This is the new Apple, the one that every article you read reminds you is the biggest company around, the one that now apparently misses sales estimates."
Umm, doesn't this only affect those who voluntarily upgrade to iOS6 or the iPhone5? It surely is annoying, but at least they're not pulling a sony (e.g. upgrade-to-iOS6-or-you-can't-use-apps kind of update).
No need for confusion. The answer is no. You may get a patent on something that uses a wheel, but the protection does not extend to the wheel by itself. I haven't reviewed the prior art, but Apple's patent requires the power plug be symmetric so it can be plugged in in exactly two different orientations and still work. The guy a few posts above should make a triangular one connectable in exactly three orientations and get a patent on that, since it's so damn easy and obvious.
The PTO hires plenty of people "skilled in the art of software". The #1 problem with software patents is the utter lack of documentation available to the patent office as prior art. Examiners can't just write "claim 1 is rejected under the grounds that I remember seeing this idea 10 years ago in some random shareware POS". Now, if the author of that particular program documented even half of the features in a file WITH A DATE, then the examiner wouldn't look like an idiot. A forum post retrieved from archive.org only goes so far.
To all those writing software: Document how your software works and include a date! I'd like to get past these seemingly inane software patents too, and the best way to do it is to create prior art.
It's about time someone is calling out a company on their massive budget overrun. The SOP of underbidding contracts just to get them, knowing full well that you can just ignore the budget is nothing more than systemic fraud.
Why they decided to pay $600M and then ask for a refund is a bit perplexing.
In fact, I just mentioned this article to a co-worker who was showing off his shiny new Pre to me late last week, which after using it for a few days and finding out contrary to what the clerk told him that he could in fact not sync with iTunes, He's clocking out now to return it to the store he bought it from and promised to be headed to Bestbuy to pick up an iPhone 3GS on the way back...
So wait.. your coworker was so mad that Palm wouldn't parry Apple's anti-competitive measures and Palm's collection of usage/GPS data, that he rushed out to sign a contract with the company at the center of the warrantless wiretapping debacle? The same company that, in response to hoards of customer complaints, pulled strings in congress to get an unconstitutional ex-post-facto law passed to prevent them from being criminally prosecuted for turning over every bit of customer data they could get their hands on to the feds? Yea, I can see how the average American consumer would make that choice.
A discovery cannot be patented by itself. To be patentable, there is an explicit requirement under US law for an "inventive step" to be taken.
While I usually cringe when thinking of responding to patent related topics here, the fact that this got modded up to "4, Informative" made me cringe more.. 35 USC 101 is the key to what can and cannot be patented in the US, and it starts: "Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful..." so, yeah "discoveries" can be patented. If you "discover" a new rock mineral that cures cancer, you are entitled to a patent on the mineral itself (given you can prove it's "usefulness", i.e. actually curing cancer).
Both patents suck, but for other reasons.
On this part, I completely agree, but hopefully things are different now that KSR caselaw is in place.
The best things in life go on sale sooner or later.