It seems that the almighty Apple and its attempts to overtake the world by filing patents that cover huge swaths of technology, methods and even shapes has come under a little scrutiny. The US Patent and Trademark Office has made a preliminary ruling that invalidates the “Steve Jobs Patent”.
For those who don’t know what the “Steve Jobs Patent” is I will give a quick explanation and if you really want to see just how messed up the Patent Process is…check out the actual Patent itself! In the broad strokes, back in 2008 the Multi-touch patent was approved by the US Patent Office that defined the core functions of what we now know as the iPad (and in reality all tablets) but the way that Apple did their patent was to basically cover every base and carpet bomb the entire concept of Tablet Computing rather than address specific needs.
The decision to revoke the Patent is not final, and there are some things that Apple can do but if the ruling is upheld as is…or is subject to any modifications…all the “battles” that Apple has won against its competitors with this Patent at the heart will have to be reopened and modified.
I do hope that this means that the US Patent Office is not going to continue the process of rubber stamping Patents and will actually take some time to really think about the implications of what they are doing when they place IP out there. The reality of this whole mess is that an army of Lawyers on all sides is kept employed because of negligence or Tech Illiteracy on the part of the Patent Office Clerks. I wonder if we will find the next Einstein there…highly doubtful at this point.
I have said it before and will say it again…Patent Reform needs to happen and happen soon! The ability to Innovate is really what is at risk…taking that away will result in a world that is just a copy of a copy of a copy…and from years of working at my Mother’s Print Shop…the quality degrades with each copy…until all you are left with is CRAP!
Cheers and Happy Saturday!
Chris J Powell