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  • Apple Awarded Scroll Bar Patent, Effectively Gives Company Legal Nuclear Bomb



    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Apple a patent covering vertical and horizontal UI scroll bars.

    Yes. Apple has a patent on scroll bars.

    Patent No. 8,223,134 for “Portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents" covers the implementation of transparent and disappearing vertical scroll bars in essentially everything. These are the same bars that appear when scrolling any webpage, playlist, and any type of “digital document” that cannot be fully displayed on a screen at once.

    The USPTO awarded Apple the patent only four short months after Apple’s initial filing in March. Apple created the patent in order to better utilize the small screen real estate available on mobile devices.

    As portable electronic devices become more compact, and the number of functions performed by a given device increase, it has become a significant challenge to design a user interface that allows users to easily interact with a multifunction device. This challenge is particular significant for handheld portable devices, which have much smaller screens than desktop or laptop computers. — Apple
    The potential legal fallout from this new patent is substantial considering a court recently awarded Apple an injunction against the Galaxy Nexus for its search function. Nearly every touch-based smartphone utilizes the scroll bars covered in the patent.

    The USPTO just added a thermonuclear legal bomb to Apple’s arsenal.

    Source: Apple Insider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Awarded Scroll Bar Patent, Effectively Gives Company Legal Nuclear Bomb started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 43 Comments
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      this shall start a war
    1. dennder's Avatar
      dennder -
      (apple lawyers) - Yo, why not try to patent scroll-bars, eh? We tend to patent anything nowadays, why not try this just out of curiosity?
      (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) - Granted.
      (apple lawyers) - O_o!!!!
      ...
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      So basically this means every smartphone has to make their own scrollbar or not use one at all?
    1. brodimus's Avatar
      brodimus -
      I'm gonna patent being granted stupid patents. Apple's gonna be paying me soon.
    1. Bigred4430's Avatar
      Bigred4430 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dennder View Post
      (apple lawyers) - Yo, why not try to patent scroll-bars, eh? We tend to patent anything nowadays, why not try this just out of curiosity?
      (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) - Granted.
      (apple lawyers) - O_o!!!!
      ...

      Hahahahahahaha
    1. crouching's Avatar
      crouching -
      Wow Facebook has the exact same style disappearing scroll bar.
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      It's not all scroll bars. It's the transparent and disappearing ones.
      Still ridiculous but not as broad as first thought.
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      ridiculous
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Quote Originally Posted by Silverado1987 View Post
      So basically this means every smartphone has to make their own scrollbar or not use one at all?
      Pretty much none of them are using the ones apple is..

      Btw you guys think that they just started filing for patents? Most patents take years for big companies to receive. And unless youre a lawyer or understand patents don't say that this will let apple sue anyone with scroll bars because it's specific scroll bars
    1. fadadman's Avatar
      fadadman -
      Quote Originally Posted by dennder View Post
      (apple lawyers) - Yo, why not try to patent scroll-bars, eh? We tend to patent anything nowadays, why not try this just out of curiosity?
      (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) - Granted.
      (apple lawyers) - O_o!!!!
      ...

      This is crazy indeed °o° the above says it all
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Someone high up at the U.S. Patents office has shares in Apple or is being paid off by Apple or both.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by brodimus View Post
      I'm gonna patent being granted stupid patents. Apple's gonna be paying me soon.
      I want in in that patent! LOL!!!
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Samsung & HTC, you guys might want to consider challenging this patent before you guys gets sued.
    1. tongxinshe's Avatar
      tongxinshe -
      Wow, look at the comments above, a very high percentage of people speak (write comments) before carefully listening (reading).
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      patents are just tools for lawsuits they shouldn't be taken seriously anymore, the whole patent system is an epic fail
    1. crackertime's Avatar
      crackertime -
      I feel like we should start looking for much older patents to buy, with vague wording. Like maybe a patent for a type of handheld whisk, which in its filing mentions 'any implement to be manipulated by the hand' or something along those lines. The holy grail of course being the first patent on picking up a rock, in cave man times. The irony is the patent was carved into the cave wall with that very same rock.
    1. lkailburn's Avatar
      lkailburn -
      Patent the telephone. Anything that makes a phone call.

      Ridiculous bs.

      -Luke
    1. JedixJarf's Avatar
      JedixJarf -
      Quote Originally Posted by dennder View Post
      (apple lawyers) - Yo, why not try to patent scroll-bars, eh? We tend to patent anything nowadays, why not try this just out of curiosity?
      (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) - Granted.
      (apple lawyers) - O_o!!!!
      ...
      lollerskates.
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      Someone high up at the U.S. Patents office has shares in Apple or is being paid off by Apple or both.
      Or they have an iPhone.
    1. fventura03's Avatar
      fventura03 -
      does this mean, no one else can use scroll bars? or they just can't use the same shape?