Apple Sued for Violating Double Click Patent

| News

Apple vs. ZOMG LOTTERY!Apple has been named in a new lawsuit that accuses several companies of violating a patent that covers the idea of double clicking a user interface element and then interacting with a new user interface element caused by the double clicking. Apple’s iPad and iPhone are named in the suit as offending devices, and also targeted are Adobe, HTC, LG, Mobilcomm, Motorola, Nokia, Opera, Palm, Quickoffice, and Samsung.

Titled, “Double-Clicking a Point-and-Click User Interface Apparatus to Enable a New Interaction with Content represented by an Active Visual Display Element,” the patent was filed in 2002 by Actify, granted in 2007, and is now owned by Hopewell Culture and Design. That’s not a typo: In 2007, a patent was granted for the idea of double clicking, which was filed in 2002, 18 years after the Macintosh that popularized the idea of clicking and double clicking to market was first introduced.

As noted by AppleInsider, Actify’s patent application readily acknowledges that double clicking has been around for a long time, but it stipulates that this was opening files, or perhaps launching applications (using Microsoft Windows as the example). The novel idea the company Actify patented was the idea of double clicking someone on a display to pull up another option, and then interacting with that option.

From the patent’s abstract:

A method, comprising the steps of: ascertaining a double-click input to a point-and-click user interface apparatus when an active visual display element is selected, the active visual display element representing content with which a user can interact, wherein interaction with the content prior to the double-click input occurs using a first version of data representing the content; and in response to the double-click input to the point-and-click user interface apparatus, enabling interaction with the content using a second version of data representing the content.

While this is written in Patentese, the gobbledydook above roughly describes how one interacts with iOS devices and those devices that have come to market aping Apple’s iOS.

Whether the patent will stand up to court with the kind of money the above-listed companies can throw at legal defense is another issue, but we should note that the suit was filed in the patent-troll friendly U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, which is located in Marshall, Texas.

Comments

CityGuide

Something must be wrong with your system clock. Your April 1st postings are appearing with today’s date.

Nemo

It will be interesting to see how Hopewell Culture and Design (Hopewell) will distinguish launching an new interface element from launching any other code, such as opening a file or launching an application.  It is, is it not, all a matter of clicking on an icon to run code to perform a function, which Hopewell concedes is a very old idea that is manifest in much prior art?

Bryan Chaffin

HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

::gasp::

HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!!!!

Seriously, I guffawed out loud, CityGuide. :D

chicochaz

The sad part of this asinine lawsuit is the fact that the USPTO actually allowed this patent to happen in the first place! What were they thinking? Looks to me like they weren’t!!

zebrum

chicochaz, they were thinking more patents, more $$$.

Lee Dronick

The sad part of this asinine lawsuit is the fact that the USPTO actually allowed this patent to happen in the first place! What were they thinking? Looks to me like they weren?t!!

Remember the good old days when Albert Einstein was a patent clerk?

chicochaz

chicochaz, they were thinking more patents, more $$$.

With all the federal deficits, that sure makes sense!

Laurie Fleming

Inventive - no.
Not obvious - no.
Prior art - yes.

If this is allowed, the law is an ass. And an arse.

gnasher729

Not obvious - no.

It is now established in US law that if it is well-known how to do A, and if it is well-known how to do B, then it is obvious for someone of ordinary, non-inventive cleverness to try to combine A and B. This is only patentable if combining A and B creates an unexpected and unforeseeable result.

geoduck

Didn’t the system developed by Xerox PARC use single and double clicking? I mean if you want to talk about prior art.

gnasher729

Didn?t the system developed by Xerox PARC use single and double clicking? I mean if you want to talk about prior art.

They claim that before their “invention”, double clicking was only used to open files and documents, but not to show new user interface elements. I’d be sure that if Apple goes through all the software they or others have sold before 2002, I’m sure they will find something that is prior art for exactly what this patent claims, but no matter what, what they have done is obvious according to new patent rules.

b0wz3r

This is yet another example of just how badly broken the US patent law system is…

On the other hand, shouldn’t somebody just look these guys up with an Uzi and be done with it?

Laurie Fleming

No. That’s yet another example of how *not* to react to this sort of thing. In jest or otherwise.

Lee Dronick

No. That?s yet another example of how *not* to react to this sort of thing. In jest or otherwise.

Yes, we need to contact our Congressmen and Women and tell them the Patent Office needs overhauled.

walterbyrd

Remember Apple’s “look and feel” lawsuit?

Apple deserves this, as much as any other company. Apple is as much to blame about the present situation as any other company. What goes around comes around.

Marcus Aurelius

In most code, actions in programs are not mapped directly to specific keyboard or mouse presses, but are mapped indirectly. Code to generically perform any action on a double click has been around since applications with such keymaps have been around and simply waving such an application around should invalidate the patent.

zewazir

double clicking was only used to open files and documents, but not to show new user interface elements.

Excuse me?  If I double click on an application (which I have been doing since 1984) doesn’t that open and show new user interface elements?  I go from Finder user interface elements to the user interface elements of Safari by double clicking on the Safari application icon.

Sounds like somebody bamboozled the patent office with a bunch of tech double-speak, and now they’re trying to cash in on a bogus patent.

Tim Sutton

One word:

Hypercard

Log-in to comment