Just as jousting with the 800 pound gorilla, Microsoft, is almost pointless without Bill Gates at the helm, jousting with Apple without Steve Jobs won’t be nearly as much fun. Apart from issues with his health, for which I am wholly sympathetic, Jobs needs to get started on that citadel in Cupertino. A king has got to have a suitable castle. Also, that’s got to bring a lot of jobs to the Greater Bay Area that aren’t just technical. More power to him.
As far as Apple surviving, that is pretty well assured, at least for the foreseeable future. I’m sure there are things in the pipeline that are only hinted at in the patents and acquisitions. For example, the Apple, King patent, U.S. 7,656,393 claims a touch sensitive frame or bezel around the touchscreen of a handheld, such as an iPhone or iPad, for programmable controls, including console-like game controls. This frame or bezel could advantageously be fabricated from a thin shell of Liquidmetal, a spring-like material, to deflect and provide tactile feedback when depressed. Apple has apparently acquired an exclusive field of use license for the underlying patents to this material, at least for its handhelds.
Curiously, the names on a patent are not listed according to any importance of contribution, but can be listed in any order selected by the client of the patent lawyer processing the application. Of the four inventors on the King patent, King was probably placed first, so the patent would be known and published as the King et al patent. A certain regal sound to it all. Similarly, the comprehensive 300 page encyclopedia patent for the iPhone with 25 listed inventors is the Jobs et al, U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949. There is probably no mystery in the selection of Jobs and King for these two important patents, just good marketing.
This writer is a confessed macaholic who operates a small design and prototype development company that long ago was in a suit with Apple over Hypercard. The suit was settled with Apple acquiring a paid-up license. There was never any need for Apple to drop Hypercard, which is to this day a great way to organize information in an object oriented manner. Twenty five years later, QRG is still out there pounding the pavement to take the Hypercard system to the next level. A hint of implementation was found in the Palm webOS that HP is spinning to the wind. But that too was Apple inspired.
The original QRG design for a small handheld computer utilized a touchscreen that was flat and rectangular with rounded corners and proposed in 1991. At the time, the barrier was the screens. While Sharp was the first to make miniature screens for video cameras, the pixels were staggered for NTSC systems. Samsung was hot on the trail with high contrast miniature screens for panels typically for printers and larger equipment. Early negotiations with Samsung ended with the Samsung opinion that nobody would buy a computer so small for the estimated $800.00 cost to make it. People wanted bigger and better. This all of course was before the marketing schemes for mobile phones.
In a shameless attempt by QRG to insinuate itself into the Apple v. Samsung litigation, QRG made a proposal to Samsung reciting the Top Ten Reasons for Samsung to License QRG Technology. The objective was to acquire development funds to automate the system described in this blog on an interesting and important litigation. It could then be conveniently applied to any patent litigation, or to the analysis of the worth of a patent or the patentability of a published application. The special peer review process at the patent office lacked decent crowd sourcing and for that you need gamification. That is, something to get many people involved in the tedious tasks involved.
To be fair, a similar proposal was prepared for Apple, but was simply academic. Steve Jobs has a sixth sense and there was no reason to make it to him, particularly with our common history. Under Jobs, the system would probably be implemented anyway, simply because it would become easier. Steve is king. Now, with Tim Cook likely having his first day on the job as CEO of Apple Inc., QRG makes this open letter proposal to him.