Not all patents are equally useful: Apple has published a patent for sound control in a browser

Published on April 23, 2009

Not all patents are equally useful: Apple has published a patent for sound control in a browser

    Actually, the Apple patent , issued on April 23, is extremely simple, and can be easily described by two simple illustrations:

    1. Actually, the diagram of the sound control interface in the browser is shown, consisting of the "Mute" button and the volume control slider.


    2. A table diagram of the saved sound settings for each site. It is unclear why they needed a separate “Mute” column if they could use the value 0 in the “Volume” column, which means the same thing. Already understood.

    Here is a patent passed through a US patent machine. Surprised? I, too!
    Without further ado (5 consonants in a row!) Slyly, I went to the Opera browser site, and in 5 seconds I found a dozen or so topics with the description of exactly the same functions - people since 2003 asked to implement it in the Opera.
    By the way, the Opera has long had the opportunity to turn off sounds in the browser through the context menu (F12), and there are also site-by-site settings to turn off sound on any site (the same Mute, in general):

    True, the technical implementation does not drown out the sound in flash movies, but these are already details not related to the patent ...

    Question No. 1: how can such a patent be issued? The patent has not yet been issued, but only published, which, however, is one step from the issue.
    Question number 1: how not ashamed to file a request for such a patent? :)
    Question No. 2: is it possible to challenge such a patent if it is issued?
    Question No. 3: is this case yet another proof that patents are an evil in information technology that impedes development?