IP question (was: Apple iTunes Flipbook Pattern)

11 Jun 2007 - 2:22pm
8 years ago
2 replies
722 reads
Vishal Subraman...

Does anyone know what does (or doesn't) the IP cover? On a more general
note, is it possible to patent Interaction patterns?

> We are pleased to announce that all CoverFlow technology and intellectual
property was recently sold to Apple. It has been incorporated > > into the
latest version of iTunes. Please visit www.apple.com/itunes



11 Jun 2007 - 3:00pm

First, patents and intellectual property are not the same thing. I
havent seen patent claims for flipbook/coverflow

Is it possible to patent an interaction pattern?
Its possible, within reason, to patent something that hasnt been done
before. The more simple the idea, the easier it is to prove how novel
it is. A complex system can be thoughts of consisting of smaller
elements. Some of those elements could be novel, some are prior art.
The balance determines patent-ability.

You can infringe on someone's intellectual property by reversing
engineering the design. However, if the design contains patents,
you're in court.

Does coverflow contain patentable elements? You would need an
intellectual property lawyer to look for prior art in the design and
ask questions such as: Is coverflow novel compared to a physical

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org

14 Jun 2007 - 2:52pm
Will Parker

On Jun 11, 2007, at 12:22 PM, Vishal Iyer wrote:

> Does anyone know what does (or doesn't) the IP cover? On a more
> general
> note, is it possible to patent Interaction patterns?

Given the current state of the US Patents & Trademark Office, I
wouldn't be surprised if a patent on 'Method for eating a ham
sandwich" were rejected.

More to the point, check out the legal wrangling over Amazon's 'One-
click purchase' method. The hard part isn't getting a patent on
interaction patterns -- it's getting a patent that can survive legal
challenges based on obviousness or prior art.

Apple certainly could (and just as certainly _would_) claim
infringement of trademark if your visual and animation design closely
resembled the original embodiment in iTunes. Now that they've
revealed a Coverflow view in Leopard, it's reasonable to assume that
they'd also claim patent or trademark infringement for a pretty broad
range of embodiments.

If you want Apple's opinion on the matter, you could always email
Apple's Experience Design chief, John Geylense
( jgeylense at apple.com ). Very smart, very honorable, very nice guy,
but do remember that his first duty is to protect Apple's IP -- and
that yours is to protect your own.

- Will

Will Parker
wparker at ChannelingDesign.com

“I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If
that were the case, then Microsoft would have great products.” -
Steve Jobs

Syndicate content Get the feed