John, do you have Sophie running on this thing yet?

Joshua Gargus schwa at
Wed Jan 10 18:33:35 UTC 2007

I think that this may be a smart move from Apple's point of view.   
I'm sure that the 200 patents that they applied for don't cover  
everything, and that after a year or two of exclusive access to their  
own platform they'll be able to patent "the rest" of the UI  
techniques that they haven't invented yet.  It may basically be a  
phone right now, but who knows where they still plan to take it.  Why  
let third parties in on the action immediately?  There will be plenty  
of time to re-evaluate whether to let third parties on board, and in  
the meantime I'm sure that they'll sell plenty.

To me, this highlights another instance of the patent system not  
fulfilling its original purpose, namely to catalyze innovation.   
There are plenty of bright people who could invent patentable UIs for  
this new class of device, but because of the high barriers to entry  
everyone else has to sit on the sidelines while Apple generates new  
patents at their leisure (of course, this is a simplification).  Of  
course, you can't fault Apple for using the rules of the game to  
maximally leverage their very real innovation, especially not in a  
competitive environment where some of the less-innovative players  
happen to wield big clubs with words like "Monopoly" carved into them.


On Jan 10, 2007, at 6:12 AM, Danie Roux wrote:

> On 1/9/07, Howard Stearns <hstearns at> wrote:
>> (Yeah, I know that Negroponte says there are good reasons that the  
>> has a bigger screen. He's right. But still...)
> It seems as if it might even not be possible:
> "And the reality slowly sets in about what the iPhone is and is not.
> Noted analyst and Engadget pal Michael Gartenberg stated that the
> iPhone is first party software ONLY -- i.e. not a smartphone by
> conventional terms, being that a smartphone is a platform device that
> allows software to be installed. That means hungry power-users -- you
> know, those people ready and willing to plunk down $600 for an 8GB
> musicphone -- won't be able to extend the functionality of their phone
> any more than Apple (but thankfully not Cingular) dictates."
> -- 
> Danie Roux *shuffle* Adore Unix --

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