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  • Nine Years Later Apple Dock Patent Secured

    After a nine year wait the United States Trademark and Patent Office has awarded Apple Inc. with the patent for their dock. The dock was considered a revolutionary way to organize applications for quick access -- nine years ago. Now there are many other programs that mimic Apple's dock for other operating systems like Windows.

    Better late than never. Apple is undoubtedly glad to have the dock patent under their belt. The patent which covers the magnification feature among other things. "Methods and systems for providing graphical user interfaces are described. To provide greater access and consolidation to frequently used items in the graphical user interface, a userbar is established which includes a plurality of item representations. To permit a greater number of items to reside in the userbar, a magnification function can be provided which magnifies items within the userbar when they are proximate the cursor associated with the graphical user interface."

    What this means for other programs that provide dock functionality to Windows like Stardock and Rocktdock only time can tell. Apple does have a history of viciously protecting their intellectual property.

    For more information concerning the details of the patent head over to uspto.gov.

    [via slashdot]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Nine Years Later Apple Dock Patent Secured started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. Eurisko's Avatar
      Eurisko -
      I wonder how long it will take for multi-touch on a mobile device
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      If you run a dock program on windows... go buy a Mac!
    1. Reako's Avatar
      Reako -
      Wow 9 years? That's insane.

    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      oh goodness..... Apple I am sure will go after these other companies...... that is probably a promise.... Apple didn't wait nine long years for nothing.....
    1. Geekmommy4's Avatar
      Geekmommy4 -
      Sniff, sniff...I love my ObjectDock!
    1. ajl917's Avatar
      ajl917 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Geekmommy4 View Post
      Sniff, sniff...I love my ObjectDock!
      Same. The people who already have it SHOULD be OK if they go after the people...
    1. lillewis51's Avatar
      lillewis51 -
      o no... now apple has some thing else to sue people over besides their logo and name
    1. HITCH's Avatar
      HITCH -
      i remember is windows longhorn version has that dock thing almost equal as apples has.. in my opppinion it was more easy and with the possibility of manny apps inside....and with the option of custimize the icon inside but not quite sure what came first the egg of the chicken..

      Quote Originally Posted by lillewis51 View Post
      o no... now apple has some thing else to sue people over besides their logo and name

      the name apple , its a nature cant be pattent the name... maybe the name of a X company but not the word...
    1. Nukie's Avatar
      Nukie -
      Let the lawsuits begin! (pulls up chair and eats popcorn)
    1. GmAz's Avatar
      GmAz -
      What about the QuickLaunch bar on Windows circa Windows 98. With the exception of magnification, it pretty much does the same thing.
    1. lillewis51's Avatar
      lillewis51 -
      Quote Originally Posted by HITCH View Post
      the name apple , its a nature cant be pattent the name... maybe the name of a X company but not the word...
      thank you for the correction. what i ment by name was the trouble mmi had with the iphone in the name
    1. Jgamble317's Avatar
      Jgamble317 -
      well, now apple has someone else to pick on lol
      Still though glad to see its secure with apple now
    1. bluaeon's Avatar
      bluaeon -
      wow, i didnt even know that there was such a thing for windows user. haha
    1. WillyDavidK's Avatar
      WillyDavidK -
      *sigh* another newspost I've already read on slashdot.

      Quote Originally Posted by Eurisko View Post
      I wonder how long it will take for multi-touch on a mobile device
      I'm pretty sure this is one of the 200+ patents apple filed before the first iPhone ever came out (they were mentioned in the jan 07 keynote). Someone would basically have to invent their own, somehow different method of multi-touch. Even though multi-touch was already being developed several years ago, and not by Apple...
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      By the way Apple will probably have the company cease operation. They can;t do much about sales that have already happened. No big loss for the consumer.
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      GO, APPLE GO! You got bit hard twenty something years ago for your graphical interface... Now is the time to bite EVERYONE for trying to cop yo stylo' (I dont actually talk like that, the ghetto just jumps up sometimes. Dont laugh I've seen movies about the ghetto. I KNOW! I KNOW about the skreets)
    1. Apple Freak's Avatar
      Apple Freak -
      This reminded me of Yz'Dock.
      Which is already sued by Apple, but you can still download it from Google...
    1. tattoojack's Avatar
      tattoojack -
      good thing i have the brico pack install saved to my external for my girls PC.
      apple can suck an egg if they think their lawyers can make me remove it!
    1. khaoticsquirrel's Avatar
      khaoticsquirrel -
      wow. i'm starting to get the feeling that apple is a little sue-happy...
    1. boe_dye's Avatar
      boe_dye -
      after briefly reading over that drivel that was their patent, i am not certain that they could stop stardock or rocketdock from continuing to develop their own "docks".

      1. They've been doing for how many years now? Which means that they would probably be grandfathered.

      2. Trying to patent a GUI is like trying to patent the car. Yes, technically i have a chassis, 4 wheels, some type of engine and so on, and yes i can hold the patent on it, but so what?

      Maybe i could just patent a web browser while I am at it...

      3. Under something called the fair use clause usually found in copyrights, while things like Xerox, or Kleenex, are copyrighted, their names are also now commonly used terms which is puts them into an interesting position. Can you use the name for the company? No, can you use the name to describe the product? Maybe. It's somewhere in copyright.gov which i am feeling particularly lazy right now and don't feel like searching for it.

      Now would they have a leg to stand on if it was the same code? Or if it was reverse engineered? Sure, but seeing as how OS X and Windows speak two totally different languages I don't really see how that could even happen.

      So while apple can try to patent everything that they lay their hands on, that's all good and fine, that certainly doesn't mean that they are going to get anything out of the deal.

      And if worse comes to worse the best that they can hope for is that Stardock or Rocketdock wont be able to use the term "dock" anymore.

      Boohoo... We'll just call it the "fun bar".