back to article Double-clicking patent takes on world

Hopewell Culture & Design reckons it owns the act of double-clicking, and is suing Apple, Nokia, Samsung and just about everyone else for breaching its patent. It's not double-clicking per se that US patent 7,171,625 covers, just the act of clicking twice on an already-selected component to action a request for additional …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Dazed and Confused

    2002?

    Double clicking is described in the 1991 edition of the Motif programming guide.

    Have they abandoned the idea that you had to file patents for things you actually invented of can I please file a patent for:

    a) the wheel

    b) sexual reproduction

    c) the art of filing stupid patents.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      I remember writing code for this ...

      ... in about 1986, certainly well before Motif. And even then I wasn't doing something new, I wanted double-click actions just like the one in, oh, I can't even remember what application it was.

      I do remember wondering whether I should suppress the fitst click until the double-click timeout had expired (no, in case you're wondering, still).

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Boffin

        My version

        Indeed not :)

        A double-click is actually a selection click followed by a second click soon after. In other words the first click isn't actually seen as a 'potential' double-click. It's the timing of the second click (and location of the mouse pointer when it happens) that triggers the double-click event.

        There isn't much you can do about this unless you invent a computer that can see into the future. Double-click timeouts can be half a second - maybe a second. Users are a pissy breed and they'd get annoyed (bless 'em) if they had to keep waiting for half a second before the computer responded to a single click.

        Luckily in 99.9% of cases you /do/ want the object to be selected before performing a double-click so it all works out :)

      2. Michael C

        earlier

        The original Apple System X used double clicking, back in 1983. Xerox I'm sure did it first. My old BBS used the spacebar to either click or double click an object back as early as 1980.

        I love to see a patent troll spend million in lawsuit and lose. Keep em coming!

        1. Geoff Campbell
          FAIL

          System X in 1983?

          Steve Jobs can disregard the flow of time in General Relativity now, too? Coo, powerful man....

          GJC

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      I'll see you in court.

      I've already posted my claim for filing stupid patents with the sole aim to take everyone to court and make lots of money.

    3. M H
      Stop

      can I please file a patent for...

      > a) the wheel

      no, you may not because it was patented in 2001:

      http://ipmenu.com/archive/AUI_2001100012.pdf

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. Disco-Legend-Zeke
    Troll

    Can You Say...

    ..."prior art?"

    Troll for them.

  3. Emj
    Flame

    Another motherf*&*ing patent troll

    The sooner the patent law is made even vaguely sensible, the better. Come Nokie et al, fight the gutter dwelling low life.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Simple change

      Just like you can't claim trademark infringement unless you are actively using the trademark. A patent should only be defensible if the patent owner is actually using the patent in a product.

    2. Ted Treen
      Boffin

      @Emj

      Vaguely sensible?

      Don't forget that the law is made by lawyers (mostly) with the sole aim of enriching lawyers.

      Vaguely sensible? - not a snowball in Hell's chance...

      PS

      I presume that you mean Patent Lawyers are the "gutter dwelling low life"

  4. Gerrit Hoekstra
    FAIL

    Prior art: This is but a tripple-click!

    The misadventures of a certain Unix vendor in Utah comes to mind. Good luck!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    That this patent was awarded...

    ...shows the stunning lack of competence at the USPTO. Who not only fail to understand software, but the basic fundamentals of invention.

    And yet, every time patent reform is on the table, it is opposed by every patent examiners union, in order to protect the masses of incompetent incumbents already there.

    1. Ralph B
      FAIL

      Look at it from the USPTO POV

      The USPTO issue their patents in exchange for dosh. Quite a lot of dosh. The more patents they issue, the more dosh they get. They have no liability if one of these patents is struck down. They aren't required to take any part in the defence of these patents in a court of law.

      Now, if the USPTO _were_ made liable for bad patents, or had to co-defend the patent in the courts, that'd make them more careful with the issuing of them.

      Maybe a compromise would be to require the USPTO to refund the fees for any patent they issued that was subsequently struck down.

      Only then might they start doing the job we think they should be doing.

      1. Vic

        Insuffcicient penalty

        > Maybe a compromise would be to require the USPTO to refund the fees for

        > any patent they issued that was subsequently struck down.

        That still wouldn't stop them.

        If they issue a bogus patent, then have to refund the fees later, they are no worse off than if they had not issued at all.

