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The Vaults of Innovation

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Vadim Borshchev, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. Vadim Borshchev, Jun 3, 2004
    #1
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  2. Meindert Sprang, Jun 3, 2004
    #2
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  3. Vadim Borshchev

    Noone Guest

    The obvious one that comes to mind is (and that I used in product in the early 90's) is the double functioning of a Long Key Press for reset function. A timer
    interrupt sampled a key and drove a state machine that selected various functions. Short key presses were differentiated from long key presses and used to either
    advance the state of the application or select a different execution pathway (Reset). This is not rocket science. There is a whole crew that seems to like to patent
    the obvious. I have little doubt that I was the first to use this. Someone probably did it 50 years with a toggle switch on the ENIAC.
     
    Noone, Jun 3, 2004
    #3
  4. martin griffith, Jun 3, 2004
    #4
  5. Vadim Borshchev

    rickman Guest

    How about the auto repeat on the keyboard I am using to type this? Or
    the ON/OFF button on the front of my (resource limited) PC? Press and
    release to put the machine in standby, press and hold to turn it off!!!

    How did MS get a patent on this???

    --

    Rick "rickman" Collins


    Ignore the reply address. To email me use the above address with the XY
    removed.

    Arius - A Signal Processing Solutions Company
    Specializing in DSP and FPGA design URL http://www.arius.com
    4 King Ave 301-682-7772 Voice
    Frederick, MD 21701-3110 301-682-7666 FAX
     
    rickman, Jun 3, 2004
    #5
  6. Vadim Borshchev

    Ian Bell Guest

    Ian Bell, Jun 3, 2004
    #6
  7. Yes, that was the first example I thought of, it must go back to
    before Bill Gates was born.
    There is also an even older (true) hardware-time function on a
    Typewriter. 100% mechanical, the Auto-space button on this gives single
    spaces for short presses, and many spaces for longer presses.
    I'm sure that one pre-dates computers.
    'double click' must date back to Xerox's research centre, and the
    first mouse.
    Whatever happened to 'must not be obvious to one skilled in the field' ?.
    This stuff is obvious to a school kid.

    -jg
     
    Jim Granville, Jun 3, 2004
    #7
  8. Speaking of 'hook buttons', and phones, we get into the time-hardware
    features of the phone systems. - All done with two wires, and
    time+switch sensing :

    - Rotary Pulse Dialing - ancient
    - Hook-flash, common in PBX for a very long time

    And the time line on this, for USA at least:
    "In 1889, the rotary telephone dial was invented by Almon B. Strowger, a
    Kansas City undertaker. The first dial exchange was installed at La
    Porte, Indiana, in 1892."

    Thus time+switch sensing was truly innovative circa 1889.

    That a patent is granted in 2002 says rather more about the
    present state of the patent system, than it does about
    any technological innovation.

    -jg
     
    Jim Granville, Jun 3, 2004
    #8
  9. Software patents are silly things. It doesn't matter really if a Palm
    does this, because a Palm is not a Personal Computer. Old ideas that
    can be distinguished by new application can be patented apparently (or
    so I was told a few years back when superiors were begging us to start
    spewing out more patent claims).

    The point of modern patents is not about innovation. There is no
    proof of novelty required anymore. All that is required today is to
    make it cheaper to pay a license fee than to challenge the patent.
    "IP" is all about stifling innovation.
     
    Darin Johnson, Jun 3, 2004
    #9
  10. Vadim Borshchev

    rickman Guest

    Why does it matter if a Palm is not a PC? The patent refers to a
    "limited resource computing device". I believe this could cover nearly
    *any* gadget that contains a CPU. Even a PC keyboard is a "limited
    resource"... you can't make it infinitely large. After they added the
    ALT key, MS added the "tap" ALT feature to select the menus. So the
    prior art from MS invalidates this patent.

    I don't expect many to pay MS for this one...

    Actually, if you read the patent in some detail, it covers some specific
    uses of "application" buttons that by default open the app, but if the
    button is held, several different things can happen, such as opening the
    previous document, opening a specific document, etc... So this patent
    can would cover the same functionality on similar devices, but if you
    implement different behavior (for example, open the standard doc by
    default and hold the button for starting the app without opening a doc)
    then you are clear of infringment.

    But I agree that this is pretty obvious and not novel.

