Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 10, 2016, 10:44:48 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!  (Read 14979 times)

VideoInPicture

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 467
    • View Profile
    • Circle Dock
    • Donate to Member
Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« on: October 08, 2008, 02:24:45 PM »
The Register news article: http://www.theregist...le_patents_osx_dock/ says that Apple has finally received it's patent for the OS X dock and says that it could give Apple the ability to go after imitators such as Object Dock, Rocket Dock, etc. Apple's patent is shown here: http://patft.uspto.g...&RS=PN/7,434,177

This certainly interests me since I programmed Circle Dock. However, I think there is enough differentiation between Circle Dock and the OS X dock that I don't need to be concerned. Also, I know that there is an extensive list of prior pie menu launchers before I programmed Circle Dock so Apple's patent wouldn't apply in this case since there are so many cases of prior art.

However, it does bring concern about all the regular docking applications out there and whether their existence will continue. What do you guys think? Would Apple's patent apply to other docking applications out there?
Author of Circle Dock: http://circledock.wikidot.com
Author of Video In Picture: http://videoinpicture.wikidot.com
Author of Webcam Signature: http://webcamsignature.wikidot.com
Author of Easy Unicode Paster: http://easyunicodepaster.wikidot.com

MrCrispy

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2006
  • *
  • Posts: 331
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2008, 03:17:54 PM »
I hope Apple doesn't go after the other dock apps but given Apple's attitude and sue-happy legal history, I'm almost sure they will :(

Software patents are evil.

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2008, 03:55:10 PM »
I hope Apple doesn't go after the other dock apps but given Apple's attitude and sue-happy legal history, I'm almost sure they will :(

Software patents are evil.

I hope you're wrong about Apple... if you are not, I think that going after small developers is petty.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Grorgy

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 821
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2008, 03:57:03 PM »
These people go after grandmothers and children, I would think developers would be just a warm up exercise  ;D

Dirhael

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 383
    • View Profile
    • defreitas.no
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2008, 03:59:54 PM »
I hope Apple doesn't go after the other dock apps but given Apple's attitude and sue-happy legal history, I'm almost sure they will :(

Software patents are evil.

I hope you're wrong about Apple... if you are not, I think that going after small developers is petty.

They already did this with Y'z Dock way back when.
Registered nurse by day, hobby programmer by night.

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2008, 04:00:50 PM »
You're on fire, George! That was a fast response! You're right, though, I'm sure Apple's lawyers wouldn't even break a sweat drafting their arguments in a case like this. I have to say, though, that I can't really see what or how they are losing by having the dock replicated on other platforms. Next they'll be going after the Expose clones and the widget clones (not that they invented them but I'll bet they've got a patent application in). Of course, I'm getting ahead of myself again - they haven't done anything, yet and I hope they don't.

I hope Apple doesn't go after the other dock apps but given Apple's attitude and sue-happy legal history, I'm almost sure they will :(

Software patents are evil.

I hope you're wrong about Apple... if you are not, I think that going after small developers is petty.

They already did this with Y'z Dock way back when.

Oh crap!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2008, 04:12:55 PM »
Surely any application that was in existence before the patent was granted is safe from prosecution - how can you sue retrospectively?

Maybe what is a required is a class action of all dock developers against Apple's patent - given that Apple's stock is dropping like a stone currently they haven't got much incentive to waste money on frivolous law suits.

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2008, 04:27:10 PM »
Surely any application that was in existence before the patent was granted is safe from prosecution - how can you sue retrospectively?

Sadly, I am pretty sure that you CAN sue retrospectively, at least in NA court. I hope you're right, though.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Edvard

  • Coding Snacks Author
  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,888
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2008, 04:56:41 PM »
It looks like (from a cursory reading of the patent) that what they have patented is exactly what they've got:
Their squirmy implementation of a quick launch bar.
I'm not sure if they intend to sue anybody, it feels more like they wanted to guarantee themselves getting the patent by threatening anybody who might get the same idea. Besides, Yamaguchi (supposedly) admitted to simply cloning the dock without building in any other distinguishing features. Also, who's to say that the authors of Rocketdock, Mobydock and RKLauncher didn't get similar letters?
Do you know of any launcher-panel-with-icons-that-zoom-when-your-mouse-gets-close thingummy that existed before Apple's?
For the record, I think software patents are ridiculous and stupid, but within the confines of currently existing rules they received it legitimately.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2008, 05:36:55 PM »
Pretty cheeky for a company that based it's entire "new" OS on somebody else's kernal, core, and concept. The only original and innovative thing Apple ever did was the code for QuickDraw. And that was largely the work of one person.

Aren't these are the same guys that used to say "shame" to Microsoft for the deal they cut with Seattle Computer Products when Bill bought 86-DOS off them for only $50K, sold it to IBM as PC-DOS, and never paid SCP a penny more?

