20th dec, 2012

Perspective on Apples scrolling patent

Wired has an article about a patent from Apple which is under scrutiny by the USPTO. Patent No. 7,844,915 is being re-examined and this could have an effect on the ongoing infringement case between Apple and Samsung. If the patent is invalidated the possible Samsung infringement is smaller.
Reading the patent I was to begin with pretty upset…a classic example of a bad US patent.
The patent covers scrolling on a screen with your fingers (and lots more if the vague patent text is taken seriously). Of course such a patent is trivial…seen in today’s light.
Walking on possible thin ice I would like to point out that the patent is dated 2007 – the same year as the first Iphone. Seeing other phones from the time reveals that, even if other producers were doing touchscreens Apple were the only one doing it in a new way. Gestures and touchscreens were a new thing – Nintendo DS was experimenting along the same way in 2003 and Tactapad from 2005.
I think that the patent is too vague and not technical enough in its nature, but I don’t doubt that the idea is novel. The challenge is as always for the patent to be viewed in the light of the past and not the present.

Leave a response

Your response: