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Wednesday News: Apple’s patents rejected; Rubber duck floats down the Thames;...

Rubber Duck Thames

A computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a computing device with a touch screen display comprises: detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display, applying one or more heuristics to the one or more finger contacts to determine a command for the device, and processing the command. The one or more heuristics comprise: a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command, a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a two-dimensional screen translation command, and a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items.

This and others are the basis for Apple’s suit against Samsung, a suit it won at the trial court. Experts say that the patents deemed invalid at this point can go on to win approval but even the USPTO making this step is important. Foss Patents

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. SAO
    Dec 12, 2012 @ 05:01:07

    Novelists use co-authors because the author is the brand the readers trust. The brand can sell more if the brand manager (author) farms out the writing. If it works. I read an Evanovich and someone else. It had a lot of Evanovich zany details and decent plot and characters, but it was like flat champagne, the fizz was missing.

    Now that you no longer need a printing press and economies of scale to publish, I’ve thought that other entities, like agents, editors, or even bloggers could create brands. I’d expect to see more experiments in branding as time goes on. I’d certainly pay more to avoid the slush pile. That includes the slush pile of forgettable, published novels.

    If well-known authors could do it too, maybe someone like Loretta Chase would be able to write only the books she’s inspired to write and not the pot boilers in between. I was reading Lord Perfect, which has the ingredients of a great Chase book, but somehow it’s not working for me. I put it down and forgot to go back to it.

  2. Gennita Low
    Dec 12, 2012 @ 06:59:25

    Lord Perfect is my most favorite historical romance in recent years. I’m glad Loretta Chase took the time to write it and gave me so many happy hours of rereading it.

    As for the Apple patents, it has always puzzled me how one patents the requisite act of the customer touching one’s product in a certain way to get it to work. At least, that’s how I understand it. For example, if the original joystick maker patented the the grip and back-and-forth motion of their device, what would happen to all the sex toys in the market? :)
    Okay. Need coffee now, obviously….

  3. DS
    Dec 12, 2012 @ 08:09:13

    Ellery Queen (Daniel Nathan and Manford (Emanuel) Lepofsky ) went from writing their own novels to having others write them from detailed outlines to simply publishing PBOs written by other writers (including Jack Vance) under the Ellery Queen name. I don’t know if it was a financial success, but I only ever read the earlier ones published during the 30’s. The later ones weren’t to my taste..

  4. Ren
    Dec 12, 2012 @ 08:19:13

    Nowadays when someone says, “I have a great idea for a book, but I’ll never write it,” you don’t know if they’re an old-fashioned daydreamer or a bestselling author.

    But it warms my cockles to know a literary agent thinks writing (AKA that long, arduous part between “idea” and “book” necessary to transform the former into the latter) is “donkey work.”

  5. Isobel Carr
    Dec 12, 2012 @ 09:27:45

    He’d plot things out and have other people do the donkey work.


    Plotting is the donkey work to me. The writing (the words, the rhythm, the turn of phrase, the VOICE) is the entire point. You could give the same plot outline to a dozen authors, and the resulting books wouldn’t be interchangeable (and they certainly wouldn’t be “co-authored” by the plotter).

  6. SAO
    Dec 12, 2012 @ 12:44:52

    I thought Lord Perfect had a bunch of good ingredients, but felt like Chase was telling, rather than showing me his and Bathsheba’s attraction. I thought a little more time and a stricter editor might have turned it into a really great book.

  7. hapax
    Dec 12, 2012 @ 17:20:42

    Didn’t James Frey try the writing stable idea, too? Except that he didn’t want to give his co-writers credit.

    And then there was the (in)famous and highly successful Edward Stratemyer syndicate, owner of “Carolyn Keene” and “Laura Lee Hope” and “Victor Appleton” and “Franklin W. Dixon” pseudonyms, among many others.

    Now I really want to know who will own the copyright to these “Smith” books.

  8. Susan
    Dec 12, 2012 @ 19:33:23

    Ack, Jane Litte is using mind control to compel me to visit DA. (Of course, I was already coming here daily anyway.)

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