But we learned so much from those little 3-ring binders. A lot of engineers (including many from Apple) have been studied these documents and became eventually better engineers.
I bet there are a few that started their careers trying to build their own PC's based on those 3-ring binders! I was definitely one - the whole experience shaped my career and, even I did not end building PCs, I feel that I own something to IBM's decision to make it public. Apple didn't do the same: their closed approach, while profitable at first, almost destroyed them as a business before the iPhones and iPads. It will eventually happen the same now. Maybe not Samsung, maybe not HTC, maybe not ASUS or others but the competition will cut their profits sooner or later the same way PC's in the past almost reduced Macs to a niche market for the wealthy and the snobs.
Smartphones shaped like rectangles with touch and voice technology are here to stay despite the legal battles between Apple and the rest of the world that tries to catch up. And this is good and healthy: it will force Apple to reinvent themselves every few years or slip into oblivion.
Thank you IBM!
I couldn't agree more!
"Give me enough money and resources and I'll hire a lawyer to prove that you infringed some of my IP".
That's why big companies with deep pockets look like bullies. What we see happening with Apple and Samsung is a battle between two thugs while we (the customers) are just spectators taking sides in the same divisive ways as our political fights shaped our psyche.
I found the following article very intriguing:
"Did Germany experience rapid industrial expansion in the 19th century due to an absence of copyright law? A German historian argues that the massive proliferation of books, and thus knowledge, laid the foundation for the country's industrial might."
It's time to learn something from our past... and something from our present (see the open source movement).
back in the day boards that plugged into an ibm also plugged into a competitor such as compaq if the competitor thought fit, and there were no license fees or royalties reqiured.
Meanwhile, the same was not true with the apple II. Nor the Lisa, nor Mac.
Apple was fairly quickly relegated to a cadre of users that drank the koolaid or graphics (which was a near 100% intersection of sets anyway).
When ibm came out with the PS2 and attempted to pull the same shenanigans, they were pushed out by the "gang of 9".
ibm's success was it's open architecture.
At the end of the day, a company that succeeds by innovating does not need the lawyers.
lawyers are a large part of what is wrong with america today and if we could remove about 80% of them, consumers would benefit immensely, not only in choice of selection, but also in price.
Apple needs this "trade dress" argument to succeed when it fail with M$. It is a way to get to Google who is, by market share, cornering the market. Not going to work here either but it is worth a try. Apple makes some great products but they have done themselves a disservice by bringing this silly law suit. Backlash is gonna hurt. Now, that is not to say that this biased and ill prepaired judge can't make it go to Apple in the short term.
This is a common myth. Apple actually paid Xerox $5 million dollars in Apple stock for the right to use their GUI. The stock value exploded, netting Xerox far more money from the sale than they ever made selling their own computers.
For OS or sofware it might be a different story. There is license involved for every piece of software. Apple might have built osx and iOS on top of some unix kernel but it does not violate the license though. This is similar to google building android on top of Linux kernel.
Gordon: I gave a link earlier (www.c4sif.org/resources) if you are really interested in looking into this.
"As you should well know, a patent is an award from a country for willfully disclosing to the world what one has discovered so that others can then study and build upon that innovation. If one is not granted a patent, why would one ever disclose to the world what they have discovered?"
Well, if you want to keep something private, that's your right. But if your goal is to make a profit, you will have to publicly reveal information as part of selling a product or service. If it is successful this sends a market signal to others to compete with you to capture the profit. This is called the "free market." I realize patent advocates hate the idea of unbridled competition and the free market, but some of us are in favor of justice, property rights, competition, and the free market.
I do not disagree with the prior art argument against the validity of the shape patent. However, I think the answer is simpler than that. An invention has to be novel and not obvious to others skilled in the same field. All LCD screens that might possibly be used in a handheld device are rectangular. What other shape for a phone could possibly be more obvious than a rectangle slightly larger than the rectangular LCD screen it must by force use? I don't think one need even be skilled in the art to see that as obvious.
It may well be the most obvious thing that has ever been filed for, and certainly the most obvious that has had a patent actually granted. Even the Microsoft button push patent is less obvious.