Not approved YET. If Apple is serious about these, they have effectively infinite resources. They will tweak the applications and shop for another examiner until they find one dumb enough to approve them.
My one patent got through that way. It was pure junk. My employer's attorney knew how to work the system.
TLoose is correct, these are not yet approved patents, but my point is that even the application of these is a waste of the resources of the patent office and shows a disrespect of the system. The community, as demonstrated by some of the comments in this blog, can easily show evidence as to why these never should have been filed and I hope that the mechanisms for us all to stand up and say to the patent office that too much prior art exists for these to ever pass an obviousness test will stop this kind of foolishness.
Umm, you're missing the point that the patent examiner approved both patents. The patent system is broken in many ways including its impetus to disclosure of inventions in such lurid and cryptic detail in its own special language. It's a lawyer's paradise.
I think this is pretty cool. If I want to get salt out of a salt shaker, I turn it upside down and shake. Same thing if I want to get ketchup out of a ketchup bottle. It makes perfect sense that if I want to get my writing out of my computer, I should turn it upside down and shake. If I want to get excess butter off of my toast, I scrape it off with a knife or my finger. Again, it makes perfect sense to wipe it out of the computer with my finger or a knife.
The big concern that I have surrounding this is if I will still be able to buy my favorite brand of salt, ketchup and bread if these patents are granted.
You could probably find prior art for many new technologies in 1970s' episodes of "Star Trek".
I find the patent system very frustrating, as our competitors are continously filing applications for the screamingly obvious, and examiners often allow patents that are both obvious and not novel. About 2 years ago one company filed a patent application for the use of an accelerometer as a tilt sensor. The European examiner couldn't find any prior art and allowed the patent!
We have seen examples of using the engineering community to help with projects. Maybe this is the direction the patent office should go in. Make it easy for anyone to supply the patent office with prior art during the application process. Then the patents would never get issued rather than having to fight in court afterwards.
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