Apple swipes ridiculousness, to hell with them
Its no secret Apple likes to sue to win its corporate battles, but the latest patent suit reaches epic levels of crazy. They filed for, and were actually awarded, a patent for slide to unlock on touch devices. I don’t even know where to begin on how wrong this development is.
This patent should have never been awarded, mainly because Apple isn’t the first to offer this feature. Hell I remember gesturing to unlock my old Palm Pilot from the 1990′s. So in that sense I guess there is a saving grace because the first time they try to enforce the patent it will be ruled invalid since its easy to prove the technology was in place before Apple offered it. But the fact that the patent office granted this win to Apple points to a bigger problem at the government level.
The wording on the patent states Apple owns the process of unlocking a device ”via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display”. Think about this for a moment, they didn’t patent an entire device or invention…merely the swipe to unlock gesturing. Imagine if the guy that invented the turn signal was awarded a patent for “a device that illumiates an exterior turning indicator via actuating a control wand upward for a right turn or downward for a left turn”. Then suddenly all other car manufacturers needed to spend engineering and manufacturing hours to make their own turn signals, instead of these people actually innovating cars. Then all cars developed their own turn signal design that was completely different.
Apple’s going-against-the-grain mentality is notorious, just look at their industry-unique charging port, but this is plain moronic. Instead of innovating they’re litigating. Industry progresses on and relies on competition. Someone makes a red wagon, another company makes one with a handle, then another company adds removeable side rails, then another improves then axle and suspension, and so on and so on. This continues until the consumer decides which company offers the best product and (magically) that company succeeds. Apple is trying to take that right to choose out of the consumers hands with a “we made it first you’re stuck with us” battlefront, even if they didn’t make it first. I would rather a company spend money hiring developers, engineers and programmers than lawyers, paralegals and subpoena servers.
I’m not an Apple fanboy by any means but I have owned an iPod and worked on Macs in prior jobs. After this though I’ve decided to actively avoid Apple products; I don’t agree with the way the company does business and therefore I don’t want to line their coffers.