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Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:54 am
by Beakster
Just been reading about Nvidias Portable Computer System Patents on some other forums and a few people are mentioning the Pi and wondering if this will be released as a competitor.

I suppose it\'s not likely to provide too much competition are the target market will be quite different and it is likely to be more expensive. What I am curious about though is if this patent could be used against Raspberry Pi somehow. It seems the technology industry is a total mess of patent court cases just now, it would be very upsetting if RaspberryPi became a target too.

The concept picture looks a lot like the USB stick style Pi prototype. I wonder if Nvidia could use this patent to prevent Pis being sold in the US unless a fee was paid to them (In the same way Commodore was finished off by preventing them selling any Amiga CD32s in the US because they didnt pay the patent holders of XOR):

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia ... 13878.html

[img]http://media.bestofmicro.com/7/I/313902 ... nvidia.jpg[/img]

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:17 am
by abishur
I\'m no patent expert, but seeing as how the form fact, the internals, and the focus of the product are substantially different, I think the r-pi will be just fine ;)

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:28 am
by portets
and it\'s also bad rep for a company to attack a charity.

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:55 am
by Skygod
What do they believe that they have actually \'invented\' with this?

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:25 am
by Jongoleur
It seems to be one of those \"look and feel\" patents, similar to the one that Apple used to make things difficult in Europe (Germany in particular?) for the 10\" Galaxy Tab. Apple had basically \"invented and patented\" the oblong, thin with rounded corners tablet shape. Yes, I know its an exercise in the bleedin\' obvious, but that doesn\'t seem to stop the USPO from issuing these worthless documents willy-nilly.

Apart from that, its a pretty dreadfully drawn sketch.

Provided the device doesn\'t plug into the bottom r/h of the screen in that particular manner, then the Pi is probably safe....

(Usual IANAL caveats apply :-) )

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:59 pm
by Skygod
God almighty! Now I begin to understand why the US of A is so f**ked up. If you can patent a \'look and feel\' without actually \'inventing\' anything and then sue the ar*e over anyone that actually produces something that you\'ve patented as the \'inventor\'.

As an idea, would it be possible for everyone on this forum to boycott the application and show that the 2006 Pi was in fact way ahead of this \'invention\'

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:17 pm
by liz
Even if there was overlap, which, for the reasons you guys point out above, I don\'t think there is, we\'d be able to claim prior art. We have been documenting what we\'ve done on the project very carefully for the last six years in case of just this sort of thing; and the news articles about us with pictures from well before the October filing make it a no-brainer. (I\'m ultra-cautious about IP law - I trained as a lawyer, although I never practised, and although it\'d be crazy bad publicity for a company to try to sue a charity like ours, it\'s not unheard of.)

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:17 pm
by Bacan
Publicly published or well documented \"Prior Works of Art\" are used to disqualify a patent. The US-PTO, is based on the 1880s, not the 21st Century. It takes the approach that others will tell the PTO when something is not patentable. Yes, a hosed up system. What is worst, filing with the US-PTO is only for the USofA. To cover yourself for the whole world, you need to file with the EU, China & Asia, Latin America, New Zealand & OZ, plus a few others. That just gives you the ability to go to court, not that your right, just the ability to get heard in a court of law. Assuming that the court enforces their laws! ( for examples, see India, China, Israel, ... )

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:20 pm
by liz
Snap!

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:40 pm
by Matttt
[quote]In volume production, Nvidia could push the bill of materials well below $100, which could make it the most affordable new computer on sale[/quote]

Seems like Toms Hardware doesn\'t know about/is ignoring the r-pi

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:38 pm
by abishur
Sadly, a lot of people (some of my friends even) still count the r-pi as vaporware and will undoubtedly stubbornly continue to do so long after it\'s released! (It\'s not real until it\'s being sold! It\'s not real until it\'s proven to not be a flash in the pan product!)

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:42 pm
by liz
Doesn\'t really bother us (although it\'s kind of amazing that people think people like Jack, David, Pete and Eben would try to pull something like that - we\'d never work in this industry again if we were having everybody on). We\'re just looking forward to imagining the doubters eating humble…pi when we ship.

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:04 am
by juanRIOT
Its things like this which makes me worry. Yes Nvidia might not sue a charity but a smart guy once said human stupidity is infinite.
I just hope that someone will have the foresight to prevent anything that will shot Raspi out of the sky this early on or even in the future.

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:07 am
by jamesh
[quote]Quote from juanRIOT on November 4, 2011, 08:04
Its things like this which makes me worry. Yes Nvidia might not sue a charity but a smart guy once said human stupidity is infinite.
I just hope that someone will have the foresight to prevent anything that will shot Raspi out of the sky this early on or even in the future.[/quote]

Best Nvidia could do is stop sales to the USA. And documented prior art would scupper that eventually anyway.

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:29 am
by Jongoleur
[quote]Quote from jamesh on November 4, 2011, 09:07

Best Nvidia could do is stop sales to the USA. And documented prior art would scupper that eventually anyway. [/quote]

\"scupper that eventually\" is the thing that makes me despair. It means that thanks to a wonky \"patent\", that there is the possibility of an action brought by Nvidia (probably in East Texas - see Slashdot passim) and the Raspberry Foundation will put to the expense of not only overturning the patent in a notoriously biased US legal system, but also nullifying the knee-jerk grant of an injunction against distribution in the US.

Damn all broad patents and the lawyers they sail on!

