Who's ready for a rant? O.K. then. I'm no Doctor of Philosophy, but isn't there a place in a capitalist society for universally beneficial technologies without the need for intellectual ownership? Well, I don't know the history of the preview icon, and frankly, I don't care. I don't care because it's served all of us well and has been considered public property for some time.
Cygnus Systems was just awarded a patent for the idea, and instead of getting to work on implementing it in their own way, they're filing lawsuits.
If these litigious opportunists developed the tech, they either A.) leaked it, and it's their own damn fault. Or, B.) came to a common-sense conclusion that others likely reached independently, and therefore have no right to hit the courts in the hopes that this lightning strike of find (unfiled-for patents) will be their payday.
I can't tell you how many times I had a completely original idea and saw it in the store or on television a year later. "Should have done something about that idea, but I didn't have the money." We all do that, don't we? The difference is that most of us realize that our not having the resources to proceed is our own problem, and not that of the people who do.
So anyway, these guys think Microsoft, Apple, and Google need to pay up for implementing in their software, icons that display a preview of the contents of the file they represent.
Why not go all the way, Cygnus Systems? You're missing out on a lot of loot here. HTC's Touch Flo 3D has a sexy messaging preview, and I think every Linux desktop environment now uses this trick in its file manager as well. I'm sure there are plenty of names I'm missing out on here, but I'm just giving you a hint. Wait a second. You should sue the Internet! Thumbnail links are everywhere!
Why you gotta be so obvious and go all mainstream with your battles? I mean if it's about principle, why only choose the three big companies that you, with your limited vision and imagination, find important? Is it because all three are likely to settle out of court with what you see as four generations of Ivy-League education, a lifetime of daily nude massages, and a retirement in Margaritaville?
Oh, wait. The gold diggers plan on hitting up more companies, because they've identified "many other potentially infringing products." It seems that Cygnus Systems are the only clowns without a product that employs "their" technology. Gotta go. I'm filing a patent application for hyperlinks. Let the games begin!
Via MacWorld and ars technica. Notice the ars technica correction to distinguish Cygnus Systems from Cygnus Solutions; an open source company that advocates... open source. Someone wanted to make it clear that the latter is far removed from such shameful activities. Hahahaha :0P