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UPDATED: Android Facing A "DISASTER" After Judge Upholds Apple Patent

Eric McBride
20

 

This is a big one guys. I know you hear an earful lately of the patent wars going on between Android and Apple, and that even though both sides win cases here and there, no significant long term damage is normally done. But that changed today when a judge ruled and upheld (for the THIRD TIME) Apples's touchscreen heuristics patent in a current Apple VS Motorola trial. This patent covers the ability for a phone's touchscreen to recognize ANY user gesture on a screen that is not a straight line. Motorola has repeatedly fought this claim, but today the judge put his foot down. What does this mean? It means that if this claim is indeed finalized in July, any Android device (is Windows not affected?) with the ability to gesture a simple curve on any smartphone will be deemed as UNCOMPETITIVE. In other words, Apple has won the patent to make any curved gesture on a smartphone. 

I am honestly speechless right now. Being able to swipe at an angle can be patented? Seriously? I'm apparently not alone in thinking that this patent is WAY to broad, as Anaylist Florian Mueller from FOSSpatents also stated that the gesture in question should not be able to be patented at all. He went on to say in his blog:

"Motorola will realistically be unable to avoid a finding of infringement and will have to come up with some really good invalidity arguments if it wants to avoid disaster". 

Judge Posner was quick to reject this claim from Motorola that the patent is only specific to a level of talerance corresponding to a 27 degree angle, and stated "I reject Motorola's arguement that they've made that the structure must be limited to the 27 degree angle uses as an example by the specification". 

As reported by Mueller, if Apple gets a final verdict on this claim in July, it would deem Android devices uncompetitive in the market. He states "Motorola and Samsung, and the entire Android ecosystem at large face a serious threat. If Androd can't implement any of the gestures described, they won't be competitive". 

Google, if there's ever been a time where Motorola could use some legal help, it's NOW. I am still dumbstruck by the fact that "making a gesture that's not a straight line" can be patented at all. I just hope that Google and Motorola can find a way out of this mess. If they don't, they could be left with 2 very crappy choices: 1. Pay Apple a ton of money to use this patent, or 2. Stop selling Android devices. 

I'm not happy with either one of those choices, and I hope Google uses every ounce of power they have to defeat this unbelievably RIDICULOUS claim. 

UPDATE: So it's came to our attention that this new information that has been reportedly widely on the net comes via a source that we will need to dig deeper on. Despite the reliable outlets reporting on it, we are having problems getting 100% confirmation on this information. Now we are not saying that they are not reliable, but this particluar source has been known to....how should I say this nicely....overdo it a bit. The patent information does appear to be correct, and the possible repercussions are there, but this could also be a case of fear mongering the industry, which AndroidPIT does not condone. We will do our best to dig deeper into this and find additional sources who can provide more details about this patent. 

More details as they arrive. 

Picture credits: digitaltrends.com

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Comments

Write new comment:
  • Yuanyi Zhu Apr 3, 2012 Link

    We could still use the thing where you can gesture without touching the screen right? (very vague reference to something Samsung showed ages ago)

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  • Craig Webster Apr 3, 2012 Link

    I totally agree in the absurdity of this ruling. However, I don't think it's a huge a deal as you might think. How often do you use curved gestures? Sure, scrolling around a webpage, you'd have to go vertical or horizontal at any given gesture; you wouldn't be able to freely romp around a webpage. Also, Google Maps would take a big hit. I can't think of any other curved gestures I use.

    If I were Google, I'd pull Google Maps from iOS in retaliation.

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  • Eric McBride Apr 3, 2012 Link

    Well, it affects pitch to zoom, ALL games with on screen controls, drawing applications, writing applications, launcher gestures, browser gestures, photo editing, and so much more..it affects a lot more than you think!

    And I love the idea of removing Google Maps from IOS as retaliation :-)

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  • chinu Apr 3, 2012 Link

    bullshit.. f*** u apple

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  • Craig Webster Apr 3, 2012 Link

    Ah I didn't think about games. Draw Something would have to reduce its vocabulary to "stick" and "line."

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  • Eric McBride Apr 3, 2012 Link

    Yeah..games would suffer , tons of apps would be rendered unusable, and so many of the other features that make Android so awesome.

    I hope Google can find a workaround.

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  • Eric McBride Apr 3, 2012 Link

    Stick and line! LMAO!

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  • Alex M. Apr 4, 2012 Link

    Apple thinks it has all the ideas in the world, it's same with many scholars when somebody answers and other one which had to answer but didn't know the answer says: "Hey, I was going to say that."
    No matter what Apple thinks but users decide what to buy. Sure, people will buy i-devices when no other is competitive with them but "present makes future which is decided by past" and I think if I will patent now a wheel like "device to move stuff easily around built on round structure" will look the same as Apple does to ALL things that are ALREADY implemented in Android.
    Don't give up people.
    We'll strike back.

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  • Stan Jez Apr 4, 2012 Link

    One of my fingers made a moving gesture..I guess apple will patent that too.

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  • Eric McBride Apr 4, 2012 Link

    Oh yeah. Best believe Google will strike back.....HARD.

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  • Paul Hoffeins Apr 4, 2012 Link

    Yeah better not just maps ;)
    How about blocking google search on IOS ? I know they make a lot of money with that but they could live without it ..

