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As much as I hate Apple and love that #boycottapple  is trending.

Does anyone have the links to the whole patent thing? Showing that Apple didn't invent the whole database search thing? 

I'm just curious. :)

Adam Carmichael's profile photoJeremy Davies's profile photoGreg Copeland's profile photoNathan Hourt's profile photo
I would have expected that the fact that it appeared in episodes of Star Trek when the computer reports that all databases had been searched with no results found for something through a "single interface" (ie the voice input), would have been enough of prior art that the patent clerk should have thrown the patent out the window.

Can you really use something that's in a tv show, in a lawsuit? Star Trek is fiction. Lol
True enough it is fiction, but I thought the whole concept of a patent was to protect an inventor for an idea, and when you can quite clearly see that the idea is not new or invented by said inventor, perhaps the patent is not supposed to be awarded?
+Jeremy Davies Patents are required to be non-obvious. If a TV show came up with an idea which was later recycled into a product and patented, it seems to imply the patent is invalid simply because it didn't pass on of the most basic requirements, of non-obviousness. Sadly, it seems many of Apple's patents are actually rip-offs of TV shows, movies, and books. Sorta deflates Apple as the self-appointed "technology innovators."
You would think that the idea of looking in more than one place for something is fairly common.


Tell your friend "can you get my keys"
The friend then goes off and looks in the kitchen, the hall, and the den.

It's not exactly rocket science, but if you tell it to a computer, and suddenly Apple sues you.

Surely that someone has done this before 2004?

What about searching for a file in Windows 95 when "Search all drives" was ticked?
Google Desktop, Windows Search, and should think there are plenty of linux options. Search in multiple sources from a unified interface. Google itself and even going back to old school days of altavista, while searching maybe from their index it's a compilation of data from just about every source possible, and adds in voice search (has been going long before Siri)... unified search.

The concept of search in anything on a device is an obvious feature, and that's another point, patents should be for solutions, inventions, not features. You shouldn't be able to patent the idea of a wheel, as anyone will say they'd like a wheel with their car, but you could patent a unique method of manufacturing a wheel.
I don't get it really either. There must be more to this. I remember searching my whole Palm Pilot in 90s in the same fashion. No big deal. Granted, no voice recognition, but that's not a huge leap as far as I'm concerned.

The secret sauce is in the execution and how relevant the results are displayed in a specific context, not the idea of searching itself. Again, there's GOT to be more to this...
+Tim Moore, I agree, however, a defense lawyer would need to find prior art from before the patent application date, which is 2004.

You mention Altavista, I was actually looking for Profusion, but your point is still valid (in my opinion).

Having said that, I disagree about a feature not being an invention. Suppose you invent a mouse trap (ie the world's first mouse trap), and you patent it. Now suppose I invent an extension to your mouse trap that rings a bell, I can patent the extension because I've had to research the right way to make a bell ring given the amount of energy available, good audible frequency etc...

Your mouse trap is an invention. My bell is an invention, and it is also a feature. We are in a deadlock here: both of us want to make better mouse traps, but you can't use my bell and I can't use your base. Unless we grant each other permission (ie a license).

Then it becomes stupid when a third party comes along and says "well, I invented the spring" (ie your wheel argument) and shuts us both down.

Inside patent '604: "However, this feature requires the user to  access a different interface element to retrieve the item, and does not provide for the use of keywords to identify the specific document or program the user desires."

Had the person been running a Windows based PC, they would have found not 3 months earlier this piece of makes this very point moot:
The problem with pointing to search engines is that they are not local. '604 figure 1 is mostly PC side stuff, only the component identified at [10] do you even hit the network, and even then, it's component [11] that you go to the Internet.
Prior art is one thing but there's also obvious. It's fairly obvious to want a feature to search your computer from one search box and clearly plenty have been working on this, and I bet Google started working on it prior to 2004 release. Sure they may not have filed the patent, but if it's clear that Google and others came up with the same idea, then it's obvious. The point of the patent is to protect an idea no one had thought of from being copied once it's made public.
Well said :)
I want to send Google an invoice for our time. I want a backpack, a drink bottle, and one of the hammocks from the library in their Sydney office. How about you?
Searching for data in multiple ways and places goes right to databases themselves. The notion is extremely obvious to anyone in the field.
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