It's an utter hateful experience
The sooner this pathetic skuomorphic trend is stopped the better. It's so early nineties.
Adding another weapon to the Cupertian arsenal being wielded in the ongoing patent wars, the US Patent and Trademark office has granted Apple a new design patent, D670,713, entitled "Display screen or portion thereof with animated graphical user interface". The patent is one the briefest we've seen in our coverage of the …
Assuming you mean skeuomorphic, and not some other term I'm unfamiliar with, then agreed. But I wouldn't call it "early nineties". It goes back at least to the "desktop metaphor" in UI design, which I believe was introduced with the Xerox Star in 1981. (I don't believe the Alto used skeuomorphic UI elements, but I don't know much about its UI except as pertains to Smalltalk.)
Since the Lisa, skeuomorphs have been part of the Apple design religion. Donald Norman's books are loaded with them. He sees domain-bridging metaphors everywhere in design - one of his books is titled Turn Signals are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles. That's the sort of thinking that gives you swipe-screen-for-animated-page-turn UI elements.
I find Norman an engaging writer who raises many good points about industrial design, but I think he hugely overrates skeuomorphism as a cueing mechanism (part of what he calls "knowledge in the world", and what someone like Bruno Latour would see as "delegation"). I don't need a hammer to be shaped like a fist to understand what it's for. I don't need to enter text in my computer by handwriting - I learned to use a keyboard; and for that matter, I don't need my keyboard to work like the mechanical typewriters I learned to type on. Give me form that actually follows function, rather than assuming I need it to be "familiar".
In short, this is an odious patent, but if it has the beneficial effect of driving other vendors to come up with other, possibly less stupid UI elements, then Apple's welcome to it.
 Too late.
Absolutely, and as soon as they try and use the patent it will be thrown out ...
However, until it is tested it will stand, and that is basically what is wrong with the whole patent process, this should have never got a patent in the first place, and "Prior art" only works for companies in existence at the moment that have used this technology ... if a new player comes to the market then a patent exists to stop them implementing this.
It also looks amazingly like...turning a page in a real book, hence obviousness:
"Hey, Mr. Joe Average, who is not even skilled in the art of computer software design or programming and has never seen any fruity product, if you wanted to do an animation to move from one page in your ebook to the next, how would you do it?"
...and the bar for the USPTO is supposedly "skilled in the art."
No it isn't.
The patent does a couple of things:
1) Mainly, it discourages little freeware book reader app devs who don't want to go to court against apple's lawyers, regardless of how easy it might be to invalidate the patent. Apple doesn't want free software around on non-apple systems which might be just as good as their own stuff. With cash to burn on this sort of thing, I wouldn't be surprised to see lots more of this sort of behaviour.
2) it lowers the bar for what is worthy of protection, making other, only slightly less silly patents easier to defend.
The patents don't have to stand up, they just need to create a legal minefield and be harder to invalidate than file. Then google, samsung, redhat, ubuntu and suse et al all have to go through the courts and have all the patents invalidated before they launch a product in the US. FLOSS devs will just move their git repo's abroad, but it makes commercial FLOSS just a little more dangerous and uncertain.
The other big problem with this is the life of the patent ... As far as i know it will stand until December 2031.
Now I am all for protecting intellectual property and investment in IP but I'm pretty sure that Apple didn't put a vast amount of research and development into this sort of thing to the extent that it needs protecting 20 years.
Don't know about Silverlight but I think this kind of animation has been around for a while in things like CD-ROMs, remember them?
It's certainly been in use on http://www.20thingsilearned.com/ since long before the patent was applied for so one slap for the submitters and one slap for the USPTO for approval of something for which prior art was a few mouse clicks away.
Apple should be fined % of turnover for this kind of abuse of the patent system.
While I think this patent is ridiculous - on the prior art front only - apple did have this a while ago ... the adventure games mentioned would they be myst by any chance? Myst was developed in hypercard...
Which was around in 1987 - though not sure if this relates or is a reason they were awarded this patent...
I still think it's ridiculous though...
You know, of all the other times we've seen this, it was those 80's games that was my first thoughts too. Fairy Tale Adventure;
18 seconds into the vid. 1986
If this was running on a handheld device, it'd be prior art? Or just mind numbingly bleeding obvious.
