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Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 16, 2012 22:48 UTC (Fri) by leifbk (subscriber, #35665)
Parent article: Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

How the f**k can you patent such a thing, without bribing the patent officer?


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Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 16, 2012 22:53 UTC (Fri) by gwolf (subscriber, #14632) [Link]

Oh, just put some banknotes behind an electronic page, and then e-TURN THE PAGE!!!

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 17, 2012 21:10 UTC (Sat) by twm (guest, #67436) [Link]

I do believe you meant iTurn.

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 18, 2012 17:03 UTC (Sun) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

iPad, iPage, iConsumer.

It's all the same and should all be owned by Apple.

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 17, 2012 0:12 UTC (Sat) by drago01 (subscriber, #50715) [Link]

Maybe patent officers get payed by the number of approved applications they can't be *that* incompetent. I still waiting for someone to sue the patent office for the damage done by approving trival patents like this one.

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 17, 2012 7:09 UTC (Sat) by niten (guest, #87616) [Link]

I think it's more like the patent officers are so caught up in the bureaucracy and legalisms of their office that common sense ceases to apply. I mean, did you see that recent AMA on reddit by the patent examiner?

http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/ww982/iama_paten...

He or she was so caught up in legal artifice around terms such as prior art, that whether some concept is genuinely worthy of patent protection doesn't even enter the picture. He frets about precise legalese surrounding claims rather than think critically about their value.

This is the nature of the bureaucrats who hold our industry hostage.

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 19, 2012 22:35 UTC (Mon) by SecretEuroPatentAgentMan (guest, #66656) [Link]

> He or she was so caught up in legal artifice around terms such as prior art, that whether some concept is genuinely worthy of patent protection doesn't even enter the picture.

How do you propose the worthiness of a patent application should be measured and rated?

> He frets about precise legalese surrounding claims

Examiners are bound by laws, rules, decisions and guidelines (called MPEP in the US). The purpose is to provide an uniform service so that applicants do not get a patent granted because of irrelevant issues such as company size or political connections. Nobody in the profession believes the system is perfect, instead we have an enormous body of rules and more that have accumulated over the years and that are hugely complicated also for those working with this every day. These are continuously discussed but so far no alternatives have been agreed on.

> rather than think critically about their value.

Anyway, I am curious about what you mean by value here.

> This is the nature of the bureaucrats who hold our industry hostage.

Care to expand on this?

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 20, 2012 7:54 UTC (Tue) by bosyber (guest, #84963) [Link]

Thanks for that link, it does indeed show the problem: obvious isn't obvious, prior art isn't prior art etc. unless they can find a patent that does exactly the same, almost. And in case of doubt the policy is to accept the patent rather than reject.

I'd like to think it is different here in the EU, but the way SecretEuroPatentAgentMan argues how much it isn't a problem here while the EU commissioner regularly seems to lobby/push for problematic practices for the EU patent office makes me wary.

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 20, 2012 22:22 UTC (Tue) by SecretEuroPatentAgentMan (guest, #66656) [Link]

> obvious isn't obvious

I prefer not second guessing what is meant. Rather, could you expand a bit on what you feel is wrong with the US method for obviousness, or the EPO method for inventive step (called "Problem Solution Approach")?

> prior art isn't prior art etc. unless they can find a patent that does exactly the same, almost

Laws differ between countries. Germany allows equivalence for novelty. EPO does not but allows for equivalence for determining inventive step. Either way most countries allow for equivalence for at least one step. Could you expand on what you find problematic here?

In either case a problem is to perform an impartial analysis without the use of hindsight.

> I'd like to think it is different here in the EU, but the way SecretEuroPatentAgentMan argues how much it isn't a problem here while the EU commissioner regularly seems to lobby/push for problematic practices for the EU patent office makes me wary.

Again I am unsure what is meant. And in any case I see US end EPO practices differ, yet neither are without problems. If you read any of the patent blogs you will find many patent agents/attorneys see plenty of problems in the patent systems.

