iPod podcast menus, navigation depicted in new Apple patent app

iPod podcast menus, navigation depicted in new Apple patent app

Summary: EXCLUSIVE: A new Apple Patent application just published this morning provides insight into how a series of hierarchical menus displayable on an iPod could guide a user to select podcasts for play that are already stored on the device.The Patent Application is 20060265637, Utilization Of Podcasts on Portable Media Devices.

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TOPICS: Apple
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EXCLUSIVE: A new Apple Patent application just published this morning provides insight into how a series of hierarchical menus displayable on an iPod could guide a user to select podcasts for play that are already stored on the device.

The Patent Application is 20060265637, Utilization Of Podcasts on Portable Media Devices. And by PDMs, Apple is, of course, referring to iPod and just perhaps, to successor devices as well.

In order for us to understand how this will work, let's look at some illustrations from this Patent app. 

This shows us the start and workflow of the procedure involved for navigating through the list of podcasts stored on an iPod.

Here we see a workflow that occurs when the user selects a specific podcast to be played.

Here we see the user navigating through a field of menus that specify podcasts as a choice, and then menus and sub-menus of podcasts that are stored on the iPod or related device.

And finally, the user has specified they want to see metadata about the podcast being played. This information can be retrieved and then played via the views I show you now:


 What do you think of the navigational and display capability portrayed in this patent application?

Topic: Apple

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81 comments
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  • So what is new about the process?

    This type of patent application brings the whole patent process into disrepute. There is nothing new or unique about the process, except that it happens to be for selecting podcasts. The process could, and has in the past, been used for selecting many other things. Therfore, unless there is something that is unique in the mechanics of the process as it relates to implementing selection of podcasts (other than it being the object to which the process is being applied), it should be rejected as it is prior art. As it is, there is no mention of such particular mechanics that would make it new and unique. Even if there was something particular about its application to podcasts, only that part should be considered for patenting. The rest is stock standard selection menu stuff.

    The test is: change the word 'podcast' to something that you have programmed a selection menu system for. Does it look familiar now? If so, what right should Apple have to patent it.

    Apple, you are big boys with some brains in there. Why don't you patent some real IP?
    Patanjali
    • You know minus the insulting and lack of understanding

      on your part I agree with you. The problem and source of your lack
      of understanding of basic buisness protection practices is that
      Apple has to play but the current rules. If Apple didd not apply for
      this Patent someone else would and eventually sue Apple for
      infringment. I don't like it but there you have it...it is what it is.

      Pagan jim
      Laff
      • Are you saying....

        a bogus patent request somehow protects a company from infringement? Or are you saying they must give it a try and if they get it, great, if not they are back to worrying?
        The act of applying would not affect an infringment suit, would it?
        xuniL_z
        • Well I would think a decision from the Patent Office

          stating this IP is already patented or better still it the idea can not
          be patented would help Apple out if someone made a claim against
          Apple.

          Pagan jim
          Laff
      • Current rules

        I would have to agree with your assesment of the issue. "If Apple did not apply for
        this Patent someone else would and eventually sue Apple for infringment". The sad part is that Apple has to.
        John Zern
      • The pot calling the kettle black????

        Please be aware that once a technology is produced, or for that matter, even discussed openly, it's impossible for the inventor, let alone another party to attempt to patent it as you suggest. Yea, but you're the expert, lol. Have a great holiday season!
        alphachi
        • production does not preclude patenting in the USA

          Once an idea/gadget/process is made "public knowledge" (or "disclosed"), US patent law gives you a year to file for the actual patent.

          holidays included.
          astro_z
      • Public domain?

        If Apple's real goal was to ensure that no one else patented this interface, couldn't they just place it into the public domain and be done with it? No paying lawyers, etc.
        tgeliot
        • More Stupid USPTO tricks

          Or the US Patent Office could take their heads out of an anatomically-impossible place and declare things like this "public domain" and/or "prior art" (which they most clearly are to any sensible person). This is just incredibly stupid and more evidence that the US Patent Office needs a major overhaul.

