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Apple Dashboard (2004) as prior art for US patent 7,743,336: Widget security

From: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 23:52:41 +0100
To: member-widget-pag@w3.org, public-widgets-pag@w3.org
Message-ID: <34941ABD0154494DA832865673F0EA87@marcosc.com>
The "WARPish" feature from Dashboard is the following bit of XML, which either enables or disables network access to a widget (included in the info.plist of a widget) [0] (2004):

   <key>AllowNetworkAccess</key> <true/>

Which was discussed on macworld.com [1] as early as May 9, 2005.  

According to [2]:

"A grace period is a term of art in patent law for any time period after a publication of the invention, during which a patent application can still validly be filed. Different countries have different laws on grace periods. The USA has the most liberal regime, allowing an inventor up to one year after publishing his invention to validly patent this invention."

Dashboard was demonstrated at the Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, 28 of June 2004 [3]. The patent (7,743,336) is effective from Oct 2005 (therefore, Apple self invalidating its own patent). Apple gave a "Developer Preview" copy of Mac OS Tiger to developers at the 2004 Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco [4].  

Further proof that Dashboard was in the public sphere comes from Apple's own Website: July 1st 2004 [5]. It shows Dashboard widgets.  

With regards to Apple's definition of a Widget, this is also telling: email to Steve Jobs about ripping off Konfabulator [6]. Steve replied:

"Excuse me, but Mac OS 9 had desktop Widgets long before Konfabulator
did. Apple was the first to use the term Widgets as well. We never
complained when the Konfabulator guys “ripped off Apple” and I think
its a bit unfair for them to be claiming we ripped them off now."

Which means Apple did consider "widgets" to be small pieces of software (e.g., the calculator). The calculator is a native piece of software running in a window, which in turn means almost all software is effectively a "widget".
Kind regards,

[0] http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/AppleApplications/Reference/Dashboard_Ref/Dashboard_Ref.pdf
[1] http://www.macworld.com/article/44726/2005/05/dashboard.html  
[2] http://www.iusmentis.com/patents/priorart/
[3] http://www.macworld.com/article/35200/2004/06/konfabulator.html
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Worldwide_Developers_Conference#2004
[5] http://web.archive.org/web/20040701031450/http://www.apple.com/macosx/tiger/dashboard.html  
[6] http://leo.prie.to/2004/06/29/steve-jobs-replied-my-email/
[7] http://www.w3.org/2009/03/widgets-pag/pagreport.html

Marcos Caceres
Received on Sunday, 23 October 2011 22:53:13 UTC

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