As for the EU they have wanted a patent office for decades but get bogged down in politics every dingle time. There is truly a lot of money at stake and politicians no doubt see themselves as qualified to dispose of these sources of income and will no doubt allow themselves to be elected to prestigious positions in order to solve problems noone else have seen.

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 20, 2012 22:31 UTC (Tue) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

> I prefer not second guessing what is meant. Rather, could you expand a bit on what you feel is wrong with the US method for obviousness, or the EPO method for inventive step (called "Problem Solution Approach")?
Because it has devolved into "it's not obvious if a brain-dead patient can't do this".

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 22, 2012 21:39 UTC (Thu) by SecretEuroPatentAgentMan (guest, #66656) [Link]

> Because it has devolved into "it's not obvious if a brain-dead patient can't do this".

Really? The "Problem Solution Approach" (PSA) has an element of hindsight in that you look at the claims and see if you can combine two documents or one combined with common general knowledge to get there. Arguing against PSA is not trivial, if even possible.

One thing to keep in mind is that the analysis for inventive step has to be framed based on the state of the art at the priority date, not the state of the art of present time which can easily be 5 years after the priority date. Hindsight is not supposed to be used for this analysis.

Finding a good objective method to determine inventive step is hard and the discussions on how to do it have been ongoing for decades. USPTO, UKIPO, JIPO and EPO all have different methods.

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 29, 2012 14:07 UTC (Thu) by yeti-dn (guest, #46560) [Link]

Well, your arguments make a lots of sense. Telling that something is not obvious is indeed difficult. The simplest solution: assume everything is obvious. The other possibility, assuming that nothing is obvious, is currently being tested and does not work well.

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 17, 2012 16:12 UTC (Sat) by felixfix (subscriber, #242) [Link]

It used to be the case that patent examiners were paid per application; whether that was for approvals only or regardless of outcome, I do not know. But it was some ridiculously short time per application, like 30 minutes.

Whether this has changed in the last few years, I do not know.

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 29, 2012 22:12 UTC (Thu) by JanC_ (guest, #34940) [Link]

I don't know if they were/are paid per application, but I read a story from a patent examiner somewhere which indeed mentioned an average time of something like 30 minutes (less than an hour) per patent application was what they got considering the then (5-10 years ago, I think) current workload & staffing.

Of course that average includes patents that can be discarded in 5 minutes, but it also includes patents that come with lots of attached documents that go back & forth through tens of iterations (versions) over several years before they get granted.

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 17, 2012 16:21 UTC (Sat) by Wol (guest, #4433) [Link]

No - design patents *should* typically be approved as a matter of course.

The problem, as with ALL patents (and this is a very good argument for renaming design patents to something less confusing) is that trolls keep prosecuting them beyond their valid scope.

Imho, this particular design patent is out-of-scope even before you get to the first page ... :-) (It's not something the buyer will particularly notice until AFTER they've bought the product - so how can it confuse a potential purchaser?)

Cheers,
Wol

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 19, 2012 22:26 UTC (Mon) by SecretEuroPatentAgentMan (guest, #66656) [Link]

> Maybe patent officers get payed by the number of approved applications they can't be *that* incompetent.

Do you seriously believe that?

This belief comes up every so often but I am puzzled why people don't just look it up when the system is published.
http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/CountSystem.jsp

It used instead to be that Examiners issued a lot of rejections that were seen as needless churning just to get points, the main measure of productivity. Getting paid by grants opens for rather obvious moral hazards. My own experience when prosecuting patents in the US (via US agents) is that a successful outcome can never be taken for granted.

Apple Now Owns the Page Turn (New York Times)

Posted Nov 19, 2012 18:11 UTC (Mon) by k3ninho (subscriber, #50375) [Link]

Do you *really* not know the difference between an innovation patent and a design patent?

Design patents are for trade dress - how an article looks. Innovation patents are for how a thing works. Both cover the embodiments of ideas in different ways and have different time periods of monopoly in the marketplace.

Please check your facts and knowledge before shooting off like that!

K3n.


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