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Author Topic: Apple Digital Credits Patent  (Read 2461 times)
meanig
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February 07, 2012, 08:28:37 PM
 #1

From the press hits thread.

Apple patents digital currency to get one up on facebook

mentions possible problems for bitcoin

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505124_162-57372470/apple-patent-throws-wrench-into-facebook-plans/

The patent covers a "Digital media acquisition using credit" invention. I had a quick read through it and my understanding is that they are patenting the process of an online store checking that a customer has sufficient prepaid credit in their account before allowing the purchase of some digital media to take place.

A patent like this could setback Facebook credits and other similar schemes because as the author notes Apple uses patent cases as weapon for killing the opposition. But what about Bitcoin? Would Bitcoin be immune since there are no balance checks done when a payment is made.

Link to patent http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8,112,360.PN.&OS=PN/8,112,360&RS=PN/8,112,360

Edit: a balance check is made by the Bitcoin network but not by the online store.
 
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paraipan
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February 07, 2012, 08:33:05 PM
 #2

...

But what about Bitcoin? Would Bitcoin be immune since there are no balance checks done when a payment is made.

...

Could be, so bitcoin will not fall under Apple's patent because is using "deBits" not credits.

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rjk
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February 07, 2012, 08:34:04 PM
 #3

Fucking Apple can suck it with all their goddamn patents.

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February 07, 2012, 08:36:02 PM
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Facebook has clearly been using digital credits already, so it could be considered prior art, and may invalidate Apple's patent.

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February 07, 2012, 08:50:44 PM
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Facebook has clearly been using digital credits already, so it could be considered prior art, and may invalidate Apple's patent.

The patent was from 2006 though =/

Seems a wildly broad patent - it'd have ramifications far wider than Facebook.
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February 07, 2012, 08:54:11 PM
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maybe bitcoin should Patent cryptocurrency?


wait a minute who is "bitcoin" ?  Wink

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February 07, 2012, 08:55:22 PM
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Good thing bitcoin isn't used in the USA only, then. Smiley
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February 07, 2012, 08:55:37 PM
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maybe bitcoin should Patent cryptocurrency?
Yeah, and the exchange of tokens representing a commodity over the internet. Hmm....

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February 07, 2012, 08:59:44 PM
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maybe bitcoin should Patent cryptocurrency?


wait a minute who is "bitcoin" ?  Wink

There is no "Bitcoin" to patent anything... on the other hand, there is also no "Bitcoin" to be sued for patent infringement.
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February 07, 2012, 09:00:37 PM
 #10

maybe bitcoin should Patent cryptocurrency?
Yeah, and the exchange of tokens representing a commodity over the internet. Hmm....

problem is who does this patent belong to... their is no bitcoin corporation

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February 07, 2012, 09:01:25 PM
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maybe bitcoin should Patent cryptocurrency?


wait a minute who is "bitcoin" ?  Wink

There is no "Bitcoin" to patent anything... on the other hand, there is also no "Bitcoin" to be sued for patent infringement.

cant they say each individual user of bitcoin is in  patent infringement.

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February 07, 2012, 09:03:46 PM
 #12

I have a few patents and am familiar with the process so let me chip in my 0.02 BTC.

The patent is claiming purchasing 'media' using credits.

This patent is pretty weak if they try to have a broad application of it. Credits are used to purchase thousands of types of things throughout history. This patent specifically states it covers purchasing 'online media item' from 'an online media store'. If you are not doing any of these, you can stop reading here.

Secondly, narrow patents pass because they can claim a new use for an existing art as novelty. So my opinion (not legal opinion, just a technical opinion) is that Apple wont even be able to enforce this if you buy a non-media item from a media store or buy a media item from a non-online media store.

Lastly, the patent is about credits, BTC is a currency, not credit. So stop worrying and get back to work.
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February 07, 2012, 09:04:02 PM
 #13

maybe bitcoin should Patent cryptocurrency?


wait a minute who is "bitcoin" ?  Wink

There is no "Bitcoin" to patent anything... on the other hand, there is also no "Bitcoin" to be sued for patent infringement.

cant they say each individual user of bitcoin is in  patent infringement.

That would be hilarious.  No court would accept such a case.

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February 07, 2012, 09:09:49 PM
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Facebook has clearly been using digital credits already, so it could be considered prior art, and may invalidate Apple's patent.

You obviously don't know how this game is played.

Defending on basis of prior arts can cost millions and sometimes judges are stupid.  Apple doesn't need to "win" they can just use it as a weapon even if they know they will lose.  Against smaller companies they simply kill them in court.  Many a company has won a patent lawsuit after 7-10 years only to go bankrupt shortly there after.  Some don't even make it that far (those are the profitable ones).