Huge news everyone, Apple is suing the Romans for stealing their innovative page turning idea. But because the romans don't actually exist any more, they're suing the descendants, if you have Roman blood you're expected to be in a california court in march 2013. If fewer than 50% of the population with roman blood turn up, Apple will be calling for the case to be immediately awarded in their favour, and that those with roman blood have to pay them a combined total of $1 for every book ever sold.
Microsoft can be one step ahead this time *and* use the peeling Surface covers to their advantage: animated page turns initiated when you touch the appropriate (loose) cover corner, like you would a page in a real book.
But they have to be quick and patent it before Apple reads this.
At some point, these type of patents granted ever day to some company or another will invalidate the whole system. There will come a time someone puts the who system to a test, and the system will not past that test.
The patent system is now legacy. The patent concept lives on without a tangible host.
I may be mistaken, but, I believe that Lotus Organizer amd several PDA and planner softeare apps of the nineties and after sported this. IIRC, Lotus and another were at odds over the curled page corner. How in the BLOODY HELL can the uspto NOT have a record or anecdote about it? I will fire up Organizer in the morning to reminisce and find out how bad my memory is.
Is there an equivalent of lynching for corporations that run amok? There HAS to be peior are filed and in use going back to before 2000.
It is time to start fining filing companies $20,000 if small, and $20,000,000 if wealthy, foe each bad or falsified filing, and fine the CEO, too. Then, fine the uspto reviewer when prior art turns up. Imprison him or her if the found prior art is EASILY found by the public, but "missed" (euphemism in play here) by the uspto drone.
This shit is GETTING OUT OF HAND!
Still got Organiser on my PC (stlll holds the master address list used annually for Christmas cards!) and it does have an option for animating page turns .... only problem is over the past few years PCs have got so much faster that the animation seem to run in "the blink of an eye" ... I can just about see a vertical line at times where the page would be mid-turn ... but that said, seems pretty clear prior art ... unless Apple have added the magic words "on a mobile device" to turn something old in a brand new never before done idea
You appear to be absolutely correct! I just fired up Organizer, and the pages indeed move so fast that the page-flip animation is almost imperceptible. I clicked every last tab, from Calendar down to Anniversary, and those clickablemones on pages themselves. Disappointing, hahaha. I rather miss that feature.
Also, as to a prior comment about games having this feature, one or more of the combat flight simulators i played had the feature. I cannot recall which, but, i played F-14 Tomcat, Falcon 4.0, Longbow Apache, and a few more.
Btw, as an aside, i see a button for Paragon FoneSync, and only an hour ago when trying to refine my search for prior art, i ran across lawsuits info, on how Lotus was forced to cancel a plan to sell business and home demographics CDs.
Amazing how google turns up stuff irrelevant to my search, but still interesting nonetheless. I wish that prior art stuff came up this easily, so i would not get the feeling that companies can pay search engines to suppress ad hoc queries to figt against large companies when it is the right course of action.
Prior art? Inventive step? Who cares, if Apple can actually enforce this they will have done the world a favour in making punishable what rightfully should be so. Making an application to make my perfectly good computer imitate an outdated and inferior technical solution for displaying text is simply not cool.
/Off to paint wooden spokes on the wheels of my car.
Or have I completely missed something here?!
If I've got this straight, which you shouldn't count on, this is more like legal protection for an identifiable trademark or distinctive look-and-feel of their product. It means, or is meant to mean, that competitors are discouraged from making a similar product that looks too much like Apple's in this respect. So, it doesn't matter how often or how long it's been done before, if Apple has exclusivity on it now.
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It dosen't take an Einstein to conclude that this supposed invention is neither novel or non-obvious; perhaps it's time for the USPTO to thumb through it's mass of patents (possibly the first time they've bothered to read them) and see if there is anything on it's books that covers the cloning a certain Austrian Patent clerk. If they do I's suggest they contact the filler immediately and ask for a few hundred clones, it will save much litigation :)
3ds Max, basic page flip (6m minutes duration...):
Another page flip vid dates to a year 2009 posting, meaning the art in it pcould have existed around 2008 or earlier.
Apple already had the same thing or similar in Hypercard in the late 80's early 90's. I had personally coded a similar interface prior to that which I probably ripped off from someone else. I used an arc at the top and bottom of the page and a diagonal line for the edge of the page. The arcs made the page appear curved rather than folded as in the patent example. I must have been freaking brilliant in my younger years.
