“A near three-year-long attempt by Apple Computer to patent the menu-based software interface of its popular iPod digital music player has ultimately proved unsuccessful, AppleInsider has discovered,” Kasper Jade and Katie Marsal report for AppleInsider.
“The company’s patent application, which lists Apple vice president Jeff Robbin and Apple chief executive Steve Jobs as two of its primary inventors, received a final rejection last month from the United States Patent and Trademark Office,” Jade and Marsal report. “It’s unclear how Robbin and Apple will proceed in their attempts to secure rights to the iPod’s software design interface. The United States Patent and Trademark Office allows a three-month window period for reply to the final rejection, in which Robbin and Apple can appeal the decision, request reconsideration, or file a continuation of their original application. With the fuses burning short on a number of patent filings from the early evolution of digital music players, it has yet to be determined who will ultimately score ownership in the industry. As it stands right now, Robbin’s iPod software design is open territory that Apple cannot necessarily protect others from duplicating.”
Full article here.
In related news, Sim Wong Hoo was seen doing cartwheels across Creative’s parking lot and several Chinese knock-off electronic makers declared today a national holiday. But, seriously, it’ll all work out.