Apple sued for rotating windows on iOS devices

“Texas based Rotatable Technologies is suing Apple for infringing on a 1999 patent that they acquired titled ‘Display Method for Selectively Rotating Windows on a Computer Display,'” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“The lawsuit claims that Apple’s iPhone and iPad tablets infringe one or more claims of their patent. Rotatable Technologies also launched a similar lawsuit against Nokia earlier this month,” Purcher reports. “Rotatable Technologies has listed six other companies in the lawsuit including Callvine, Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., Netflix, Inc., Quickoffice, Inc., Target Corporation and Whole Foods Market, Inc.”

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Purcher reports, “The case was filed in the United States District Court for Eastern Texas, Marshall Division.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Rocket docket!

40 Comments

    1. That’s the patent game. And it’s not making just lawyers rich, the winning company either gets to use technology they didn’t patent or wins monetary awards plus some kind of ongoing licensing agreement.

    1. Apple makes actual products that they ship to customers. They sue competitors that copy their designs and ideas and sell similar products.

      That is not similar to what this company and virtually every single other company that sues Apple does.

  1. Strange. First, the illustration in the article clearly shows a Mac OS window from some time before OS X. Second, The patent clearly refers to the rotation of a window with controls. I have been a Mac user since 1984. I do not ever recall this being a feature of pre-OS X systems and I don’t see this being used in andy version of OS X. Nor is it a feature of iOS.
    When I first read this, I thought that it might refer to the Widgets in the dashboard that flip over to get to the controls. that’s the only “rotation” feature that I can remember in and Apple OS.

    1. I suggest that they are probably talking about the rotation of the full window in iOS from portrait to landscape. Which is a little different Though similar. it does use a control – you rotate the device.

      1. Strangely, I don’t think of that as rotating the window (since there really are no windows in iOS) but rotating the device. As someone else here has said. The window stays upright.

        In any case, somehow I doubt that the algorithm for this rotation on iOS devices is anything like what they cam up with in 1999. I expect that Apple engineers were quite original with their solution.

    2. Radius used to make rotating displays for Macs in the early 90s that could display portrait or landscape depending on whether you were doing page layout or spreadsheets.

    3. Yeah cocoanuck! It’s very strange to have a patent from 2001 specifically showing an old Mac OS window as its illustration. WTF?

      I suspect this weird patent will be thrown out. There is plenty of prior art from a dozen different 1990s graphics programs. Swinging boxes around on screen is old vector technology. Lazy lawyers sucking on money at the behest of patent trolls, as per usual. Tech illiterate patent office clerks approving baloney patents, as per usual.

  2. Radius had rotating displays long before 1999. They made a display (Radius Pivot) that could auto sense orientation and rotate the image resizing windows automatically to use the aspect ration correctly – in 1991!
    This was long before Microsoft offered and screen rotation in Windows 98.

  3. The abstract and the diagram show a *window* rotating, presumably against the rest of the OS desktop. None of Apple’s OSes do that. iOS rotates the entire desktop to remain upright. And I recall more than one company making tiltable monitors (portrait/landscape) as far back as the Mac IIci days—which, again, is not what the patent appears to be describing.

  4. These guys are going to have a tough time winning. I remember a display company (Radius?) who made monitors that you could rotate 90º and the screen would rotate. Worked wonderfully with PageMaker on Mac, and that was back in 1992 and earlier!

  5. No Apple product ever had this window rotation capability.

    About the closest Apple came to this kind of thing was with MacPaint and or MacDraw and rotating an object. Not quite the same thing as rotating a window.

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