Wednesday, May 17, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Moom vs. the Rectangular Grid Patent

Many Tricks (tweet):

The one change was to the grid, which switched from rectangular (with the circles of 3.2.7) to the new hexagonal layout, as seen at right.

Why did we change the design? Late last week, we learned there’s a US patent that covers resizing windows using a rectangular grid in a miniature preview image. We learned this when the patent’s owner told us they believed Moom’s grid was infringing on their patent. For now, we have redesigned the grid in such a way that no infringement claim can be made, and we’re working on further improvements.

This sort of thing should not be patentable. Plus, the timeline is depressing: the patent application was filed in 2008, the Moom feature shipped in 2011, the patent was granted in 2013, and the complaint was made in 2017.

See also: Hacker News.

3 Comments

Of course that sort of thing should be patentable. Although I'd want to make sure that whoever filed the patent is paying proper royalties to the ancient greeks for his blatant use of the rectangle!

IP law sure does suck...

"This sort of thing should not be patentable."

Michael,

I own the patent to that sentence "when used in a technology context". By using it, you are infringing on my patent. Since the damage is already done, I'll have my lawyers contact your lawyer to set up an acceptable royalty rate for all mjtsai.com software sold in the past five years, and moving forward in perpetuity. I do hope we can reach agreement on a royalty rate so I don't have to shut down your company over your blatant and willful infringement.

(Also, I notice that you don't seem to have licensed my patent for "web logs", but we can deal with that later. I don't wish to add to your woes today.)

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