '647, issued in 1999, is what you might characterize as the "data detectors" patent -- it covers parsing data for known structures like phone numbers, address, and dates, and then taking action with that data. The model described is client / server, though, so it remains to be seen how Android handles similar tasks. Patent #5,969,705: Message protocol for controlling a user interface from an inactive application program You're going to love this one: '705 is a 1999 patent covering a form of multitasking. Specifically, it hits on the idea that a foreground app can direct a background process to go do some task while the foreground app remains responsive. The actual implementation is a bit more specific, but in the end, it's just another OS patent that's aimed directly at Android. Apple's also claiming this one against Nokia. Patent #6,343,263: Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data Hey, a patent claim that's aimed at HTC's WinMo phones as well as its Android phones! That's a new one. This 2002 patent covers using a separate real-time API to control low-level systems like digital signal processors. This is the one and only claim in the ITC complaint that touches on non-Android HTC devices. It's like that, people. Apple's also claiming this one against Nokia. Patent #5,915,131: Method and apparatus for handling I/O requests utilizing separate programming interfaces to access separate I/O service A 2002 patent hitting on multiple API usage in operating systems. Guess which Google-designed OS Apple says infringes on this one? Oh, and yes -- Apple's also claiming this one against Nokia. Patent #RE39,486: Extensible, replaceable network component system This patent was originally issued in 2001 and then reissued in 2007, and it covers -- surprise! -- OS-level software. Specifically, RE '486 covers organizing modular software "components" into a network layer with an API. It's more specific than that, but again, what's important for our purposes here is that this is about low-level software, not devices -- and the HTC devices that Apple says infringe this patent all run low-level software from Google. This is another one that Apple's claiming against Nokia.
From Here!

Ok, so now for the obvious tl;dr!

Long story short - Apple is scared of HTC and the Android operating system in particular. Some patents apply to both Android and WinMo phones - but a LOT are actually only Android-specific. So why they're suing the hardware company for a software feature is beyond me. Apple know that suing Google would be shooting themselves in the face, so they go for the company that is gaining ground VERY quickly, in desperation. I'm just stunned that they've taken this long to say anything if there really are any violations. They've obviously taken note of how fast Android is advancing, and decided to stop it, not with marketing and new ideas - but by forcing HTC/Google to stop using ideas. It's just childish! They did the same with Nokia... Seriously. People thought Google were going to take over the world. Looks like Jobs is already trying. He said that Google's 'don't be evil' slogan was a load of crap. Because he believes in being evil himself. I had respect for Apple once. Then they released an over-sized iPhone with less features, started acting like a little bitch, then having a tantrum and suing everyone. Steve, sit down and accept competition. Bloody hell, grow up!

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  • iMr.Grey avatar
    iMr.Grey Joined 10y ago
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    It is business.
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  • gameripper avatar
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    Posted by iMr.Grey It is business.
    Apple are the most evil company around. Frivolous lawsuits, blatant overpricing, locked software without reason which voids warranty and releasing updates which lock said hardware without reason, attachment of software to routine updates without user consent (Safari) and the icing on the cake, attachment of malware onto their updates. Yeah, buisness.
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    Last I checked the HTC touch was released before the IPhone, so this doesn't make any fucking sense. Bunch o' morons.
    Turbosmooth dat shit. avatar
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    Turbosmooth dat shit.
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    I hate software patents. Such is the state of patent warfare. In order to effectively fight these kind of things you have to have patents of your own to protect yourself from other companies' patents. Hopefully this gets shot down because a lot of these patents seem rather generic/all-encompassing and are purposely worded in an obtuse way so that no one can really make any sense of them. Clearly, Apple's motto is if you can't build a better product, sue the competition to make sure your product is the only viable choice.
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    For fuck's sake, Apple. Just die already.
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    Lol, I just found this on Google. Might be an entertaining read for fellow Apple haters (assuming you haven't already seen it). Cracked.com
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    Posted by CapnJack Lol, I just found this on Google. Might be an entertaining read for fellow Apple haters (assuming you haven't already seen it). Cracked.com
    That's where my link in the second post leads to....
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    Posted by gameripper
    Posted by CapnJack Lol, I just found this on Google. Might be an entertaining read for fellow Apple haters (assuming you haven't already seen it). Cracked.com
    That's where my link in the second post leads to....
    Damnit. I r dumb.
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    Software patents are bullshit. THEYRE ASKING A FUCKING PATENT ON A WINDOW ANIMATION. EDIT: I've checked the other ones, and seriously, it gets more ridiculous with each one.
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    Well after Nokia suing apple for stealing 9 of their patents for the iPhone (You thought Steve Jobbs knew how to make a phone? lol, no. He had to steal the technology) They need to get the money from somewhere to pay for dat shit, so ofcourse, sue HTC! :D
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    The only software that should be able to be patented is gfx engines (such as unreal engine and cry engine).... or any other engine that controlls how other software that needs an engine show/compute
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    Posted by SGT_kick_ur_ass Last I checked the HTC touch was released before the IPhone, so this doesn't make any fucking sense. Bunch o' morons.
    Exactly! 90% of the phone's being accused have been out for ages! They actually bought the patent to multi-touch recently... how exactly? HOW do you get a patent on something already being employed by devices and that has been used for years already?
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    Posted by SGT_kick_ur_ass Last I checked the HTC touch was released before the IPhone, so this doesn't make any fucking sense. Bunch o' morons.
    All that matters is when the patents were filed.
    Posted by HallowedDeathCrew The only software that should be able to be patented is gfx engines (such as unreal engine and cry engine).... or any other engine that controlls how other software that needs an engine show/compute
    I don't think you understand software or games at all. Where to begin.... Well, let's see, first all, graphics engines are based on algorithms (where "algorithm" is simply defined as a complex method for achieving a goal, so it's one of 'em "big words") that were published in articles many years ago. In fact, if you go onto OGRE's wiki, you'll probably find a link to the articles the developers used on every other page. But why does this matter? Because these academic publications rarely have any patents. That's tradition. Programmers now and before understand that the law only gets in the way of quality. So, essentially, every engine shares algorithms due to one always being the most efficient. "But that doesn't matter" you think. You'd be very wrong. If the efficient algorithms were patented (or worse yet, required royalties), then no one would use them. Even large corporations couldn't make a large enough profit to justify it. If patents existed on these algorithms, 3D games wouldn't exist. Quit bitching about Apple, people. I mean, really, this site is meant for Windows users and you guys dislike Apple?! What the hell? For every evil or immoral thing Apple has done, I can name two that Microsoft has done. Hypocrites. -_- In any case, none of those patents should have been approved. "Object-oriented graphic system?" Really? Name one system that isn't. I dare you, Apple, I dare you. In related news, RIM infringes on many more of their patents but even Apple doesn't have the money to fend off RIM's wrath.
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    Posted by Judo In any case, none of those patents should have been approved. "Object-oriented graphic system?" Really? Name one system that isn't. I dare you, Apple, I dare you.
    Ah thank you! It's been a while since I finished doing computing in school (having moved onto Architecture in uni :P) but I thought OOP things couldn't possibly be patented by Apple specifically. I'm interested to see how all this pans out - Google has actually now said they're going to stand behind HTC, seeing as they are the company that helped push forward with Android.
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