FFS this is ridiculous you might be reading lots of articles about how Apple won an ITC patent case against HTC for their Android handsets today (btw its preliminary not final eg HTC will appeal).
Whether is stands up under appeal we'll see (btw Apple filed for 10 breaches but only these 2 were approved)
but what burns me is what the patent actually covers.
"system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data", US patent No. 5,946,647, filed in 1996 and awarded in 1999.
Essentially, it allows elements such as email addresses or phone numbers to be recognised so that when they are activated via a mouse or, on a smartphone, by a finger, they activate the relevant program.
Apple implemented this idea as "Data Detectors", implemented by Apple's Advanced Technology Group.
So basically they got a patent for something that looks like a phone number...to bring up the dialler, for something that looks like an email...to bring up the email app.
How is this even a patent??
I wonder if this is going to happen more often? when will the issues with the USPTO be seen as a negative for doing business in the USA?
App developers are withdrawing their products for sale from the US versions of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market for fear of being sued by companies which own software patents - just as a Mumbai-based company has made a wide-ranging claim against Microsoft http://moconews.net/article/419-app-developers-withdraw-from-us-as-patent-fears-reach-tipping-point/