With a move that could send shockwaves throughout the tech industry, Apple’s patent would effectively stop other companies from filing any future patents.
An Apple spokesperson said: “Part of the appeal of Apple is our ability to be innovative, and that ability is being threatened by the innovation of other technical companies who feel that it is appropriate, morally and legally, to infringe on our innovativeness.”
They continued “Being innovative is in itself an innovation, and it is this innovation to innovate that we are attempting to protect.”
‘The last patent’
Apple’s patent describes a method for compiling a document to describe an innovative method or process, and goes on to describe the method with which that document would be submitted to an independent third-party for approval.
Samsung, Apple’s main contender in the smartphone and tablet market, are expected to appeal the patent on the grounds that it not only covers the process for filing patents but also the process of approving them, and thus the US Patent Office’s approval of the patent would itself be a violation of the patent.
Apple and Samsung have previously clashed over patent infringement, with a string of high-profile court cases covering everything from the internal technology used in smartphones to the way their users are allowed to hold the handsets; Apple’s victory in the latter having lasting ramifications on right-handed owners of Samsung smartphones.
Technology analyst Kim Kimstroll told News Wut: “The interesting thing about this patent is that, whilst being perhaps the most restrictive patent ever filed and effectively ensuring that Apple are the only company able to file any future patents, it also could potentially bring about the end of the patent system if the US Patent Office refuses to licence the processes covered by the patent.”