Apple sued over iPhone e-bookiness
Patented brain currents
A Swiss company has filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming the iPhone infringes upon its patent for an "Electronic device, preferably an electronic book."
The plaintiff - one Monec Holding Ltd of Berne, Switzerland - was founded in 2000 and describes itself on its website - which might most kindly be described as minimalist - as "a leading innovator for mobile, globally usable communication solutions."
We've never heard of them - and here at The Reg we pride ourselves on our encyclopedic knowledge of mobile, globally usable communication solutions.
Although the patent, which was granted in January of 2002, is "preferably" for an electronic book, said preferred e-book has some interesting features - such as the ability to accept input from "speech control, acoustic signals, optical signals, brain currents, proximity switches, and switches which can be activated mechanically."
Yes, "brain currents." Specifically: "A control by means of brain waves, which are picked up by way of suitable electrodes or sensors from the user's brain."
So, be careful what you think about when holding a Monec e-book - if such a device ever existed. Which, to our knowledge, it hasn't. With or without suitable electrodes.
A tech illo (with chic backpack) from the Monec patent - and no, we're not making this up
It should be noted that one of the aspects of the Monec patent is that their device would have a display upon which "approximately one page of a book can be illustrated at normal size." Sounds more like a Kindle than an iPhone - but maybe Amazon is next in line.
Apple, in fact, is second in line. Last April, Monec sued HP in the same US District Court in Virginia for violating the same patent in regard to the HP Compaq 2710p Notebook PC - not for being a e-book per se but for its ability to communicate wirelessly.
Yes, Monec's patent covers "receiving and sending signals by way of a radio network [in a way that] allows the exchange of electronic data, such as for example E-mails, faxes, data from the Internet or the like."
There are two interesting facts that bear mentioning about the HP and Apple lawsuits. First, the Apple complaint is largely a word-for-word cut-and-paste of the HP lawsuit. Second, the HP suit was settled out of court on March 12 of this year (terms of the settlement were not disclosed), and Monec filed its cut-and-paste suit against Apple this Monday.
Now, we're not ones to prejudge a case before we hear all the evidence dispassionately presented in open court - but we guessing that someone is angling for another settlement. ®
well there goes the next fifty years of innovation.
I was looking forward to people actually getting around to inventing stuff like this.
but instead it will be stifled, because the guy putting in the hard work will have it all ruined by the guy who once said.
wouldn't it be cool if there were an e-book where the pages would turn when I thought it.
To be honest I feel that the system needs a shake up. people shouldn't be allowed to patent vague ideas, (like brain controlled books) without proof of concept.
his proof of concept could have been a room sized MRI scanner that measured his brain patterns and turned a page or scrolled down or something, something actual, real and tangible.
these wouldn't it be cool if ideas shouldn't be allowed. at least if they are patentable then it should be for a fixed short period of time, that would allow dreamers to try to sell ideas without getting ripped off...
The patent offices should now have a public facing office that allows any person to go in, show prior art of existing patents that have nothing to do with that person in particular, and cause that patent to be re-examined, and 9 times out of 10 revoked.... if said service exists, can some kind souls please start up a patent-troll-crushing website (subsidised by advertising or donations obviously) and then we can stop these company's making money out of other companies being too lazy to fight a patent challenge that would cost more than a settlement in court.
If this service already exists... apologies... can you point me to their site so I can start building cases against these trolls.
Burn em all!!
That patent is so woolly and vague and so full of prior art that its worthy of Microsoft itself.
I love that diagram though.
So Google and Android next then?