willybfriendly - 5:09 pm on Mar 3, 2010 (gmt 0)
What I don't understand about the 'it makes further development impossible' argument is if someone else can do more or different or in another way, then IMO they don't have to infringe on Apple's Patent, but if they can't then Apple already developed it, so why should others be able to copy?
The problem here is that software patents are more and more covering ideas, not processes.
I used the example of covered bridges in another thread. There were at least 10 patents issued for truss designs in covered bridges - many relatively minor variations on prior designs. There was never to my knowledge a patent issued for, "A method to span chasms with a structure of wood beams and a roof..."
These are engineering problems, and as such only the specific solution deserves protection. "How do I build a skyscraper?" may lead to a patentable idea (pre-stressed concrete) but the idea of a high rise building is hardly worthy of protection.
Likewise, the idea of, "How do I make a screen respond to touch so I can eliminate the keyboard?" is hardly worthy of protection.