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Old 07-23-2009, 05:01 AM
David Tucker
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Default Tsera Invented The Touchscreen In 2003, Sues Everyone

<p><em>"A company called Tsera has sued 23 electronics companies in federal court in eastern Texas for violating a patent on touchscreens. The suit, filed on July 15, cites Apple's iPod Classic and Nano products, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s Zune digital media player, and several other popular devices as violating a patent, "Methods and Apparatus for Controlling a Portable Electronic Device Using a Touchpad," which was granted in 2003."</em></p><p>Well, here we go again. Is it even remotely surprising anymore when an unknown company with no products that I am aware of digs up a years old patent and sues, well, everyone? No, I didn't think so either. Its hard to say what will become of this suit. Tsera seems to be going especially hard after Apple's iPod and they do indeed hold the patents they are suing over.</p><p>According to the<a href="http://www.informationweek.com/news/hardware/handheld/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=218600117" target="_blank"> Information Week article</a>, there could be some hope in the future. There is apparently legislation in Congress right now to make it more difficult to find courts that will be friendly to this type of litigation. Hopefully that will help but I really think we need to see some sort of reform for the patent process. The patent office can't be expected to identify a potential problem in a patent when its issued but it seems that before these lawsuits are allowed that the patent itself should be given a much closer look.</p><p>Someone might want to send the judge a memo that the touchscreen has been around since quite a while before 2003.</p>
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:58 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 238

These kind of IP claims are just so much BS. I was working with a touchscreen on a plasma discharge display (neon with orange pixels) on an educational system in 1975 or 1976. It had been developed by Control Data Systems. I think the system was called Plato. Even by then, the technology was considered obvious and not patented.

These sleezeball kinds of claims only damage innovation. It's time for some serious reform.

Bill B
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:54 PM
Felix Torres
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,887

The patent is for *portable* gadget use, not desktop computer use, or kiosk use, or ATM use.
Of course, Palm organizers and PocketPCs were doing exactly what they described a long time before, but maybe the lawyers reviewing the application thought putting a computer interface on a non-computer device was actually non-obvious.
Interresting that Apple actually cited that patent in one of their own applications, though.
(Then again, Apple has tried to pattent other companies's inventions before; Synaptics' touch pad tech, for one...)
Just on that alone I'll give them a 1% chance of actually having a case.
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