Mar 232010

This is what TMA gets when he fusses around with Verizon phones (aside from better 3G service in NYC):

Those are the two “Clock” apps in the HTC Eris and the iPhone, respectively. Aside from the passing similarity between the 2 Timer tabs themselves, the 4 tabs across the bottom, World Clock, Alarm Clock, Stopwatch and Timer, use the same text and almost identical icons. Wow.

Now I realize the freetard chuckleheads want to scream about how the patent system sucks because such nebulous things like “naming a World Clock” and “sliding Hours and Minutes placeholders” get undeserved protection and that the winner is always the person with the biggest patent portfolio and litigious crappy blah, blah….


Excuse me while I reassemble my head.

As I was saying, kudos to the Obvious Brigade and their comments about the patent system. The shittiness of the system itself belies a pretty important point. Someone – probably a team of someones – spent months developing a way to represent 4 important things you might want to do with time on the iPhone. They came up with the names, the icons and the functional elements of each individual tab – in short, they put more work into it than anything you’ve ever worked on.  Android 1.5 comes along and says “that’s pretty cool” and absconds to a degree that’s almost comical: 4 almost identical icons in the same order, with the same names. Android’s “cut and paste” routine also extends vertically: notice from the top down the input for the timer, the alert sound when complete, the “start” button and the 4 icons are all in the same order.

There are a lot of things short of this comparison that would make innovation more competitive and less litigious. This exceeds that point. This is theft, plain and simple.

I had attributed a lot of the negative press around “Apple vs. Google” as just a way for hacks to drum up page hits (which it still is) and perhaps a little bit of the Jobster pissing on the fence posts along his property line, however poorly the USPTO lets him define it. When I see stuff like this (which is not one of the documented claims against HTC by the way), I can understand why Apple is dropping napalm too.

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