Apple icon patent

Sure, Apple's greatest love is technology, but it's second greatest love is patent filing. And it turns out that Cupertino filed for one way back in June 2008 that describes contact icons on a smartphone home screen. That's something that we've been doing on Android for a while now. But the patent filing goes a bit further. Here's the exact verbage.

An icon can be created for a contact (e.g., an individual(s) or an entity) and presented on a user interface of a mobile device, such as a "home screen." The icon can be used to retrieve and display contact information. The icon can also be used to invoke one or more applications that are personalized to the contact. The icon can be modified to display information related to the contact. In one aspect, an icon associated with an entity can be temporarily displayed on the mobile device based on the proximity of the mobile device to the entity. The icon can be used to retrieve and display information related to the entity. Additionally, the icon can be removed from the display on the mobile device when the mobile device is no longer within a certain proximity of the entity.

Hmmmm. A location-based icon homescreen. Sounds interesting, but do you really want your home screen changing that drastically depending on who's near you? [U.S. Patent Office via Redmond Pie/The iPhone Blog


Reader comments

Apple filed for patent on home screen contacts in 2008


It's an interesting idea. Rather than having the persons icon disappear, however, they could have it dim or brighten depending on proximity.

Stupid patents. Something like this shouldnt be able to be patented.

Fuck apple, thats all I got to say.(and MS too...)

so did they only file to patent the icon appearing/disappearing in relation to who you are near? or that whole list?

first one seems somewhat logical, but I really dont think you should be able to patent the feature of having an icon for a contact on a home screen?

It's Apple. That means that no matter if the idea is good or bad, intertube tough guys and psudeo-intellectuals will speak up and show that they are assholes.

You shouldn't be able to patent basic concepts. The problem is that over time, concepts once considered advanced become basic concepts. What they are describing is context-dependent actions and/or options - a concept that has been around for a long time. It makes no difference that the icons are on a smarthphone home screen.

I heard that apple has the word "apple" copyrighted and android users arent allowed to say "apple" anymore.. lol

On a serious note... Apple is, and should be afraid of the latest wave of smartphones. Android is just emerging and already has apple scared to death. it only makes sense that apple do everything it can to try and compete with its competition. Its just sad that they rather try and limit the competition with petty copyright laws rather than making themselves better. But then again, how much more can they do to that same old "sope on a rope" looking design of a phone? maybe make it half as thin so stuff breaks faster?

This filing of a patent by the Apple is rotten to the core (pun intended). They have everything on this application from Google's proximity search to Android's (and others') icons on a "home screen" which HTC, Palm and others have been doing for some time now. Just another way to help Apple to get into another lawsuit over their alleged intellectual property. It is certainly not unique enough to get a patent, in my humble opinion.

I'm not entirely sure I agree with the idea that software shouldn't be allowed to be patented. I mean yes, one could make a valid argue that this patent request by apple could or should be denied However software companies should still be able to patent their work. Why should Intel be able to patent the design of their hardware and apple not be able to patent the design of their software?

why does apples icon looks like the first time joker makes his appearance on a batman guess its just me

Yeah, Apple, Apple...
They patented the name "Trash Bin" so MS couldn't use that name on Windows and used "Recycling Bin".
And thsy sued some apple orchard for using some apple piture on their logo. Duh.

Will they ever end such nonsence?