I bought my Asus TF101 in July 2011 and the library app does exactly this.
At this point there is nothing that could convince me that Apple are not looking at real tech that hasn't been patented yet (perhaps the original innovator didn't think it was patentable) and taking the liberty to file themselves.
Perhaps the next patent will be for letter tabs on the edge of the address book and virtual binder rings. Version 1 a.k.a. Tabby will limited to 3 binder rings common to US letter and Apple will release 2 (Maltese) where the number of binder rings is a user option to accommodate the rest of the world and ISO paper with either two or four holes. If you send a contact to someone using a different virtual ring spacing then they will have to punch the new holes so it fits but the "paper size" will always visually be a bit off but this will be fixed in 3 (Tortoiseshell). If you get too many contacts there will be a professional version (Selkirk Rex) that uses "D" rings to hold it all together.
Then again they might just patent a virtual dog-ear on the corner of the page.
From the USPTO's website "Design Patent Application Guide":
Improper Subject Matter for Design Patents
In addition, 35 U.S.C. 171 requires that a design to be patentable must be “original.” Clearly a design that simulates a well-known or naturally occurring object or person is not original as required by the statute.
An Apple layer announced today that a patent infringement case was to be taken out against all branches of Christianity. Mr. Ian Andrew Michel Dickless, chief legal brief for Apple, claimed in papers presented to the court ; that the use of an apple with a bite mark out of it in the story of Adam and Eve; was an infringement on patents held by Apple regarding UI design, software coding with regard to non citrus fruit and how fingers can be used to manipulate organic material. Mr. I AM Dickless also claim trademark infringement, which he says is made most dire and heinous as competitors were using this most tragic of stories, to sully the shining saintly image that is of the Apple. When questioned about how historically Apple could make these claims a member of the legal team produced evidence showing that the banishment from paradise must have happened during the iOS6 update period. He was quoted as saying, “If Eve had still been on iOS5 she would have been able to find her way back to paradise; instead she was left to wander a land warped, confused and unknown even to those who lived there”. Another member of the legal team was unable to comment as he was eating the children of a family who owned an old and slightly dysfunctional Samsung fridge freezer. When asked about damages Mr. I AM Dickless fell to his knees threw his hands in the air and announced (in tongues) “No court in the world has the authority to put a price on the damage done. So when due and fair legal process has taken its course; and we have the bustards against the wall; we’ll have a séances and ask Steve how big the next boat should be”.
In related news
A cleaner at the US patent Office has approved a patent application from Dr Bloodlust for the half wheel. Dr Bloodlust a well regarded member of the patent troll community and close friend of Jimmy Savile was heard screaming, “eight times damages for every friggin car and then I’m going after those bastard baby chair makers”.
If you now have coffee in your keyboard then you owe me a pint.
Apple have been doing this page turn animation in their Keynote program for a long time now so it's puzzling that they should only file this patent so recently.
Perhaps there is something in it that is different to all the other page turn apps?
One thought, does it have the ability to flip back (like you can with a real book) if you thumb half-way across a page and then thumb back again (i.e. the page turn follows the digit exactly - regardless of which way it's going)
Perhaps it does it up and down as well.
Ah, it could be because Microsoft went for the same patent some time ago.
Microsoft patent application 20100175018, filing date January 7, 2009
Apple design patent D670,713, filing date December 19,2011.
The Microsoft patent application was reported on these very pages over 2 years ago.
the patent office is 100% corrupted and broken, all those involved in issuing this ridiculous patent should be jailed (at hard labor) for at least 25 years and apple should be fined Multi billions (lie 10 to 20 billions) just for trying.
I lost all respect for the patent office and for Apple. book a crook that need to be stopped at all cost. HEAD NEED TO ROLLS (LITERALY)
it's a DESIGN patent.
It covers only the aesthetic / 'ornamental' elements that are pictured.
Additionally, the true extent of its protection is left much more up to courts, in the event of any action, than the patent office.
About 99% of the above commentards, and about 100% of the authors of the article, need to educate themselves before spouting the ignorance witnessed here. It's particularly disappointing for the Reg. Run it past your pals at Out-Law.com first next time okay?
it's a DESIGN patent.
