[citation][nom]nycteris[/nom]You don't know how the patent process works do you?Oh you don't?Then you should STFU.[/citation]
[citation][nom]ajay_vishvanathan[/nom]lol.. House.. he means that even if you have an idea you can patent that.. not just if you make the idea into a product..[/citation]
the wide pad already exists not only as a working prototype, but as a fully functional product in lenovo's w500.
Unless Apple has a working prototype of a pad that is earlier than lenovo's, they should not be allowed to patent something that exists already.
So..... yeah: STFU.
[citation][nom]lord captivus[/nom]they shouldnt allow to patent something unless its already build[/citation]
Even if they've already build a prototype they shouldn't be able to patent a "wide" touchpad, they should only be allowed to patent a touchpad that uses the specific algorithms for finger recognition that Apple developed, a wide touchpad on its own is not an invention, it's just an adjustment of the physical dimensions of an existing invention.
Okay - I can see that any technology invented to overcome the obvious flaws in simply extending a standard touchpad (through either hardware or software) can be patentable. I just hope they don't assert that merely making the touchpad larger is itself a patent. That would be ridiculous.
Wait, I have seen this in a product from CES, although it was transparent and operable from either side of the laptop (closed or opened). It ran Windows 7, so definitely not an Apple product. http://www.designboom.com/weblog/images/images_2/2011/jenny/nikiski/nikiski01.jpg
It's not the same thing, but suspiciously similar.
In all seriousness though, laptop touchpads that distinguish netween finger and palm already exist. They help avoid accidental input when a hand brushes on it. Also, Microsofts Surface V2 screens, have now the ability to "see" the objects that are near them through an extra infrared sensor pixel beside every set of rgb pixels. Not only that, but they can actually "remember" objects (i.e. two people put all 10 fingers on the screen and take them off. If one of them puts his left index finger on it again, the screen "knows" it's that person's left index finger from before).
I haven't read the patent yet, but it sounds like a combination of the two. As for the size, I seriously hope they don't actually patent the wide touchpad...
Most of the comments on patents, along with all the unintentional copyright infringement on file/video hosting sites like Youtube, show how ignorant the vast majority of American the population is regarding intellectual property law. It took 7 years to patent because they had to keep changing it until USPTO thought it was patentable. A look at the actual patent would show that the patent actually describes an invention embodying something much more narrow in scope than a wide touchpad. As for the patent trolling businesses, intellectual property such as patents are valuable resources to the value of a company just like real property. Receiving a lot of patents is like claiming land and developing.