Monday, February 20, 2012

Apple invention or prior art?

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong”
--- Steve Jobs

“I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
--- Steve Jobs

"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."
--- Steve Jobs

We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.
--- Steve Jobs

Now Apple is suing over auto-complete. Another entirely origianal Apple invention, I guess.

So what are Apple's greatest mobile device inventions?
  • rectangles
  • round corners
  • flat black screens
  • horizontal speaker slots
  • non-cluttered appearance
  • thin profiles
  • auto-complete
  • slide-to-unlock
  • green phone icon for phone
  • envelop for mail icon
  • gears icon for settings
  • grid layout of icons
  • “Multi-Touch” technology
  • iBooks books on a shelf metaphore
  • fading notifications without user intervention
  • text in bubbles indicated by speaker

Here is what I am finding for possible prior art. I would be interested to know what others think. Please feel free to add anything I'm missing, or correct me if I'm wrong about anything.

Sharp JPN 1241638
I am not certain exactly what device this is, or when it came out. But, I think Europe eventually ruled that the iPhone is a knock-off copy of the Sharp JPN 1241638 and that Apple's D'087 patent violated Sharp's '638 patent. That covered a flat black surface, maybe even rounded corners, and retangle shape.

Samsung SGH-Z610 - February 2006

  • Gesture based multimedia touchscreen
  • app drawer
  • front and rear facing camera
  • rounded corners
  • 16 icons up on a desktop
  • a speaker above the 3.5" touchscreen
  • physical round button w/ a play arrow icon below it

Samsung GridPad 1989

  • seems that Samsung is not new to tablet devices

Samsung Origami Tablet PC 2006


Samsung SGH-F700 - 2007

  • Released after iPhone, but before Apple's 358 page long iPhone patent which was filed on September 5th 2007

Sony Ericsson 2002

  • green phone icon (for that matter, don't phone booths use a phone icon?)
  • envelop mail icon

LG KE850, also known as the LG Prada 2006

  • phone icon
  • envelop mail icons
  • capicitve touch screen
  • what about that icon with the four dots? would that take you to a grid of icons?

Packard Bell Navigator 3.5

  • reminds me of Apple iBooks patents - books on a shelf

Neonode N1m - not sure about the year

  • slide to unlock

Apple's gears icon

  • Oreilley software WebSite had a yellow gear for settings
  • Atari ST in 1986 used a gears icon for the settings control panel
  • Windows 95 used Gears for settings:

The ‘134 patent - text in bubbles indicated by speaker

  • besides ignoring pretty much every comic book ever created, there’s a system called “Habitat” from the 1985 that pretty much like what Apple patented, in terms of the arrangement of text into bubbles, with the horizontal layout being dictated by the speaker.

The ‘915 patent - Multi-touch scrolling and scaling

  • 1994-1995 T3:
  • is this an API patent?

The ’891 patent - fading notifications without user intervention

  • filed in 2002
  • see the Windows 2000 MFC API, and notice that the uBalloonTimeout parameter. That fades out the notification without user interaction.