As the world has learned this week, Apple asked Google not to include multitouch functionality in their Android operating system (the OS that runs the Google/T-Mobile G1 mobile phone). And Google complied.
The problem is of course: Apple did not invent multitouch. People like Jeff Han have been working with multitouch long before, but the brain damaged US patent office granted Apple a patent on this technology.
Now Apple is threatening to kill, maim and destroy anyone who dares implement a technology that Apple hasn’t even developed in the first place. And multitouch is not the only thing Apple falsely claims ownership of.
This is no isolated incident. We are seeing such acts of patent aggression from IT companies everywhere in the world, but Apple and Microsoft are probably some of the worst offenders.
The software patent problem needs to be solved. It is developing into a serious hurdle for innovators. Instead of encouraging inventions and innovations, it makes sure that only those with a large array of IP lawyers can bring anything to market without being destroyed by companies claiming IP ownership. The real purpose of patents, to protect the rights of small inventors to an idea, to protect them from exploitation by aggressive companies, was completely lost.
One of the reasons for this is the brainless way that IT and technology patents are granted in the USA — many patents are simply allowed because the patent office employees lack the time to thoroughly research prior art. It’s well-known that the US Patent and Trademark Office is broken in terms of IT patents, now someone fix it. Oh, and let’s see a large enough company challenge Apple on multitouch and all the other ideas they’ve stolen, then patented, when implementing the iPhone.
It’s time someone spanked them around a bit.