Dirhael

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 383
    • View Profile
    • defreitas.no
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2008, 05:38:51 PM »
You're on fire, George! That was a fast response! You're right, though, I'm sure Apple's lawyers wouldn't even break a sweat drafting their arguments in a case like this. I have to say, though, that I can't really see what or how they are losing by having the dock replicated on other platforms. Next they'll be going after the Expose clones and the widget clones (not that they invented them but I'll bet they've got a patent application in). Of course, I'm getting ahead of myself again - they haven't done anything, yet and I hope they don't.

I hope Apple doesn't go after the other dock apps but given Apple's attitude and sue-happy legal history, I'm almost sure they will :(

Software patents are evil.

I hope you're wrong about Apple... if you are not, I think that going after small developers is petty.

They already did this with Y'z Dock way back when.

Oh crap!

It's interesting that they actually were granted the patent when you consider the fact that Stardock have been making docks since 1994, years before Apple implemented their version.
Registered nurse by day, hobby programmer by night.

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2008, 05:48:06 PM »
Just another reason to hate Apple, and OSX.

*Launches OD Plus, RD, and CD*

Bring it on!

Edvard

  • Coding Snacks Author
  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,888
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2008, 06:17:04 PM »
Quote
It's interesting that they actually were granted the patent when you consider the fact that Stardock have been making docks since 1994, years before Apple implemented their version.
Yes, and RiscOS and NextStep were doing it even before that: http://www.osnews.co...18941/pt_VI_the_Dock
But did any of them have the zoomy icon function? IIRC, ObjectDock was capable, but I don't know if it did it by default.

If you read the patent, it becomes obvious that what they patented is the squirmy zoom function:
Quote
To permit a greater number of items to reside in the userbar, a magnification function can be provided which magnifies items within the userbar when they are proximate the cursor associated with the graphical user interface.

Once again, it's stupid, but the patent appears rather narrow in definition.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2008, 06:20:38 PM »
Once again UserFriendly nails it:

Patent.gif

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2008, 06:22:11 PM »
lmao ;D

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2008, 06:23:48 PM »
Yes, and RiscOS and NextStep were doing it even before that: http://www.osnews.co...18941/pt_VI_the_Dock

Actually a lot of ideas in RiscOS made it into Windows (not least the three button mouse).

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2008, 02:10:40 PM »
Apple are petty enough to sue... witness the legal action they are taking against a small computer school in Victoria, BC: http://www.theglobea...tory/Technology/home

Apple lawsuit.pngApple Patents the OS X Dock!!!

Of course, if the school were forced to adopt a different logo it might not be the worst thing that ever happened to them... but what do I know?





"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

cranioscopical

  • Friend of the Site
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,368
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2008, 02:34:48 PM »
Apple are petty enough to sue... witness the legal action they are taking against a small computer school in Victoria, BC:

Rotten to the core... this kind of thing gives one the pip.

Grorgy

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 821
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2008, 04:21:31 PM »
That's really mean of them Darwin, those 2 logos could never be confused, and unless Apple are now running schools seems to me there is absolutely no way any confusion could possibly occur.  Cranio is right, rotten to the core lol

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2008, 04:27:48 PM »
That's bullshit, through and through. "OMG WE FOUND ANOTHER LOGO USING AN APPLE, LETS SUE NOW NOW NOW!!!"

That's like Microsoft suing over the Volume Icon in windows being used on OSX and *nix systems, or the US government suing MS for the flag logo. Or NASA suing Apple because OS X 10.5 uses an image of space (real or fake). Its an intimate object, not a damn infringement (on anything). Back the f*** off.

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2008, 04:35:55 PM »
Of course... the heroes of my youth (and, as it happens, Steven Jobs' heroes as well) have resorted to similar pettiness: Apple Corps. vs. Apple Computer. From the perspective of time, this seems really silly. Perhaps lil' Stevie "Wonder" Jobs learned a thing or two from the experience?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2008, 04:50:25 PM »
Just for show, here is my OD+ config.

Muhahahaha. No, seriously, here it is. Click for full size (600kb).

http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/1540/juststickingittoapplesk6.png
Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!

zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2008, 11:23:59 PM »
We truly need to nuke human society and start all over. Are there any good corporations left?

icekin

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 264
    • View Profile
    • icekin.com Technology,Computers and the Internet
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2008, 07:12:14 AM »
We truly need to nuke human society and start all over. Are there any good corporations left?

I like Canonical and what they are doing with Ubuntu. Mozilla and WikiMedia Foundation are also worthy organizations. In fact, I look forward to an wiki/open search that can challenge yahoo and google.

fenixproductions

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,184
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2008, 07:39:08 AM »
2Darwin
Nice (f)article found. Here you go with another one:
http://www.wired.com...08/04/apple_vs_apple

I hope MS will never think about such stupid lawsuits because that day I will have to live in shelter with walls only (until Pink Floyd patent the rights for such word ;).
« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 07:41:05 AM by fenixproductions »