        So if every single duff patent is discovered and shot down, the PTO is at break-even. If any survive, they are quids in. There is obviously no incentive to reject bad patents, and some incentive to accept them.

        To use such a financial tool to get them to do some assessment first, the penalty for having a patent struck down would have to be more than the fee collected for granting it.

        I don't expect to see any progress on sorting out the US patent situation until the courts notice just how badly their economy is being damaged by their flawed assessment system. But, given the patent armageddon that seems to be looming, such enlightenment might not be all that far away. It still might be too late :-(

        Vic.

        1. Tom 13

          One other thing,

          while this particular case can probably be laid entirely at the feet of the USPTO, not all of the problems are their fault. The US Congress has added several categories to patentable claims which ought not exist. Business processes are one which comes immediately to mind. There may be some bleed over from those choices in the sense that when one warps his own brain to work on business patent processes he also loses the ability to think rationally about traditionally patentable claims.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Pint

        Now this gets silly

        I can do lots of things very badly or even not at all , whether or not I get paid lots of dosh.

        Doesn't the USTPO understand that doing things RIGHT is important? Clearly not, otherwise they wouldn't have been stupid enough to issue software patents in the first place, and then pressure the rest of the world to do likewise to cover up the USTPO's own stupidity. Oh well, its the way the world is going!

        A beer to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

      3. Dave Bell

        Patent Failure Modes

        I'm not sure that this is a good idea, because it would make all patents harder to get. But if the prior art is as obvious as it seems to be in this case, which suggests incompetence on the part of the USPTO, maybe they should have some liability.

        In this case, the prior art is something that is widely used. Is it really plausible that a patent examiner had never come across this double click trick on a computer they were using. I mean, I've just used it in Windows XP, and that was released in August 2001.

        Since the defendants in this case will be doing the job the USPTO should have done, it doesn't seem crazy that the USPTO should be paying at least some of their costs.

      4. Tom 13

        I don't think I'd want the USPTO being a co-defendant at the trial.

        That would put the full force of government behind upholding the patent, not just the patent trolls. I prefer having someone less well funded defending the patent.

        On the issue of a penalty for the USPTO, again we run into the same problem - it's government money, not USPTO money, although someone might not get a good review.

        No, if you want to put responsibility back into the equation, I think you have to go the licensed Mechanical/Physical Engineer route: If the court strikes down the patent the clerk issuing the license is personally liable for damages resulting from the bad decision.

  6. g e

    And hopefully

    costs them so much money they go titsup.

    Happy bankrupt Xmas to oxygen-laundering patent trolls everywhere.

  7. Blake St. Claire
    Stop

    I have the patent for triple clicking

    God bless the USPTO and their ability to discern that which is fucking obvious.

  8. raivn
    Stop

    These patents are getting rediculous.

    These lawsuits are only good for patent lawyers.

    The whole system needs an overhaul.

    1. M Gale

      The system needs more than an overhaul.

      The system requires detonation. Any and all software and method patents must be utterly destroyed, or this is going to happen again, and again, and again.

      A simple (probably overly-simple) test could be "does this invention physically exist?"

      If not then no, you may not patent it. You may copyright it, and that's all.

      1. JaimieV

        Copyright wouldn't be any better

        At least patents expire within a reasonable amount of time.

        1. M Gale

          Copyright wouldn't be any better.

          The reason your PC exists is because IBM may have copyrighted the IBM PC BIOS, but they didn't patent it. Cold-room reverse-engineered by Compaq, I believe?

          It's possible to make your own thing in a different way with copyright. You just have to do the work yourself.

          Patents? They stop you from doing even that.

          1. Geoff Campbell
            Boffin

            Actually, Compaq might have had a problem.

            IBM published a source-code listing of the PC-XT BIOS in the Tech Ref manual. IIRC, this was before the first Compaq Deskpro was released (it was a long, long time and many parties ago, so I will be happy to be corrected on this).

            AIUI, this would have invalidated any cold-room claim that Compaq tried to make, but back in those innocent days, IBM didn't fight it. If they had had a crystal ball, they might have done so, however.

            GJC

        2. Vic

          You misunderstand patents...

          > At least patents expire within a reasonable amount of time.

          Whilst the duration of copyright is clearly excessive, there is a fundamental difference that you seem to have overlooked:

          - Copyright only covers the specific expression

          - Patents cover *any* expression of the "invention", even if the infringer has provably never seen anything created by the patent assignee.

