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Twitter's Loren Brichter aims for patent on pull-to-refresh

updated 05:15 pm EDT, Tue March 27, 2012

Tech already used in many third-party titles

Tweetie developer Loren Brichter, now with Twitter, has a US patent application in review for the pull-to-refresh gesture common in many touchscreen apps, reports note. To get around the interface limitations of some devices, many apps -- such as the Facebook iOS app, or Twitter clients -- will let users "drag" a portion of the interface down to force a feed refresh. Some apps use the same gesture to trigger different commands.

If granted, Brichter's application would cover any app with a similar gesture/command system, regardless of the command it triggered. The filing was first made on April 8th, just a day before Brichter announced that his former company, atebits, was being acquired by Twitter. It's unknown if Twitter can claim any rights to the patent, but the company's official iOS app also relies on pull-to-refresh.

The application could be defeated by prior art. Apps have been using the gesture for some time, and could predate Brichter's work.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. facebook_John

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2012

    +2

    No this is completely wrong

    1.) Loren Brichter left Twitter last year. Here is your own link to the story: http://www.electronista.com/articles/11/11/04/twitter.ios.app.creator.quits.unexpectedly/

    2.) The patent was filed under his old company AteBits which was sold to Twitter completely. So since Twitter owns all of Atebits' assets they own the patent.

    3.) It would be hard to find prior art for this as Tweetie was really the first app to do this.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    And, the patent should be

    denied. This is getting quite ludicrous at this point. The notion that "would cover any app with a similar gesture/command system, regardless of the command it triggered." is dopy in the extreme.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Re: No this is completely wrong

    2.) The patent was filed under his old company AteBits which was sold to Twitter completely. So since Twitter owns all of Atebits' assets they own the patent.

    But his name would still be on it as one of the "creators".

    3.) It would be hard to find prior art for this as Tweetie was really the first app to do this.

    Ah, but everyone does it now, so the prior art is there, if you think in terms of the prior art appearing after the initial use! Oh, that doesn't work?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Re: And, the patent should be

    And, the patent should be denied. This is getting quite ludicrous at this point. The notion that "would cover any app with a similar gesture/command system, regardless of the command it triggered." is dopy in the extreme.

    That's assuming it would cover all commands. Sorry if I don't take macnn's word that the patent would. It reads as mostly regards to refresh.

    But if you take the view of it being ludicrous, then talk to congress, for they're the ones who can tell the USPTO to stop patenting software concepts.

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