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09-28-2013, 02:42 AM #1
Jobs' 2007 iPhone Keynote Used to Invalidate Apple's Rubber-Banding Patent in Germany
A German court recently invalidated an Apple patent on a specific “rubber-banding” feature in iOS because it was demonstrated in Jobs’ iPhone introduction keynote from 2007 according to a report from FOSS Patents. To shed some more light on the situation, in the United States, inventors are allowed a twelve-month grace period between any public demonstrations of a new technology and the filing of the patent. However, Europe has no such grace period and public demonstrations prior to the filing of a patent, even by the inventor of the technology being patented, can be used as prior art to invalidate a patent. This was seen with a subtle demonstration of the rubber-banding technology which is barely noticeable at 33:40 in the keynote video.
In this specific case, Jobs demonstrated the rubber-banding technology at the launch of the iPhone in January of 2007 and Apple applied for the German patent on the technology after this date. As a result, Apple’s patent was dismissed because of its own prior appearance. The following was mentioned regarding the matter:
The Munich-based Bundespatentgericht (Federal Patent Court of Germany) today sided with Samsung and Google's Motorola Mobility in declaring an Apple iPhone patent, EP2059868 on a "portable electronic device for photo management", invalid within the borders of Germany because a video of the original January 2007 iPhone presentation already showed the famous bounce-back effect in the photo gallery, which is what this patent is all about. The court also rejected various amended claims proposed by Apple, which were an attempt to distinguish the patent from what was shown in the video, because it found them to be, at best, obvious over the Steve Jobs video, which Google's lawyers from the Quinn Emanuel firm submitted to the court in April 2013. In other words, even an amended version of the patent would be trivial, but not over what others created before -- only over Apple's own public demo.
Source: FOSS Patents
09-28-2013, 09:55 AM #2
So dumb. What kind of stupid law is this? The technology was developed by Apple - so if you show it to someone and they patent it moments before you do it belongs to them? Ridiculous.
Imagine buying a car, but on your way home, just before you pull into your driveway, you get out to pick up the mail and someone else slips into the driver's seat and then legally owns your car.
09-28-2013, 10:30 AM #3
09-28-2013, 10:37 AM #4
I would also agree that software patents (at least in the state they're in) are stupid.
09-28-2013, 10:45 AM #5
Not quite what they're saying. US Patent Law has a grace period which is messed up when you think about it. By demonstrating new and un-patented device, software feature, etc… under US Law you can file the patent up to a year from the public unveiling.
In Germany their Patent Law has no grace period. File your patent first!!! Because under their laws Apple essentially gave away the secret of what should have been written on a patent application filed prior to the public unveiling of the patentable feature.
So by demoing a feature that they didn't have a Patent Application filed beforehand, in Germany Apples own work became an exhibit of prior art and with that not even the patent inventors (Apple) can file an application on that feature after its been shown in public. Which is exactly what happened in this instance. Apple essentially made that one feature patent unobtainable by anyone in Germany, including Apple.
So Germany should be thanking their Patent Laws for making that feature essentially Public Domain since no one will ever be able to own that feature patent ever!!!
Doesn't affect anything in the US. So Google could use that feature in a Special German only Android Branch.
Similar thing happened in Germany but that one involved Apple having to disable certain iCloud functionality for about a year, push notifications if I'm remembering right.
Last edited by zrevai; 09-28-2013 at 10:51 AM.
09-28-2013, 11:22 AM #6
Actually if you watch the iPhone keynote, at around 16:20, Jobs shows the rubber banding effect much more, even mentioning it by name.
09-28-2013, 12:09 PM #7
09-29-2013, 12:26 AM #8
09-29-2013, 01:45 AM #9
09-29-2013, 03:28 PM #10
This is precisely why companies patent EVERYTHING, even things that seem trivial.
09-29-2013, 08:19 PM #11
At 16:30 the rubber banding in the music app is even more evident, and he says "rubber banding" out loud.