In this week's Dallas Observer, we have a long look at the goofiness of the U.S. patent system, which lots of smart people agree is suffocating innovation in this country. One of those smart people is local billionaire Mark Cuban, who's been on a jihad against patent laws for a while. He wrote this back in March:
Anyone who reads this blog knows how much I hate patent laws. I think 99pct of the time they are anti-competitive, corruptive, impede creativity and innovation and can kill small businesses. I think the ratio of patent law doing a good job protecting company IP vs it being used purely to negatively impact competitors or to troll for un-earned revenue is probably 1000 to 1, or worse.
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Well, he's going to really love this: Apple just secured a patent for turning the page.
The New York Times' tech blog has the story. The page-turn is one of 38 patents Apple was awarded this week, all of which may now be the basis of lawsuits against its competitors, assuming those competitors don't already have patents on the same technology, which they may, because did we mention how totally fucked the U.S. patent system is? From the Times:
Yes, that's right. Apple now owns the page turn. You know, as when you turn a page with your hand. An "interface" that has been around for hundreds of years in physical form. I swear I've seen similar animation in Disney or Warner Brothers cartoons. ...
Of course this isn't the most seemingly obvious patent Apple has been awarded in recent years. The company has also been granted patents for an icon for music (which is a just a musical note), the glass staircase used in the company's stores - yes, stairs, that people walk up -- and for the packaging of its iPhone.
Tune in next week, when Apple successfully patents the apple, sues all the apple farmers, and convinces its herd of bearded acolytes that the lawsuit is good for innovation because now someone will totally invent a new and delicious fruit.