Feeds

Double-clicking patent takes on world

Who's that trip-trapping over my bridge?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
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.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.