          This is why all patents need to be considered *very* carefully before grant. Overly-broad patents[1] and other excessive land-grabs are fatal to a competitive marketplace.

          Vic.

          [1] Double-clicking, FFS...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yeah but no but

    "clicking twice on an already-selected component to action a request for additional information or greater interactivity"

    Sounds like they have a patent for a "Tripple Click" if you ask me.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Fairly valid point....

      All the aforementioned double-clicks are previous-status-agnostic, aren't they? IE it doesn't matter whether it's an already-selected component or not, hence non-infringing....

  10. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Pint

    Double-clicking?

    I'll stop breathing, farting and ****ing shall I, before my arse gets sued by scumbag patent troll?

    What a mess!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Troll

      It's not just software and business methods.

      Given that at least 20% of the human genome is patented, you may well find your arse is already owned by some patent troll.

      1. Michael C

        not any more

        That ended in March. only seven were initially thrown out, but in April, it was pretty much made clear not a single one could hold up in court. Though 20% of the genome has an in-effect patent on it right now, they're all drawing dead.

        to hold up, there can't just be a patent on an existence of something, there must be a PROCESS, machine, or action. A DNA sequence is a static thing. You CAN patent a PROCESS to ALTER the genome, or perform some action against the DNA, but you can not patent a "discovery." A vaccine, chemical product, man made protine sequence, or cDNA sequence created from DNA, yea, that's an invention. Isolating a genome, that is not.

    2. Hans 1
      Joke

      Arse?

      Ahh, so you breathe through your arse?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Sad facts

        > Ahh, so you breathe through your arse?

        Well, a well known fact is that your voice comes from wind travelling past vocal chords, so talking out of one's arse seems to be a candidate.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope...

    ...slow double click rename isn't covered. I like that novel way to rename over right click rename.

    1. LinkOfHyrule
      Joke

      I'm going to patent

      I'm going to patent the "Medium Double Click" it is in speed between a normal double click and your slow double click you like so much for renaming files. I have no idea what use it could be but I hear Texas is a good place to sue the arses off anybody who might "infringe" my patent so I'm all set for some easy dosh!

      I could probably sue anybody who uses a normal double click or a slow one as I could argue both styles of double clicking infringe my invention if the user dose them wrong!

      In the meantime I hope my patent for "crap unfunny forum comments" goes through okay.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    New patent application

    I think I'll patent the action of breathing in and then out repeated in order to circulate oxygen around the body.

    FkingTossers!

  13. Syren Baran
    Coffee/keyboard

    I might note

    I have a patent for launching milk/sugar/coffeine emulsions from an oral orifice at input devices with multiple keys.

    I love those stories, and now pay up all of you ;)

  14. Tigra 07
    IT Angle

    Someone clear this up for me...

    "But that's not stopped the current owners of the patent from launching an action against all the popular mobile-phone platforms"

    Does that mean they couldn't sue Microsoft as they had already been using double clicking for years before this patent was granted?

  15. Erroneous Howard

    Jeez....

    Pretty much the worst example of prior art that I can recall. I had expected to look at the patent and see an issue date in the 80's or even earlier.

  16. Mr Young
    Troll

    That reminds me!

    It's the end of the year again and I haven't filed my Time Machine patent yet! Do I need to license Double Click AND Cut and Paste now? Jeeezzzz

  17. DrXym Silver badge

    onDblClick

    Netscape Navigator 4 and IE 4 both supported onDblClick DOM event handlers. This is in 1997. There is absolutely nothing unique about double click event in a web content. It was supported 5 years before this patent was even lodged. Indeed it's hard to see how someone could even submit a patent for double click in browsers if the browsers themselves didn't already support the function.

    Furthermore, I'm sure a thorough trawl through the early days of the web would find lots of experiments with UI design which toyed with double click. e.g. Microsoft went pretty overboard with web integration in its "Active" desktop and doubtless double click was used there.

  18. Ian Michael Gumby
    FAIL

    Software and Business patents Bad idea...

    Look, this has been hashed and rehashed and the only one who wins are the lawyers.

    Here's the problem...

    Some git of a judge decided that business and software patents should be allowed. So any concept that exists in the real world but hadn't been patented in the 'virtual world' was fair game.

    So now everyone one and his brother who thinks they came up with a genius idea will now attempt to get a patent. They flood the patent office with garbage and sometime the 'legalese' description is so poorly written, I seriously doubt that the USPTO knows what the patent is supposed to be doing.

