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11.23.07

Apple Files for Junk Patents, Stifling GNU/Linux Development

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Patents at 12:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We are probably pushing the boundaries of this Web site’s scope, but to demonstrate the ill effects of software patents on innovation, let’s quickly consider Apple. The news is that Apple has once again sought a patent on very trivial things which it had not invented.

The application also sets out the processes for shipping and using the adaptor, which can be summarised as “if the adaptor is expanded, collapse it and then pack the disc and adaptor” and “expand adaptor, fit disc into centre of adaptor, then use disc.”

That seems pretty obvious to me. Doesn’t prior art in a variety of industries (including flat-pack furniture and telescopes) have these concepts covered?

I have no fundamental problem with the idea of patents, but to my mind the degree of innovation behind this application is too trivial to deserve protection.

”The developers implement features which they later decide not to deliver due to fear of Apple.“Of relevance to us is the fact that Linux is sometimes a victim. Consider Compiz-Fusion (this one used to speak about a an Aladdin lamp-like effect) and AWN (implementing stacks from Leopard) get crippled due to Apple patents, regardless of prior art. The developers implement features which they later decide not to deliver due to fear of Apple. It is worth appending a list of patent stories which we’ve collected about Apple.

Examples from the past year where Apple is seemingly abused:

Examples from the past year seemingly abuses:

The story about Google and Apple (patent disagreement) seems to indicate that Apple is still on the wrong (pro-abuse) side of this debate.

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4 Comments

  1. Jim Powers said,

    November 23, 2007 at 11:30 am

    Gravatar

    This kid of coverage is really, truly well within the boundaries of the issue you guys are covering: Apple, given the chance, would easily become the next Microsoft. Apple is stupendously active in the software patent area, just because they are not as big as MS doesn’t mean that they cannot engage in the same kind of patent abuse.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Gravatar

    Jim,

    From a humble perspective, Apple barely fits the story about Microsoft and its ‘partners’.

    I used a Mac for over a year at work (that was several years ago) and I had no trouble with Apple at the time. I do, however, have heaps of material which shows they are no better than Microsoft (just smaller). I’m unlikely to bring it here because I don’t need the wrath of Mac users and it’s off topic anyway.

  3. ete said,

    November 23, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Gravatar

    As long as you have capitalism you cannot expect companies to behave like innocent schoolgirls.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an abusive Internet troll

  4. Yuhong Bao said,

    November 1, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Gravatar

    At least Apple isn’t stupid enough to release Quartz as open source when it is covered by so many patents.

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