Tuesday, August 28, 2012

PONG ! About that Ridiculously Granted Bounce-Back Scrolling Patent US 7469381 Which Is Anticipated by the Prior Art and Obviousness of the Old Atari Game of PONG

You can read about the ridiculously granted Apple patent 7469381 at ycombinator.com via Hacker News at Can someone explain to me (like I'm 5) exactly what, besides the general concept of list scrolling with bounce-back to indicate end of list reached, it was that Samsung copied from the 7,469,381 patent?

Well, the idea contained in the Apple patent is so simply demonstrated that you can go back to the initial days of PCs for a good demonstration of the principle used, revealing the prior art and obviousness of the invention.

The essential principle of bounce-back scrolling becomes obvious if you play the famed Atari game PONG which was virtually "the first game" in the early days of the computer and you can still play it online here.

Whenever the ball hits the paddle, that is a "bounce-back" and if it does not hit the paddle, there is no "bounce-back". Apple has essentially stolen this PONG bounce-back invention for the basics of its scrolling patent 7469381, as we see from the court decision in Cupertino, to the tune of $1 Billion.

Now, THAT is professional theft.


In both cases you are simply defining "pointers" that initiate changes when any pointer reaches a predefined mathematical position on a display. There is no "invention" or "discovery" involved here.

The fact that in Pong the defining position is the near edge of the display and in Apple the defining position can be some other reference point in the visible or non-visible display is of no consequence to the prior art and obviousness of the invention.

Whenever a pre-defined "point" under predefined conditions is reached, a bounce-back occurs. In that sense, there is no difference at all in the basics between a PONG bounce-back and the method of bounce-back scrolling.

Indeed, a similar bounce-back "invention" is still found on keyboards for word processing use. If you press Control + End keys on your keyboard when working on a text program like Microsoft Word, the cursor (viz. pointer) will spring to the end of the document from any location in the text, while if you press Control + Home at any location the cursor will spring to the beginning of the document. I.e. the text can be made to "bounce-back" forwards or backwards, and the same is true for getting the cursor to the beginning (use the Home key) or the end of the line (use the End key).

Bounce-back scrolling is most certainly no innovation that should entitle any manufacturer to exclusive rights as to its use because it is merely a modern implementation of a tried-and-true method employed in software programming long beforehand.

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