Against bigger companies Apple combines it with the 10,000 other patents they have and uses it as a massive assault.  Filing hundreds of patent lawsuits in dozens of courts.  Then Apple makes their target "an offer they can't refuse".  If your legal teams says that defending is going to cost $80 million and there is a small but possible chance that you will lose 10x as much or you can licensing the patent library from Apple will only cost $10 million guess what happens?

Lastly Apple will use the arsenal of patents as a weapon of mutually assured destruction.  If company X files patent lawsuits against Apple then Apple files them back and both companies are looking at 9 figures in lost profits.  The companies reach an agreement, do a cross licensing deal and only get stronger with increase patent arsenals to bully other companies with.

* Note Apple is just an example every major tech company does the same thing.  US Patent system is a downright joke.  It simply allows companies to finance the destruction of their opponents directly (i.e. how much do you want to pay to kill company X).  Merit doesn't and hasn't had much to do with it in last 20 or 30 years.
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February 07, 2012, 09:18:13 PM
 #15

Fucking Apple can suck it with all their goddamn patents.

Amen... they would patent the alphabet if given the chance..

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February 07, 2012, 09:19:56 PM
 #16

maybe bitcoin should Patent cryptocurrency?


wait a minute who is "bitcoin" ?  Wink

There is no "Bitcoin" to patent anything... on the other hand, there is also no "Bitcoin" to be sued for patent infringement.

cant they say each individual user of bitcoin is in  patent infringement.

That would be hilarious.  No court would accept such a case.

Yeah, make sure you guise don't eat at McYonalds. Their packaging will get you sued.

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February 07, 2012, 09:38:21 PM
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Facebook has clearly been using digital credits already, so it could be considered prior art, and may invalidate Apple's patent.

You obviously don't know how this game is played.

Defending on basis of prior arts can cost millions and sometimes judges are stupid.  Apple doesn't need to "win" they can just use it as a weapon even if they know they will lose.  Against smaller companies they simply kill them in court.  Many a company has won a patent lawsuit after 7-10 years only to go bankrupt shortly there after.  Some don't even make it that far (those are the profitable ones).

Against bigger companies Apple combines it with the 10,000 other patents they have and uses it as a massive assault.  Filing hundreds of patent lawsuits in dozens of courts.  Then Apple makes their target "an offer they can't refuse".  If your legal teams says that defending is going to cost $80 million and there is a small but possible chance that you will lose 10x as much or you can licensing the patent library from Apple will only cost $10 million guess what happens?

Lastly Apple will use the arsenal of patents as a weapon of mutually assured destruction.  If company X files patent lawsuits against Apple then Apple files them back and both companies are looking at 9 figures in lost profits.  The companies reach an agreement, do a cross licensing deal and only get stronger with increase patent arsenals to bully other companies with.

* Note Apple is just an example every major tech company does the same thing.  US Patent system is a downright joke.  It simply allows companies to finance the destruction of their opponents directly (i.e. how much do you want to pay to kill company X).  Merit doesn't and hasn't had much to do with it in last 20 or 30 years.

have you ever heard of a cross complaint?  it means that if medium to smaller size company feels a case by Apple has no merit, they can file a cross complaint which will afford them penalties or damages as a result of a frivolous lawsuit.  yes Apple is big and formidable but its not like they can just sue everyone to oblivion by filing non meritorious lawsuits.
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February 07, 2012, 10:43:18 PM
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have you ever heard of a cross complaint?  it means that if medium to smaller size company feels a case by Apple has no merit, they can file a cross complaint which will afford them penalties or damages as a result of a frivolous lawsuit.  yes Apple is big and formidable but its not like they can just sue everyone to oblivion by filing non meritorious lawsuits.

I live in the real world where Apple does EXACTLY that.  

You have a small business and your legal costs will put you out of business if you lose.  Apple legal costs to attack you are a rounding error.
Your companies entire survival (and likely your personal financial stake) vs a <1 penny difference is EPS on Apple's next qtr earnings.

Sure you may win against Apple if you don't go bankrupt trying to win.  If you have the millions to fund a defense and counter complaint, and the assets to survive any injunction on your cashflow Apple seeks.  Oh and can wait the years Apple can tie it up in court.  Even then both sides are rolling the dice because Apple's complaint won't be completely without merit.  They have a patent (well tens of thousands) and patent found in good standing by the "glorious" USPTO.   

So you are both taking a gamble, however if Apple rolls snake eyes they less than a penny per share.  If you roll snake eyes you business, life savings, and livelihood is gone.  Seems pretty fair to me.
barbarousrelic
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February 07, 2012, 10:47:26 PM
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What the hell is wrong with the patent office that they would issue such a ridiculous patent?

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February 07, 2012, 10:49:06 PM
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a careful read of the article would reveal this is the author spouting off about the possible patents effect on Bitcoin, not Apple itself.
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