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Double-click lawsuit hits Apple, HTC, Motorola, others

updated 12:40 pm EST, Thu December 30, 2010

Plaintiff lays claim to basic interface command

Adobe, Apple, HTC and several other corporations are being sued over a basic interface command, court documents show. The plaintiff, Hopewell Culture and Design, accuses other firms of violating a patent titled Double-Clicking a Point-and-Click User Interface Apparatus to Enable a New Interaction with Content represented by an Active Visual Display Element. While seemingly covering a fundamental, long-used interface trope, the patent -- first filed for by Actify in 2002 -- suggests that double-clicking had previously "not been used to effect user input to a Web browser that uniquely corresponds to the double-click input."

Adobe is said to be in violation of because of its Reader PDF software, while Apple is targeted more broadly for the iPhone and iPad. Still more HTC products are listed, namely the Hero, Evo, Droid Eris and Droid Incredible. Nokia is known to be involved as a result of several products including the N97 and N900.

The remaining defendants named in the lawsuit are LG, Motorola, Opera, Palm, Quickoffice and Samsung. As compensation, Hopewell is seeking "adequate" damage payments from the various parties. The case is being handled through the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which is infamous for favoring plaintiffs in patent disputes.






by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. tvalleau

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    prior art

    I had clicked links in documents not only before 2002, but before the invention of hypertext links: 1989. Nexus (later named "linksware".) In fact, Linksware is well documented, having appeared in MacWeek; Dr. Dobb's Journal; A+ and on television. Clicking on a link brought up a new and different document.

    Any defendant that wants to contact me, can do so.

    Tracy Valleau

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: That's great...

    ...but this lawsuit covers double-clicks, not single-clicks.

    And it covers double-clicks that perform an action DIFFERENT than a single-click. Like, single-click might select an object, but double-click opens it. I mean, it's an ingenious concept. I have no idea where they got the idea from.

    So Apple got nailed for 'double-click to select/copy' in Safari.

    See, people! This is why Apple didn't include Copy/Paste to begin with. Now you're going to cost them billions of dollars in stealing this company's completely unique and non-obvious patent idea!

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    What's next - patenting looking at a link?

    I mean this is just getting silly.
    I can fire up Hypercard GS if they need serious prior art.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Oh

    On another front, I thought a patent had to be significantly different than any other patent to be viable (as in 'at least four unique parts' to the idea. Besides 'web browser', what else is unique?

  1. facebook_Joel

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Dec 2010

    +2

    comment title

    Patent law sure seams out of control? If they and others have these patents for all these years and take no action, should they not loose the right to sue for damages? Trolls that wait for a product to be successful then leach upon the work of others!

  1. facebook_Joel

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Dec 2010

    -1

    This is crazy!

    Patent law sure seams out of control? If they and others have these patents for all these years and take no action, should they not loose the right to sue for damages? Trolls that wait for a product to be successful then leach upon the work of others!

  1. James Katt

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Some patent lawyers need to be killed

    Some patent lawyers need to be killed.

    There should be a law that patent lawyers who lose their case get the death penalty.

  1. B9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Prior Art double clicking has been around too

    The lawsuit is lame and without merit. Double clicking on the web has been around way before 2002. Prior art case closed!

  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    How to Write a Patent

    Patents are tricky to write. The idea is to be general enough, so that someone can't get around your patent because your patent was too specific. For example, you specify a control k***, but someone duplicates your patent, but uses a sliding k***. At the same time, you also have to be specific enough not to cover prior art. Plus, you must make sure it isn't "obvious".

    The patent talks about when you click and an "active visual display element is selected". Then, when you click again you "enab[e] interaction with the content using a second version of data representing the content".

    That means, you see the object. Click on the object and select it. Click again, and interact with the content in some unspecified way. Not only that, but it specifies a second version of the object.

    As I said, you write 'em general enough to cover all possibilities, but narrow enough not to get caught be prior art.

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