Apple now trying to patent App ideas

Apple now trying to patent App ideas

Summary: Apple's latest idea for squeezing more money out of the iPhone cash cow - patenting App ideas.

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TOPICS: Apple
71

Unwired View has uncovered Apple's latest idea for squeezing more money out of the iPhone cash cow - patenting App ideas.

The problem? Three Apple patent applications that just became public on USPTO website. From the looks of them, it seems that Apple is now trying to patent mobile app ideas. For now Apple is seeking to get a patent for 3 apps – travel, hotel and high fashion shopping.

Patent applications can be found here, here, and here.

Damn, but this is one scary development. Imagine if back in 1994-96 someone decided to sit back, think about what kind of web services can be provided via the internet, and then decided to patent them. You know, things like – shopping for books online, buying plane tickets, reserving a hotel, providing shopping comparison services, online auctions, online e-mail services, etc;

USPTO, you guys need to kick these patent applications to the kerb.

Topic: Apple

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71 comments
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  • Forcing companies/developers towards iPhone only

    Imagine that Apple then approaches Target, Walmart, sears, ect and either asks for large amount of money to allow the use of "shopping by phone" app for WP7 or Android.

    But then of course if they develope for the iPhone only, the fee is waived.
    John Zern
  • The problem is...

    you can't patent [i]ideas.[/i] You can only patent the [i]methods[/i] to make those ideas work.

    Both the good people at Unwired View and you should know that.
    msalzberg
    • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

      @msalzberg

      Unfortunately, the USPTO itself does not seem to know this. They have long since given up, for example, demanding that the applicant actually implement the method described in the patent, except for obvious impossibilities such as the "perpetual motion machine", for which they will no longer grant patents without a working model.
      mejohnsn
      • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

        @mejohnsn

        Yes and no. You still have to describe a method of doing something, but it should be shown to be a practical, not theoretical method.

        You still cannot patent an idea.
        msalzberg
    • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

      @msalzberg So you're saying that "SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR ACCESSING TRAVEL SERVICES USING A PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE" can be patented? Give me a break. That's like trying to patent how to pee in a toilet.
      ashdude
      • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

        @ashdude

        Don't give them free ideas to steal. what I don't see with these app applications is they are all prior art. we have those already. WGARA if it is an app on a phone rahter than an app on a computer (AKA smartphone)?
        zclayton2
      • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

        @ashdude Did you know that the third person camera view on games is patented? You can patent an implementation of an idea, so yes, what you said probably can.
        LeeC
  • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

    "what kind of web services can be provided via the internet, and then decided to patent them."

    That would be Patent Squatting.

    Wouldn't fly without a working prototype and, more importantly, a shippable product.

    But Apple has both. So they can certainly patent methods used on their hardware.

    You haven't guessed why they patented this, have you?

    It's to prevent the next Nokia from patenting something similar in the future and suing Apple over it.

    Now Apple can point to the patent application and prove they had prior art.
    Jkirk3279
    • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

      @Jkirk3279 No working prototype required. That's a myth.

      And patents, if creatively-enough written *can* cover ideas.
      fairportfan
      • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

        @fairportfan

        No. They have to be written in a way that describes how to make an idea work.
        msalzberg
    • Precisely how I see it...

      @Jkirk3279 <br><br>Sad but patents have always been sort off like a preemptive maneuver. We've just learnt Microsoft patented digital page turning (lol hey where's the outrage?). Why would they do such a thing? So the true Patent Squatters won't be able to do it first and then sue Microsoft later.

      I blame the Patent Office.
      dave95.
      • Shifting focus, always shifting focus

        @dave95.

        MS has definitely earned a bad reputation, but that does not alter the fact that Apple has become a tyrant of a company.

        A denier of problems with its devices by millions (yeah, millions) of users globally.

        The fact that the founder long ago decided to denounce is own daughter for the longest time and as a millionaire refused to pay child support - yeah, good example.

        A company that was once the rebel, the alternative, now more litigious than MS and other tech giants? What happened to purity and good honest business practices.

        Please, STOP with the comparisons to MS. When the next MS thread is started bash them there - I would enjoy reading that but this is a thread about Apple and their business practices and strategies - NOT about MS.

        Focus, strap on the blinders. See if you can post a reply that addresses the article without brining in an artificial monster.
        Webbywarehouse
      • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

        @dWebbywarehouse<br><br>Wow talk about a personal vendetta? I certainly will not peer into another mans window just to judge him and his family (who am I to judge when I myself am not perfect). I will leave this one to you and No_Ax.
        dave95.
      • What does Microsoft have to do with this story?

        I believed it was about Apple's transformation into a company that is willing to stoop to any level, no matter how low, to force out any competition to it's product lines.

        I fail to see how en example with another company changes the facts of Apple's recent history in regards to their business practices.
        Tim Cook
  • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

    Okay this is messed up... seriously. Apple needs to chill with the freaking patents.
    athynz
    • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

      @athynz - but somebody has to catch up to Microsoft... heck, they want to patent hurricane control... assuming the idea is brought to reality by somebody, and it won't be me because if I did the work then MS would shout "I have a patent for that" and then take it. 'scuse me for doing the work... but that's philanthropy for ya.
      HypnoToad72
      • Fascinating.

        The level to which many of you humans will lower yourselves to is quite fascinating.

        To constently try to misdirect the issue at hand by placing the blame on Microsoft is illogical.

        No amount of "slight of hand tricks" as you human would say, will absolve Apple of their misdeeds.

        It is truely fascinating that the same people continue to try to cover for Apple.

        Quite illogical. :|
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

        @HypnoToad72 Microsoft hardly ever sue anyone for patent infringements. They basically only use patents defensively. Apple, by contrast, are pretty litigious with their patents -- aggressively so, indeed.
        Xenia Onatopp
  • Apple is a Tyrant

    Apple is an iron fisted tyrant.

    No amount of comparison of MS in the past is going to alter this. No amount of trying to shift the focus to MS as Apple Fanboys always do will change this.

    Stack up the cases and situations in which Apple has been aggressively suing and being sued, for trying to funnel everything through their money making apparatus, looking at all the false and misleading advertising they conducted, looking at their denial of iPhone issues, looking at their refusal to allow Flash on their iPad despite the fact consumers should have the choice, look at the myriad of other (many, many other) examples - at the end of the day Apple is a terrible company, a tyrant, a bully, and it is pathetic to say otherwise.

    Want to say the same about MS, okay, go ahead. But that does not change the fact that Apple is a dangerous company. I agree that they engineer some very good products, but the company, just speaking of the company itself, it is simply terrible for the consumer.
    Webbywarehouse
    • RE: Apple now trying to patent App ideas

      And as a follow up I may add, what if there was no MS, what do you suppose Apple Macs would be like and how much they would cost?

      I shutter to think that if there was no MS that consumer choice and innovation would be radically different, and not in a good way.

      My opinions but how can anyone in even the most remotely and radical way of thinking see it any differently?

      Apple is a TERRRRRRRIBLE company. What happened to Apple over the years? Wow!
      Webbywarehouse