    Add to this that they have to research the world and try to discover prior Art, or rely on some generous third party to help find the existence of 'prior art', and you have a system where dumb shit ideas can be patented.

    Now here's the real kicker. If the patent is granted, and the patent holder sues another company, the burden of proof is to show that the other company didn't violate the patent. Its not a place to overturn a bad patent. So either way, the guy getting sued has to shell out major bucks to defend itself from garbage.

    The easy fix is to nullify any software or business patent unless the patent holder can show that it wasn't obvious at the time and that there wasn't an existing 'real world' analogy in practice. Like 1 click shopping. (Gee... ever walk in to a small town's hardware store where everyone has a store account and all the clerk has to do is write up the order, the person signs and walks out with the stuff? ) [You can go and watch 'little house on the prarie re-runs and you have your 'prior art']

    But that fix will never happen because big corporations, lawyers, etc don't want it to happen.

    Think of Groupon losing one of their barriers to entry so that they don't have as many competitors willing to risk a lawsuit....

  19. Colin Millar
    WTF?

    In a web browser?

    Who double clicks in web browsers? What for?

    I don't think I have had to double click in a browser since I can't remember - mid-late 90s?

    1. ratfox
      Paris Hilton

      Gee, I don't know...

      Selecting a word, perchance? You never copy from a browser?

      And you can even triple-click to select a paragraph.

      1. Colin Millar
        Thumb Down

        Click and drag

        Easier on the fingers too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re: Click and drag

          Click and drag = select the left of the first letter, but not the space to the left of it, press the button, select the right of the last letter, but not the space to the right of it, release the button

          Double click = select anywhere in the word, press and release the button twice

          I know which I prefer.

          1. Colin Millar
            Thumb Up

            Each to his own but

            that's not click and drag

            Select anywhere in the word and move cursor towards either end

            I know I which one I prefer - the RSI free method

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Actually ...

    "In the example an image is displayed in a web browser – clicking on the image activates a hyperlink, right-clicking calls up a context-sensitive menu, but the innovative step is that double clicking loads the image into an editing application."

    I think there's a serious usability problem here. If you click to follow the hyperlink then the browser can't do that until the double-click timeout has expired. That just isn't usable, not unles you want to drive your potential users insane.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Going after Nokia?

    They don't intentionally use triple click, it's just the N97's OS is buggy and you have to hit things many times to make it work!

  22. Steve Evans

    Soooo....

    Does this mean those annoyingly impatient IT n00bies (like my mother) who click on something, don't give it a chance to open even thought the hard drive is flashing like crazy, and then proceed to click madly on the icon again and again (resulting in 15 copies of the chosen application after the PC has caught up about 2 minutes later) can be fined?!

    Oh please let it be so!

  23. maccy
    Stop

    Incentives

    Ralph B has the right diagnosis but the wrong cure. Currently, the USPTO (and others) are paid according to results - which, broadly, means the number of patents they allow. Thus we get a stream of quite silly patents because it isn't in the USPTOs interest to review them properly, particularly as regards obviousness.

    If we fined them for silly patents, their incentive would then be to refuse patents. This is hardly better than the current situation. The best situation (though not perfect) was when they didn't have an incentive either way, and weren't seen as a profit centre for the government; their only task was to uphold the law on patents as best they could. The patent office isn't a business and shouldn't be run as one.

    1. Pablo
      Unhappy

      Nice idea...

      But apparently President Bush beat you to it.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Patent_Office#Fee_diversion

      According to this, no money has been diverted from the patent office to general funding for the past 7 years. So I'm not sure how what you suggest would be different, unless you mean that applying for a patent should be free. And that clearly won't work because then people would just file even more junk patents.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Irony

    The ironic thing here is that even "way back" in 2002, the patent examiner probably double clicked on something whilst filing this very patent, without having the brains to put 2&2 together and realise it's prior art.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Title removed due to patent infringement.

    "It's not double-clicking per se that US patent 7,171,625 covers, just the act of clicking twice on an already-selected component to action a request for additional information or greater interactivity."

    Ahh good job they were so specific when they applied for it.

  26. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    What is 'double-clicking'?

    I hardly ever do that these days. At least not on computers I've configured.

    Control Panel\Folder Options\General\Single Click to open an item (point to select)

    I don't understand why so many Windows users still double click. It's occasionally a nuisance with file selection dialogs but not often. I bet my mice last twice as long as most people's :)

    Oh and software patents are just bad, m'kay?