          They patented the "touch-wheel" user interface and that seems like a legitimate claim. But hierarchical menuing has been done for decades. What planet are these people living on?
          rcrowley7
      • It makes no difference, its grade school quality.

        Its crap, its simple and unoriginal and just plain obvious straight to the point programming selection. Any fool who put their mind to it for more then a few hours and knew what an ipod did and what they were being asked to figure out could have cooked up this exact thing, or something so much like it it would breach a patent for this layout.

        The problem isn't that someone else would have applied for the patent,the problem is that the patent office might issue a patent for such a simplistic "connect the dots" invention. A connect the dots invention is one that any jackass could come up with if they decided it was worth their while to take the time to connect the dots. Lets be honest, if Apple is worried that such an invention would soon be patented by any other number of companies then thats ample proof that any number of people so motivated could come up with a like minded design. Thats not supposed to be a patentable invention. A patentable invention has to be unobvious to someone skilled in the art. This stupid diagram looks like someone with an IQ that was at least average sat down for a couple hours and worked out a simple logical pattern. Thats not an invention. Thats connecting the dots.
        Cayble
        • True which is the very reason Apple has to do this stuff.

          Look if Apple did not do this and someone filed a suit people would
          be laughing and pointing at Apple saying "Why didn't they protect
          themselves?"

          Pagan jim
          Laff
          • Agreed, thats not the point.

            I can hardly blame Apple for playing the game by the rules they have learned they have to live with, so I dont. Apple may be contributing to the problem but they sure didnt create it. Its the sheer nonsense of the rules and the process that they create that makes me ill.
            Cayble
      • Apple has already been screwed by this once...

        And now they have to play the game to protect themselves.
        BitTwiddler
    • I just patented...

      The File menu next to the Edit menu, other menus inbetween and with a Help menu at the far right.


      This type of patent silliness is insulting to folks who have real patents.
      LinuxHippie
    • Disrepute

      It is not this type of patent that is leading the patent system into disrepute, it is the patent system that is leading to these pointlessly specific and unoriginal patents - largely for defensive reasons.

      It's not even an allowable patent under UK law (software does not count as a patentable 'invention' for one thing).

      It will eventually stifle software development in the US as developers will spend 80% oif their time checking they haven't infringed anyone's patent.
      JulesLt
  • I think . . .

    . . . it's stupid. How in the world is this any different from, say, navigating music on the iPod?
    CobraA1
    • It's already there in current iPods

      I have a iPod w/Video 30Gb, and can already do this. Just go to Settings, and add Podcast to the main menu. Then, I can just click on Podcast, and the menu of all podcasts appear. It doesn't say "iPodCast" like in the sample, but it is essentially the same.

      I wonder why the Supreme Court is currently reviewing the underpinnings of Patent Law as it applies to technology??!?
      anonymous
  • You might have a point

    But last time Apple was slow to patent their hierarchical ipod
    menus they got sued and finally had to settle with Creative to the
    tune of $100 million:

    http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1040_22-6108901.html

    Better safe than sorry. Besides, it will stop Microsoft from stealing
    this particular feature.
    Len Rooney
    • Is this a sure sign of an Apple Fanboi?

      You cannot mention anything Apple does without slamming Microsoft? Seems to be the corporate culture that has trickled down to the Apple Core. And, true believers that they are, they have picked up the banner and are running with it.

      Oh, and Apple was not slow to patent their menus, Creative already had before the iPod was a gleam in Steve's eye.
      Confused by religion
      • MS fangirl perhaps?

        "You cannot mention anything Apple does without slamming
        Microsoft? Seems to be the corporate culture that has trickled
        down to the Apple Core. And, true believers that they are, they
        have picked up the banner and are running with it."

        They ARE quick to copy, and so are likely all the other wannabe
        competitors. Apple are king on the hill with their iPods, *of
        course* others want to copy their success.

        "Oh, and Apple was not slow to patent their menus, Creative
        already had before the iPod was a gleam in Steve's eye."

        Doesn't refute the fact that Apple HAVE to patent their ideas to
        protect their IP.
        Mikael_z