And it begins… Creative Technology, a maker of portable music players, has accused Apple Computer of violating a newly granted software patent covering the way users navigate music selections.” From the NYT article: “Creative Technology, which is based in Singapore and has United States operations in Milpitas, Calif., said it would consider every option available to defend the patent, including possible legal action. Apple declined to comment on the patent. The patent, which the company calls the Zen Patent, covers Creative’s interface for portable players, which allows users to select a song, album or track by navigating a succession of menus. The patent office awarded the patent on Aug. 9.”
I’m sitting here shaking my head and trying to figure out what poor soul at the USPTO sits in a seculed booth all by himself, with no interaction with world, and authorized these patents. I went to the USPTO website and looked up the requirements for granting a patent and Creative’s patent is crap. It should have never been granted.
In particular, I would like to draw your attention to 35 U.S.C. 102 Conditions for patentability; novelty and loss of right to patent. The first part of this states
A person shall be entitled to a patent unless –
(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent, or
US Patent #6,928,4330