    --

    Rick "rickman" Collins


    Ignore the reply address. To email me use the above address with the XY
    removed.

    Arius - A Signal Processing Solutions Company
    Specializing in DSP and FPGA design URL http://www.arius.com
    4 King Ave 301-682-7772 Voice
    Frederick, MD 21701-3110 301-682-7666 FAX
     
    rickman, Jun 3, 2004
    #10
  11. Vadim Borshchev

    Eric Smith Guest

    Digital watches in the mid 1970s used a long button press to enter
    time set mode.

    Some Casio watches in the early 1980s used a long press to reset the
    stopwatch.
     
    Eric Smith, Jun 4, 2004
    #11
  12. Vadim Borshchev

    Jeff Fox Guest

    Silly like a freight train bearing down on you.
     
    Jeff Fox, Jun 4, 2004
    #12
  13. Vadim Borshchev

    Paul Burke Guest

    They are like all other patents. If you have boatloads of cash to pay
    lawyers, they are very useful indeed, even if they are vapid or even
    non- existent. If you haven't got the cash, you probably can't even
    afford to check if it's worth defending yourself.

    Incidentally, if I come up with something to save the world, like a new
    source of power (say a quantum fluctuation reactor), I get 25 years of
    patent protection. If I write a novel (something as great, say, as Harry
    Potter), my heirs and assignees can cash in on royalties for 70 years
    after I'm dead, and even after that it can be extended if the copyright
    belongs to Walt Disney. Dunno why.

    Paul Burke
     
    Paul Burke, Jun 4, 2004
    #13
  14. More to the point, software patents, at least the way they are issued
    and used these days, especially in the U.S. of A., are the business
    world's perfect equivalent of anti-personnel mines:

    * they're cheap and easily deployed

    * they serve no useful purpose against big, hardened targets, which are the
    real enemy in the war they're used in

    * their only real effect is to harm unarmed civilians, and that effect
    tends to significantly outlast the original conflict they were
    deployed in

    The downfall probably began the day the US government decided that the
    primary goal of the USPTO should be to generate profits, rather than
    to carefully execute a function of the federal government. My strong
    impression these days is that it's virtually impossible to come up
    with a patent application that the PTO will decline. That is, unless
    it's about one of the things declared heretic by the government
    (perpetuum mobile, cold fusion, the likes).

    Summing it up, software patents these days are worse than useless.
    They're a menace to society, and especially so to the small companies
    or individual inventors they were supposedly created to protect.
     
    Hans-Bernhard Broeker, Jun 4, 2004
    #14
  15. Vadim Borshchev

    John Eaton Guest

    : The downfall probably began the day the US government decided that the
    : primary goal of the USPTO should be to generate profits, rather than
    : to carefully execute a function of the federal government. My strong
    : impression these days is that it's virtually impossible to come up
    : with a patent application that the PTO will decline. That is, unless
    : it's about one of the things declared heretic by the government
    : (perpetuum mobile, cold fusion, the likes).


    USPTO issues patent's about 95% of the time compared to 65% in Japan.
    Some watchdog group did a prior art search on a random sample and suggested
    that 50% of all US patents should not have been issued.

    John Eaton
     
    John Eaton, Jun 4, 2004
    #15
  16. You should also ask how many perpetual motion machines have been
    issued a patent by that patent office :).

    Paul
     
    Paul Keinanen, Jun 4, 2004
    #16
  17. Vadim Borshchev

    Jeff Fox Guest

    I can appreciate the logic behind hardware patents. But software
    patents are something completely different. I think it is nuts to
    issue patents for techniques like exclusive-oring data with
    display memory. I don't see it as much different than patenting
    the bit, or addition, or using Boolean logic, or storing data
    or programs in memory.

    Best Wishes
     
    Jeff Fox, Jun 4, 2004
    #17
  18. Vadim Borshchev

    Jeff Fox Guest

    Yes. All the companies and individuals that have been squashed
    that I don't dismiss them as just silly.
     
    Jeff Fox, Jun 4, 2004
    #18
  19. Vadim Borshchev

    Jim McGinnis Guest

    Funny, and very true!
     
    Jim McGinnis, Jun 4, 2004
    #19
  20. Vadim Borshchev

    Rick Merrill Guest

    Rick Merrill, Jun 4, 2004
    #20
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