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:23 am
by crundy
[quote]Quote from abishur on November 3, 2011, 19:38
Sadly, a lot of people (some of my friends even) still count the r-pi as vaporware and will undoubtedly stubbornly continue to do so long after it\'s released! (It\'s not real until it\'s being sold! It\'s not real until it\'s proven to not be a flash in the pan product!)[/quote]

Even though:
1) They aren\'t take preorders or asking for donations, which are the two hallmarks of vapourware
2) They actually have alpha boards already, which they have loaned (for free) to developers in order to convince them to write compatable software, and
3) They bothered to register as a charity

Seriously people really need a reality check sometimes.

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:06 am
by jamesh
[quote]Quote from Jongoleur on November 4, 2011, 09:29
[quote]Quote from jamesh on November 4, 2011, 09:07

Best Nvidia could do is stop sales to the USA. And documented prior art would scupper that eventually anyway. [/quote]

\"scupper that eventually\" is the thing that makes me despair. It means that thanks to a wonky \"patent\", that there is the possibility of an action brought by Nvidia (probably in East Texas - see Slashdot passim) and the Raspberry Foundation will put to the expense of not only overturning the patent in a notoriously biased US legal system, but also nullifying the knee-jerk grant of an injunction against distribution in the US.

Damn all broad patents and the lawyers they sail on!
[/quote]

I doubt the foundation would bother - just won\'t sell to the USA. It\'s the USA\'s loss for having a corrupt and broken patent system. Meanwhile the rest of the world overtakes them (ref. China).

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:59 am
by Nutmeat
The Tom\'s article is garbage.
It\'s a picture of a tv with a stick out the side, a vague reference to a patent (or is that just a filing?), and mention that the assignee is NVIDEA.

Everything here is hearsay. Show me an application number, a patent number, a USPC number, a title, anything but a stupid phrase in quotes about it being a portable computer. Those have been around since the 80\'s after all.

Tom\'s gets a -1 for doing nothing but speculating, and providing nothing to base it on.

Thumbs down. I don\'t even see how you could make the jump from that article to the Raspberry Pi, except that they\'re both small.

Enlighten me if I\'ve missed something related to NVIDEA and the raspberry pi.

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:28 pm
by Jongoleur
Ok

5 minutes with Googlr turned this up

United States Patent Application 20110249391
Kind Code A1
Xu; Shuang October 13, 2011

PORTABLE COMPUTER SYSTEM

Abstract

A portable computer system is disclosed according to the invention. The portable computer system comprises: a multi-functional processing unit with power consumption of no more than approximately 10 watts consisting of a single chip having a plurality of processors thereon, wherein each processor is operable for at least one task selected from a group consisting of computing, graphic processing and audio processing; a mother board to which the multi-functional processing unit is connected; a memory unit connected to the motherboard and in communication with the multi-functional processing unit; and an I/O interface connected to the motherboard and in communication with the multi-functional processing unit, the portable computer system is configured to insert into a interface of a peripheral device to communicate between the portable computer system and the peripheral device.

References in the text are consistent with the crappy drawing displayed above.

So yes, Tom\'s can\'t give a sensible report, however the application exists.

A point of interest is the priority claim

CLAIM OF PRIORITY

[0001] The present application claims the priority of Chinese Patent Application No. 20100141965.4, filed Apr. 8, 2010, which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to a computer system, and more particularly to a portable computer system.

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:30 pm
by liz
The patent application number is #20110249391, if you want to look it up. And yes, we\'d be surprised to see it succeed on a couple of grounds - prior art, as we mentioned above, and novelty.

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:50 pm
by Nutmeat
[quote]Quote from Jongoleur on November 4, 2011, 13:28
5 minutes with Googlr turned this up
[/quote]
5 minutes more than the application is worth.

I regret that you felt the need to spend that time. Tom\'s could have done it for you.

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:20 pm
by Skygod
So,

In the US of A, you can patent something that you haven\'t actually made (yet someone else has) and call it \'your\' invention and then sue anyone that does (has) make (made) it?

I\'ve read the patent application several times now and I\'m still at a loss to understand exactly what \'invention\' they are applying to patent. The best I can ascertain is that it will be a device within the size margins that they are quoting and it will be able to be plugged directly into the HDMI port of a TV.

If I were to copy their application and just change the sizes and state that an interface connector cable was required, would it become my \'invention\'?

It is NOT an invention, but merely an implementation and if the US patent office believes otherwise, then they really have lost the plot.

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:29 pm
by johnbeetem
IANAL, but this appears to be a patent application, not an issued patent. If it is ever issued as an actual patent, which is unlikely since there is no novel content, it won\'t happen for many years.

IANAL, but here\'s how the USPTO seems to work: Company A files application for obvious, non-novel \"invention\". Patent examiner turns it down. Company A rewrites the claims, making them harder to understand, and tries again. Patent examiner turns it down again. Process repeats until patent examiner is tired of Company A\'s persistence and issues the patent just to make Company A go away. Patent examiner figures \"let the courts decide\".

If you have a morbid interest in the USA patent fiasco and how it retards Progress in Science and Useful Arts, I highly recommend www.groklaw.net. Be prepared to be utterly revolted, because it\'s worse than you can possibly imagine.

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:48 pm
by liz
Just found an article I remembered reading in Wired last year about patents in the mobile phone industry. It\'s great, and not a little chilling. Worth a few minutes of your time.

http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive ... m?page=all

Re: Nvidias Portable Computer System Patent

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:50 pm
by Skygod
As the bard wrote 400 hundred years ago :

\"The first thing we do, let\'s kill all the lawyers\"