It covers only the aesthetic / 'ornamental' elements that are pictured.
So presumeably, I would be safe from Apple's lawyers if I produced a page-turning effect whose animation took 4 frames instead of 3, or the page could be picked up from the top right or the middle right.
How far away from this design patent/trademark would I have to be before Apple considered it non sueable, and how far from prior art does the design patent have to be before it is granted? Do we have a non-story (i.e. Apple registering the exact number of frames in the animation, exact crease angle to match the diagrams, etc. in which case as long as those exact parameters are not used, anyone is free to use page turning effects) or a proper story (Apple trademarking any page turning that looks a bit like their patent application, but their application looks equally a bit like prior art) ?
Will we end up with a similar situation to the UK Apple/Samsung case? e.g. Apple: that page turning looks a bit like ours - they copied us and we want it banned. Judge: but their page turning uses 6 frames for animation and they can grab the page from anywhere on the edge, it's not the same at all!
> it's a DESIGN patent.
It still needs to be of an appropriate subject matter. See http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/1620156 above. "Clearly a design that simulates a well-known or naturally occurring object or person is not original as required by the statute. "
> About 99% of the above commentards ... need to educate themselves
Do you imagine yourself in the 1% that doesn't? I might have some bad news for you...
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... or a "design" patent.
Witness Apple trying to spin the original court-ordered apology they had to put up on their website.
Patents were created to benefit society by encouraging inventors to open up their creativity.
Now they're used (at massive expense and to the detriment of consumers) as an alternative to genuine competition. That's bad enough.
But whatever T*@ts came up with the idea of design patents deserve a massive and righteous shoeing!
Quoting badmonkey - "Moron"
... wicked ninja skills in wielding a rubber stamp.
I'm genuinely amazed that Obama has been returned as the President of the US.
I would've thought that Apple already had a patent on "A Method and System for governing a group of federated states".
I suppose losing the leader of the COJ (Cult of Jobs) has put them off their stride.
All these large companies filing these frivolous patents are overloading an already broken system. It seems like they are trying to pay off the system to stifle competition rather then protect any actual ideas.
I propose that they should limit the number of patents a company can apply for each year in a country/region.
To increase the number they can apply for each year they must invest in that country/region. So moving cash to tax dodge will count against them. That way a company will have to choose what they wish to patent, or ensure that they invest more in that region.
They can of course donate to the region itself in the form of no strings attached donations to education and research groups (non affiliated).
If a patent is voided that slot is lost.
If a company buys up another company for their patents, the parent company must ensure that they have enough slots available, by ensuring they have donated, invested, or by dropping their existing patents.
Maybe that would stop all these stupid filings?
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I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the zillions of Flash pageflip APIs, scripts and extensions (which have been around for what must be nigh on 10 years). I'm sure the folks building and selling these will have something to say about their work being disregarded as prior art.
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US Patent and Trademark office grants another Design patent for the bleeding obvious to Apple.
The combination of both Apples billions & the facard of legality to enforce it, they have cut yet more design freedom away from the world again.
This along with ITAR, is no less than blatant trade protectionism and commercial imperialism weapons wealded the US, especially as their Corporations go on to add insult to injury by paying close to zero corporation tax in the countries they operate, laugh at their legal systems & use the profits to build yet larger war chests to fund litigation that deny access to the US & other market places to competition! (gone I fear, are the days where such profits go back in to new production facilities & employement).
Prehaps for starters, we should wake up & base our purchasing decisions upon the true full cost of the products we buy, which include the reputations ethics, conditions, resorces used in manufacture & marketing methords, rather than the immediate cost/performance value judgement? So hit them in the bottom line.
Do I see this happening, people taking consideration & responsibility for thier purchasing decisions, NO! People want instant gratification & will take shinny tech beads in exchange for thier freedom & then go on to complain about evil Apple, RIP off Britan & the like.
The illustrations from the design patent seemed oddly familiar to me, until I realized that the 2001 computer game "Myst III: Exile" features readable books in-game, which are accessed in exactly the same way as the Apple design patent describes - complete with animated page-turning.
First they "borrow" the Lise/Mac GUI from the Xerox Alto, now they've lifted simulated page-turns from Myst; where will it end?