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Warning: editorial content follows!

At this point, it's probably worth pointing out that Apple's notification bar is pretty much a rip-off of the Android one. And you know what? I really don't care.

Companies should be riffing off each other's designs and improving them as they do. We'll get a lot further than if we give one company total control over a single domain. Apple has taken the Android notification bar and improved it, just as Google has done with various iPhone features. Both companies have built their mobile operating systems on the prior art of thousands of other inventions from the last thirty years.

As many people have stated, patents are a monopoly to advance science and the useful arts. They are not a monopoly to advance the profits of any given company, though that may be a side-effect of their existence.

In their current form, software patents have been hindering the progress of computing. With that in mind, I say it's time for them to go.
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James Lovette-Black's profile photoStanley Nova's profile photoArthur Maltson's profile photoAlan Gerow's profile photo
14 comments
 
Patents might have their usefulness but not like this. Is making more harm than good. I'm yet to see a good example where a patent suit actually protected an innovator from a blatant copy cat (except for china but patents don't apply there anyway)
 
Two points: Then Google should sue Apple, because that's what Apple has been doing to everyone else. 2. Improved on it? Yeah. Sure.
 
"Companies should be riffing of each other's designs and improving them as they do" that's the same opinion I have! ---Improve---
 
Whenever companies like Microsoft or Apple bang on the "innovation" drum, this is the ugly little fact that they ignore. The IT industry is built on standing on the shoulders of others - often each other.
 
I totally agree on this with companies should be able to take the ideas and improve on them.

Just look at another area of software.. Gaming. Mainly the MMO area has been doing this since one of the first MMO's was launched with Ultima Online. Another company comes along and wants to make an MMO they see what has worked and failed in previous MMO's and they build upon what has worked and try to refine and make them even more robust and better.

World of Warcraft is a perfect example in that even though they did bring some new ideas to the gaming world they also took everything that was good and players wanted from previous games and built upon them making them better. I have never once seen an MMO maker crying foul at Blizzard for doing this. In fact look at Rift and you see it happening all over again. They took ideas from WoW and built upon it adding in their own unique features on top of them.

Ahhh sorry for the ramble but I totally agree with your viewpoint on this. All these lawsuits do nothing to encourage competition and innovation and only serve to line the pockets more of the people that bring the lawsuits to the courts. Most noteably recently Apple, though all are just as guilty as them.
 
+Chris Feist - that's actually a really interesting example. Blizzard has even taken some of the ideas that others have created based on WoW's environment and then added them back in to WoW.
 
ps. I know gaming and the rest of the industry is a bit different but I think the whole idea of taking something and making it better is shown best in the gaming wolrld.
 
I don't think that it should be illegal in any way for Apple to implement a notifications bar like Android (though I dispute the idea that they improved on it in any significant way).

That said, the reason it's leaving a bad taste in people's mouths is that Apple has been such a litigious bully. They are a sue-first patent-first company. They've implemented a feature that their competition failed to patent even though they made it first.

If apple had made Android, you can be SURE they would have patented the notification window shade thing, and they'd be suing others over it right now.
 
Well said.

The part I don't get is why most giant software companies are so happy about software patents. Patents seem to add a giant dice roll to every product, as equally likely to destroy your own product as the competition's.
 
Definitely agree with you, you said it well.
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