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A different take on the Mircosoft, Apple Patent issue

updated 03:45 pm EDT, Fri August 12, 2005

Microsoft, Apple Patent

A patent filed by Microsoft's John Platt, an expert in machine learning, which "relates generally to systems and methodologies that facilitate generation of playlists," has been the cause of much speculation this week because Apple's patent for a rotational user input was . "In truth, the patents in question might not even be directly related."




by MacNN Staff

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  1. zioncity

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    could it be proven

    Could it be proven and actually enforced that Microsoft may be abusing the use of patents to try to s**** it's competitors either now and in the possible future... ie.. iPod, and think 3 years ago.

    who knows...

  1. AledDavies

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Cross Licensing ?

    Doesn't Apple and Microsoft have a patent cross licensing deal ?. I thought that was one of the agreements of the 1997 settlement. ?

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    He worked at Synaptic

    That company makes the scroll wheels IIRC. He file the patent a year "after" the first iPod came out.

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    97 settlement is over

    all those rights expired before Office X was shipped.. Office X was the first product to prive MS would not abandon Apple after the settlement was expired. Given the limited data, I don't think that Apple's product is in any jeopardy.. but I do think it'll be interesting to see what does come up. With if the rotary interface is a dial pad for some unknown product??

  1. jchen

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Heh

    Mircosoft eh?

  1. brainiac_7

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: Cross Licensing

    Of course the agreement was secret, but I have heard the cross licensing of '97 was related only to the many things MS ripped off from QuickTime. MS' agreement to continue Mac development for that year was also thrown in along with some millions to settle up.

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Prior Art

    Subject says it all. The patent was supposed to be filed more than a year after Apple were shipping a product that is supposed to infringe on the patent. This makes the patent invalid. But if it's to do with playlists only, I can't see what that patent has to do with anything click wheel related because the click wheel has as much to do with playlist generation as my mouse does.

    And remember not even iTunes was the first to come up with playlists. It is a concept far, far older than even computers. Just ask any retired DJ. Just because it wasn't in a computer, doesn't mean it wasn't a playlist. Paper and pen is a system and methodology to facilitate generation of playlists. I wonder if Microsoft will take on all the paper, pen, pencil and crayon manufacturers of the world. I think the Ancient Egyptians and probably many more before them could claim prior art on MS's patent.

  1. spacefreak

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Relax...

    These "reports" are guesstimating that the rejection has to do with the MS playlist patent application, but I don't think that's the case at all.

    I would wager that the issue has more to do with dials in general. Dials and k**** have been around forever, and k**** that select digital menu items have been present for decades. Heck, I have an old stereo receiver from the late 80s that uses a k***/dial to select radio stations and volume/balance/eq settings.. complete with visual display.

    That, in my opinion, would hinder the patent application for the iPod wheel interface much more that an automatic playlist generation patent.

  1. JackNN

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    From what I've read ...

    The patent is about the software menu, not the click wheel. But the iPod menu is based on Mac OS X's column view.

  1. JackNN

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Oh, and ...

    The click wheel was invented by an Apple exec and built by Synaptics.

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