iPad on Lockdown: Apple Faces a Twist of Intellectual Property Law

iPad on Lockdown: Apple Faces a Twist of Intellectual Property Law

Summary: iPad on Lockdown: Apple Faces a Twist of Intellectual Property LawAuthor: Eric Everson, MyMobiSafe.comImagine that you have this great product idea and a catchy brand name for it too.

TOPICS: Mobility

iPad on Lockdown: Apple Faces a Twist of Intellectual Property Law Author: Eric Everson, MyMobiSafe.com

Imagine that you have this great product idea and a catchy brand name for it too. As managers, we have all been there at some point or another. Grandiose ideas of being patted on the back and welcomed into the inner circle of the executive leadership team come to mind as you envision all the profit your company is going to earn with this revolutionary new product… then the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) snaps you back to reality as you discover that it’s already been done before!

As a U.S. Company, this is the epiphany that Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) either failed to acknowledge or figured they had the treasury and legal muscle to flex. As it turns out the iPad, is not a new product in the world of technology, in fact as even some of us more techy types may remember, it was Fujitsu that actually introduced the first iPad. Don’t just take my word for it, just look it up for yourself at USPTO.gov (Hint: start with US Patent: 7,228,469).

How accurate does this sound? “Portable information device, … portable information device, and computer product” If that sounds like one of Steve Jobs’ lines for promoting the new Apple iPad, think again as that text was literally copied verbatim from the Fujitsu owned US Patent: 7,228,469. It would seem that Apple Inc has stepped into the ring with Fujitsu, which is a leading Japan-based company with a beefy balance sheet and domestic access to the legal system that should certainly make Steve Jobs and team consider their next moves carefully.

As I understand it Apple has until February 28, 2010 to decide to fight for the name at the USPTO. The new Apple iPad has iPhone app developers frantic as their current content will lose significant resolution when displayed in full screen on the iPad. Apple released a new SDK exclusive to the iPad this week, which has many developers contemplating if they should invest the time in redeveloping and transferring their product to the iPad.

While the future may bring about a balance where app content can be shared from iPad to iPhone (and back) with ease, in the interim we are granting a specialized MyMobiSafe Verified package that covers content unique multiplatform apps. This will allow app developers to earn their MyMobiSafe Verification for either their iPhone App or their iPad app and use the same credentials at no added cost.

Apple is no stranger to big lawsuits and legal action, but for now, it seems this twist of intellectual property law has plans for the Apple iPad on lockdown.

About the Author: Eric Everson is a leader in mobile technologies and is the founder of the U.S.-based MyMobiSafe.com. If you would like to contact Eric Everson for interview or with consulting related inquiries contact him directly at EricEverson@Hotmail.com. To get started with your MyMobiSafe Verification simply email: GetVerifed@MyMobiSafe.com.

Topic: Mobility


About MobileTech

Eric Everson: Founder of MyMobiSafe.com. As a pioneer in mobile security, Eric Everson led MyMobiSafe, LLC from R&D through startup. Today, MyMobiSafe Verified has become the hallmark of quality throughout the app-driven wireless community. Everson is a graduate of the Harvard Business School MIT Program and holds a bachelors degree in Marketing Management and masters degrees in Software Engineering and Business Administration. Everson remains extremely close to the mobile security industry as an innovation leader. As a lw student with an entrepreneurial spirit Everson is driven both academically and professionally by a passion for innovative technologies.

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  • iPad on Lockdown: Apple Faces a Twist of Intellectual Property Law

    It comes back to my one of my biggest bug bears about the law in general. It is supposed to solve problems, and not supposed to create new ones. This case of intellectual property is a very good example. The aim of the patent or trade mark is supposed to encourage and protect good innovation. Here, however, it is being used to encourage an abuse of dominant position in competition terms, which actually depresses innovation. This has to be reformed in the law. I know that companies demand such protection because of the huge amounts of money that they put into research and development, however it just means that certain stakeholders get squashed out of the market altogether. It might seem ok for the sexy iPad or iTablet, but you wouldn't have such a casual attitude over a new drug for HIV/AIDS would you?
    Shibley R
  • iPad on Lockdown: Apple Faces a Twist of Intellectual Property Law

    Interesting comment Shilbey. From what I can see, Apple even nicked wording of blurb straight out of the Fujitsu patent. Now if Fujitsu were first with an almost identical product, and the patents system is stopping Apple from taking iPad further, that doesn't seem to be such an inhibitor of innovation to me. If it's someone else's innovation that Apple are trying to use then for once the patent system is actually doing the right thing here.

    Of course, if Apple want to take development of the device further than Fujitsu did, then why not? However, they ought to consult with Fujitsu first as the patent holders and license whatever they've done on the back of Fujitsu's innovations. If Apple stole ideas and even the wording of blurb from Fujitsu's patent rather than this being total Apple innovation, then for once I don't see a problem with the application of patent law here.
    Fat Pop Do Wop
  • iPad on Lockdown: Apple Faces a Twist of Intellectual Property Law

    Suppose its going to come back down to what or how apple want to market this, look at microsoft's tablet a PC AT formatted device is just the same as a desktop tech put into a different housing, so what difference does a name make you could call it anything you like.

    But on the other hand if apple/fujitsu expect to say hey look this entire concept is our design, and your copying us to anyone who wants also to take some hardware and house it into a portable form then thats bollocks, because at the end of the day its the same hardwares freely available across the markets, so what exactly have they innovated? a thin plastic housing mold?!

    The patent system's the world over should be laughing such approaches out of the offices, unless the housing did something extremely special.

    As it stands its like me opening up a convenience store and sourcing my supply's in so I could sell, and then trying to patent the concept of the convince store, and then suing everyone else doing the same thing and all because I got greedy, I could just imagine the expression's on the faces of the supply's now.

    Edit; The whole patent system's turning into a tit for tat mess, because these company's have become incapable of working out how to sustain continuation in there retrospective area's.
  • iPad on Lockdown: Apple Faces a Twist of Intellectual Property Law

    That cracks me up! Jobs caught with his hand in the cookie jar!

    By now they've probably sold thousands if not millions of of the "digital hygienic products". Fujitsu has a much broader industrial base than Apple and is more likely to be able to withstand a protracted legal battle. But I doubt it will last long. Apple and company will ask a price of Fujitsu and buy out the Fujitsu patent and things will return to "normal".

    The phrase "Information device" is so freaking generic that it likely appears in thousands of patents. (edited)

    Yes I found it! Even funnier. The Fujitsu device doesn't mention a cell phone or a camera either! Its almost like Apple used the Fujitsu patent as a product specification for the iPAD.