Apple gesture patent

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Apple gesture patent

Postby fubar » 03 Jan 2011, 03:43

Recognise these gestures, anybody?

http://nexus404.com/Blog/2010/04/29/new ... ore-print/

Note in particular the two finger point/click gesture -- what the news stories don't point out is that that one is not just some add-on gesture that fills the same role as a dusty old keyboard shortcut. It's a change to the standard apple gestures used on iPhone etc. (which is single-finger touch, not two-finger touch, right?). Using two fingers instead of one for pointing and clicking makes typing and pointing work well together on an integrated input device, because you don't have to have an ugly time / distance threshold for distinguishing pointer movement from typing, since asynchronous single finger contacts are essentially always typing.

You could interpret this in several ways:

  1. This was just a quick and dirty patent application and they left that one in by mistake
  2. They patented these old gestures just because they patent everything soon as look at it as part of their legal defences
  3. Maybe now they have the iphone, ipod touch, ipad, magic mouse, magic trackpad and magic touch nosehair remover, they'll let Wayne get back to why he did this in the first place and make another keyboard
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Re: Apple gesture patent

Postby TorbenGB » 03 Jan 2011, 11:28

These gestures seem to be exactly the same as the FingerWorks gesture set. I know you meant it retorically but now it's specified.

Isn't it sad that everything must be patented these days, sigh. I think they aren't going to use all of those gestures immediately (if ever!) but realized that they can "protect their brand/market/whatever" (i.e., make it lots more difficult for other vendors to offer useful gestures).

Whoever heard of patenting gestures anyway?! Seeing what gets patented these days is increasingly ridiculous! Doesn't the patent office have any sense of reality? What's next, patenting the shoelace knot? The trouser button? Sigh.
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Re: Apple gesture patent

Postby fubar » 06 Jan 2011, 20:36

Increasingly ridiculous? Given the quality of software patents for some years, it would be hard to get more ridiculous.

I see Apple is being sued for their use of the double-click:

http://www.itproportal.com/2011/01/03/t ... ng-patent/

I'd laugh, but it's so much par for the course it's not funny any more. It's a lesson in the power of vested interests over short-term economic efficiency and long-term technological progress.

I note that the rationale for patents is to allow innovators to fund their work by marketing their innovations under cover of a temporary monopoly, yet we haven't seen a single product similar in functionality to the fingerworks keyboard -- a product with medical applications which people have come to rely upon -- for half a decade. Forgetting that, the gushing firehose of trivial, obvious and non-original patents, and their use by big companies as a bludgeon to beat down competition and progress, brings the whole software patent system into such disrepute that it should have been abolished wholesale years ago.

I know, I'm preaching to the converted...
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