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  • Eric McBride Apr 4, 2012 Link

    True..they could. But then again, it would put Bing in a good position for having their search preinstalled on the most popular phone in the world, which is far too risky for Google.

    But I agree with you though...some DRASTIC retaliation needs to go down for this.

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  • Stan Jez Apr 4, 2012 Link

    OK. perhaps I was a bit harsh with that comment. But seriously it seems like this is just getting too out of hand. Apple will need to consider if such actions will be counter productive in the long term. I suspect that there will be quite a lot of manufacturers and programmers considering the implications of this judgment. I use Swype... Does this mean that apple will require payment for anyone using it on a device which is not apple? What about Microsoft, Nokia, and the rest?
    I suspect there will be some counter suits, but I don't expect google will withdraw google maps or earth because Apple is such a large market for them.
    This attitude be apple reminds me of the large pharmaceuticals that keep on attempting to get patents on the human body.... Reason?....to make money.

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  • Paul Hoffeins Apr 4, 2012 Link

    Yeah but most people using ios are normal people who would miss google search because they dont know anything else..
    But i think google knows best how to strike back.. and not just google.. samsung for example.. there are so many parts built by samsung in these apple devices... the new ipad retina display for example.. how about quitting deliverys
    Im not sure if anyone else is that competitive in developing screens that awesome _that was just a comment why they chose samsung for manufacturing their screens..

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  • Eric McBride Apr 4, 2012 Link

    I totally forgot about Samsung, and I agree. Samsung should just stop making their displays and everything else in the iphone for that matter. But then again,. how much profit would that cost Samsung?

    Somebody has a to make a move. I just wonder who exactly and how.

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  • Paul Hoffeins Apr 4, 2012 Link

    Well they should just do it till apple recalls the patent.. and i think they would do because a patent without devices is useless

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  • Eric McBride Apr 4, 2012 Link

    Very good point. Hmmm...I really wonder if Google will go that route? Could be a really effective strategy.

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  • Alex M. Apr 4, 2012 Link

    All talk of ours will lead to nothing, if somebody can make s-g it is users. Make a petition, or go in front of nearest Apple store and throw eggs in windows of theirs. Idk, but one thing is sure, Apple can't do shit without manufactures like Samsung and LG. If you knew that! whole 4s is Samsung and Apple owns only case and antenna? And more devices, iPad2 is at half LG. So why can't we begin the war with Apple ourselves?
    Thank you for reading this.

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  • Charles Alden Apr 9, 2012 Link

    Hopefully nothing will come of this other then money changing hands. If this starts to affect manufactures ability to manufacture their products then by all means I will boycott Apple. I've already already doing so, my last Apple product I own is a Macbook Pro 13", good machine, horrible battery. Apple enthusiasts still think that they are this minority group that are fighting the injustice of global domination from none Apple organizations. The truth is Apple has become the gorilla in the room, they are the evil ones now hindering innovation anywhere possible just to hook the young generation to the crack that now goes by the name iTunes store.

    I really have a problem with Apple's mobile line the most. That OS is locked down tighter then a dolphins ass. I really can't imagine living without a file manager, or simply being able to mount the device as a drive instead of using a friggen music player to transfer files or something as easy as making folders. Then there is the absents of media codecs no customization except changing of the wallpaper, the list goes on and on. Oh and this thing that 3.5" is the ultimate screen size is utterly nut's, who does that, who put's such a high density pixel count in such a tiny area. There should be a warning label in front that reads reading glasses required.

    Yes Android has it's fair share of problems but at least I'm free to do what I want with it. I have LAMP server running on my Asus Slider for goodness sake's, how cool is that. I foresee me actually using a Android hybrid like my Slider as my main machine in the net two years. I'm already really close now, I recently installed Ubuntu 11.10 and everything seems to be running except the speed isn't really great.

    That of course will change very quickly now that the linux kernel also contains the Android kernel.

    Open source will always be the way to go for me. Shame on Apple for trying to block the advancements of Android. I'm tired of hearing this crap that Google copied iOS. BS, this technology has been around forever, Apple simply packaged something that I was already using years before with my Nokia communicator into a pretty box, then slapped a bow on it for the metrosexuals of the world and now makes 50% margin on every sale, and they say rape is illegal. I still have my Nokia 9510 and I could still do pretty much everything that a stock iPhone could do, actually more as Apple doesn't include anything decent out of the box.

    Sorry for going on the way I did it's just I frequently visit Apple forums as I still have a Macbook and these people are some of the most arrogant people I have ever come across. Every time you ask a simple question like, why didn't Apple include a miniSD card in their iPhone or iPads they come back with well it decreases the stability of the system or Integrity of the device. When we all know it's to force people to pay for the more expensive models.

    Aaaah f*ck Apple and their money grabbing ways. They are the very definition of sheep in wolves clothing. However the herd sees a pretty box and that Apple on the back and they pony up every time to buy one. My new Samsung Note is 5x the phone that the iPhone is, not just the size either.

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  • Eric McBride Apr 10, 2012 Link

    "That OS is locked down tighter then a dolphins ass".

    ....best....statement....EVER!

    LOL

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