Feeds

'Death to browsers!' cries Apple mobile-app patent

The camel's nose under Google's tent

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A trio of Apple filings seek to patent mobile-application "systems and methods" for travel and online shopping — and to move us three steps closer to a Google-free world.

Taken together, the three filings point not only to the browserless future that Apple is seeking for its iOS devices, but also — if granted by the much-maligned US Patent and Trademark Office — to an application ecosystem in which software patents are sweepingly broad and the protection of "prior art" is enfeebled.

The filings were each filed late last year and published on Thursday — a relatively short gestation period in patentland. Hotel and travel services are covered by a pair, and the third seeks patent protection for "providing enhanced access to high fashion".

Of course, such services are offered today on a wide variety of websites from Travelocity to Neiman Marcus, but a website is a website, and an app is a discrete chunk of code that can be patented — unless you're in New Zealand.

And if you just dropped in on the civilized world after a decade-long hermitage in the wilds of that country's Raukumara Wilderness Area, here's a bit of news: Apple would rather deliver content — and advertising — through its "curated" App Store than in the unregulated wilderness area of the wild and woolly web. That web, of course, is currently the playground of two of Steve Jobs bêtes noires: porn and Google.

Thursday's three patents contain what you might guess: catch-all conglomerations of travel and shopping possibilities. Should you care to dig deeply into them, they can be accessed at the links above, but here's a trio of summaries, illustrated with snippets of their voluminous illustrations — we'll abbreviate "systems and methods" for the sake of space:

S&M for providing enhanced access to high fashion

This filing describes an app that leads an iOS device owner through all phases of the "high-fashion" shopping experience, from pre-shopping inducements such as new-product notifications and event invitations to post-shopping interaction such as the ability to "rate and review stores, fashion providers, fashion items, or any combination of the above."

Surprisingly, knowing Apple's penchant for adding location awareness to most every service-based patent application, the filing makes only cursory mention of location-based services such as suggesting nearby stores that might have available an item selected by or offered to a user.

Apple patent illustration

$100 off any outerware item! Who could resist?

Apple patent illustration

Playful Picks, Elegant Indulgences, and a Facebook page to locate the perfect wristlet

Apple patent illustration

Experiment with colors before you invest $450

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.