    1. Rattus Rattus
      Thumb Down

      There is such a thing as personal preference

      I don't want items selected when my pointer moves past them, I want them selected only when I consciously choose to click on them. I cannot stand using a system configured the way you prefer. Single-click to open also screws with my preferred methods of selecting/deselecting multiple items. Tell you what - you use the configuration you prefer and I'll use the one I prefer, eh?

  27. da_fish27
    Flame

    AAAARGH

    Horrible painful death to all patent trolls!!!!!

  28. Valerion
    Go

    I've just had an amazing idea!

    As this is basically triple-clicking, I'm going to patent quadruple-clicking!

    But not quintuple-clicking. That'd just be silly.

  29. alain williams Silver badge

    It is a good business model

    File a patent on something simple enough that lots of companies use it in their products. Ask them for fee that is low in relation to what it will cost to hire parasites\h\h\h\h\h\h\h\h\hlawyers to defend it, say £50,000, and most will cough up rather than waste time/money in the law court casino.

    This will not go away until the economics of the above change.

  30. Mike Bell
    FAIL

    A Method and Apparatus for Bringing Forth Attention

    1. Find a Door.

    2. Raise hand (left or right) and curl fingers tightly into a fist.

    3. Knock twice, using middle joints of fingers.

    Do I get a prize for being so brilliant?

  31. Ian Yates
    Joke

    *THE WEB*

    Since you can apparently patent anything existing, as long as you restate it as being done on the web, is the next round of patent trolls going to be:

    Using a keyboard... IN SPACE!!!

  32. Martin Usher
    FAIL

    Its a local industry

    East Texas is also where people like to file liability suits. This part of Texas isn't at all like the Texas that we imagine, its more like a sort of throwback to the US's Golden Era "sort-of". I think this is quite the cottage industry there -- friendly juries attract lawsuits which makes more work for juries and so on.

    As for our beloved USPTO, what can I say? It opened the door to people who have a sort of Gold Rush mentality, who think than an invention is something that they got to the patent office first rather than something that they actually created. I've seen pretty much nothing but ludicrous patents in my field from this outfit for years, its just destroyed their credibility (and tarnished our reputation in the process). But then, who cares when there's a buck or two to be made?

  33. maclovinz

    THIS IS FUCKING RETARDED.

    Please see title.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Four Words Say It All......

    For F&*ks sake, Americans !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't blame us!

      Damn lawyers were already running the country for themselves before I was born.

  35. Yes Me Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Help me!

    I had to double click to read this story. Do I have send money to the trolls? Please advise urgentest.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pointless

    Double-clicking* is for retards. Single-click FTW!

    * when used as the primary mouse-click action.

    You don't double click web links, you don't double click menu items, you don't double click task bar buttons, so why do twice what you can do once for icons?

    If the selection process is done correctly, then there's no reason not to have single click throughout the UI.

  37. JK
    Black Helicopters

    Can't software vendors...

    Just boycott texas? I mean, if they state clearly in their software EULA that their software cannot be used within the jurisdiction of Texas, bla bla bla, then they can't be sued there, no?

    1. wim

      EULA

      1 put in the EULA that you can not use it if you own the patent for double clicking.

      2 make it so that you are only reachable by a web form

      3 have a form with a check box "do you own a software patent"

      4 if the check box is marked make it so that you have to 1000 click on the submit button to send the form

      5 Patent Carpal Tunnel syndrome diagnosis and medication

      6 Money

    2. Nigel 11

      Or boycott the whole USA?

      (Some) paper books already contain a paragraph forbidding sale or resale within the USA. Don't know why, doubt it's enforcible, but maybe it's to prevent the publisher getting sued?

  38. D. Suse
    Troll

    Class-action suit

    Anyone and everyone who has arthritis or tendonitis that could be related to having to click twice whenever you want to execute any important action should get together and SUE Hopewell Culture & Design for pain, suffering, and loss of ability to enjoy their lives (and after they go under, continue after the dominant OS-maker Microsoft, with the addition of a mental cruelly clause for their insecure OS that constantly gets infected, needs rebooting for patching, or just crashes).

  39. Alan Dougherty

    re : Insuffcicient penalty

    >If they issue a bogus patent, then have to refund the fees later, they are no worse off than if they had not issued at all.'

