Feeds

Double-clicking patent takes on world

Who's that trip-trapping over my bridge?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Hopewell Culture & Design reckons it owns the act of double-clicking, and is suing Apple, Nokia, Samsung and just about everyone else for breaching its patent.

It's not double-clicking per se that US patent 7,171,625 covers, just the act of clicking twice on an already-selected component to action a request for additional information or greater interactivity. But that's not stopped the current owners of the patent from launching an action against all the popular mobile-phone platforms – as well as Opera and QuickOffice – in an attempt to protect its painstakingly-developed intellectual property as picked up by Florian Mueller.

Reading the patent, which was filed in 2002 and awarded in 2007, it's clear the innovation to which the author was hoping to lay claim: clicking and right clicking are pretty-well defined in web browsing, but Cristiano Sacchi, the named inventor, thought that assigning an action to a double-click was sufficiently inventive to be worth patenting.

In the example an image is displayed in a web browser – clicking on the image activates a hyperlink, right-clicking calls up a context-sensitive menu, but the innovative step is that double clicking loads the image into an editing application.

Quite how that maps into mobile telephony is far from clear. The patent goes to great lengths (more than 400 words) explaining what a mouse is, and then notes briefly that "The invention can also be used with a touchscreen". It also describes in great detail the act of moving the cursor to select the content before clicking (twice), something which is alien to all but the most advanced touch-screen interfaces*.

But never let reality get in the way of a decent patent case, especially in Texas where this action has been filed. Hopewell is no doubt hoping that Apple, Nokia, et al will decide to slip them a few grand rather than fight, but we're hoping that the various defendants will instead band together against the common enemy, drop their own actions against each other, and live in peace and harmony – embodying the spirit of the season. ®

* On Tablet PCs, a cursor appears under the stylus as it approaches the screen, allowing selection without contact in the style of a traditional mouse.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.