    Not so.. if you employ people, to take other peoples money, and use that to pay your staff, then find you have to refund said monies, you are still paying for your staff / admin for the processing.

    They would be out of business pretty quickly, if they where not carefull enough to only grant patents that can stand up in court.

    The 'refund patent costs' actually seems a reasonable middle ground to slap the Patent Office around the head with, until they start getting off the 'job for life' bandwagon.

  40. JustMathew
    Joke

    HA!

    After reading many comments, I would like to thank you all for your inspriation which I have turned into a reality and since copyrighted and patented in the wonderfully, oil-rich state of Texas...

    I call it multiple-frustrational clicking, when your application or system freezes and you vent your frustration on the mouse by clicking all buttons as fast as you can until you have vented all frustration. If you would like to all add your names and bank account details to this comment, I will have you all added retrospectively to the patent and then we can sue anyone, obviously, your bank account details are needed to send the massive payouts we can expect....

    These funds will of course be sent from my Nigerian bank account for which you will incurr a small transfer fee which is payable up front...!

  41. Ramon Casha
    WTF?

    Microsoft has patented double-clicks too

    US patent 6727830

    http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/04/06/02/2222258.shtml?tid=109&tid=155&tid=187&tid=99

  42. Pal Sahota

    Is the USPTO corrupt?

    I agree with Ralph B. If you think the above is stupid then look at my story. I invented search-as-you-type a.k.a. instant search in 1989. USPTO have granted Google a patent for it. See my published open letter!

    http://wwwery.com/?p=10694

  43. Jades
    FAIL

    Prior art?

    So let's get this clear. I double click on an image in one program, and it then launches that image into an editor? I was doing that in Impression Publisher in 1995!

  44. JaitcH
    Alert

    Is this guys name's name Jobs? If not only prior art filed by him is acceptable

    Double clicking in 2002 is new art? Even Jobs was double clicking in the last century.

    Perhaps the problem is the U.S. Patent Office has run out of REJECTED slips so they just issue a number as a way around it.

    Maybe someone ought to do an article on the Patent Office, so the rest of us can see something so obvious can even be issued a number. Little wonder they can claim more patents are issued there than any where else in the world..

  45. heyrick Silver badge
    WTF?

    What the hell?

    "but the innovative step is that double clicking loads the image into an editing application."

    It might *seem* innovative in a web browser, but this is simply duplicating what any half-decent graphical file manager has done for decades. Given that Windows' Explorer file manager is more or less a "flavour" of Explorer (as in MSIE, they share a *lot*), it shouldn't be too hard to muddy up the waters in a prior art sort of way.

    .

    That said, this is all that is wrong with software patents. It is one thing wanting to protect some super-duper video codec that compresses better than everybody else, or a faster and more accurate search algorithm... but to want to protect an extension of what the UI already does elsewhere just because "this software doesn't yet"? <sigh>

  46. kain preacher

    @m gale

    "It's possible to make your own thing in a different way with copyright. You just have to do the work yourself.

    Patents? They stop you from doing even that."

    Um no. That's never been true in true in the US.

    1. Andrew Norris
      FAIL

      Pay up

      The patent of the single click would mean double clickers have to pay double. Plus the patent of hitting a key to get a response would require payola. Sadly I am sure these patents really exist.

  47. Powerlord
    FAIL

    Prior Art

    It would sure be a shame if there were prior art on this specific usage.

    For example, it would be bad for this case if it turned out that the W3C DOM Level 2 (published in 2000) had an Events document that documented a MouseEvent named "click", and the documentation said:

    "If multiple clicks occur at the same screen location, the sequence repeats with the detail attribute incrementing with each repetition."

    Oh wait, there is such a document and it does include such text... published two years prior to this patent?

  48. Maty

    It's all a cunning plan

    By the end of 2010 everything patentable or conceivable will have been patented. By 2030 or thereabouts, nothing will be patentable as all the current patents will have expired, and since those patents were so broad they covered EVERYTHING, the patent system will finally die an unlamented death.

    (Dying, the act of popping one's clogs, was patented by me in 2010 so before you go to the great Sysadmin in the sky, don't forget to pass me my royalties.)

  49. Ray Simard
    Joke

    How long before...

    ...someone patents

    1) simulating middle clicks on two-button mice by pressing left and right buttons simultaneously?

    2) triple-clicking?

    3) click-and-hold?

    4) thinking?*

    * USPTO will grant that one because the applicable prior art will be unrecognizable to them.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021