One of the most interesting patent issues that have recently come up is the “Optical Drive lawsuit”. In a nutshell, the complaint states that the makers of the Apple product set forth an overly complicated and confusing user interface process that was not appropriate for the operation of such a device. Specifically, the Complaint says that the user interface process should have been simple and intuitive and that it did not. Further, the Complaint claims that the supposed “Wow Factor” that was part of the original launch of the iPhone was actually a sham as it made use of “graphics programming language, namely, Objective C, and that the only reason that the iPhone sold as rapidly as it did was because of the ‘Wow Factor’ “. To me, this seems like a pretty big stretch to me. However, is there any merit behind the complaint?
It certainly seems that way to me. The fact is, the iPhone was a revolutionary product. It was a ground-breaking product in the industry. It truly offered consumers and business owners an experience that no one had ever experienced before. Now, all of that being said, it should be noted that the iPhone was never as easy to use as the “Wow Factor” marketing campaign would have you believe. In other words, the graphical part of the application program definitely played a huge role in the product’s success, but it simply did not do everything that the flashy advertisements would have you believe.
In regard to the “Wow Factor” advertising campaign, the complaint correctly points out that the first introducing application, which launched the product, contained many of the elements that are typically found in today’s highly promoted marketing materials. However, the complaint contends that those elements were in fact misleading. Specifically, the Complaint says that the first switching unit 201 switches, which are part of the design of the product, included a series of graphical representations, including, but not limited to: text, icons, labels, and buttons, which were not appropriate for an educational device.
The text was in fact part of the application switches and was used as though it were part of the electronic display, when it was in fact part of the background image that was being displayed. Further, the label would have actually been a part of the background image, and the icon was in fact a representation of the label. The graphical representations in the switch and label configurations, as noted above, were used as a means of “teaching” the user, in that the student could learn about using the switch, and the label would be a tool for instructing the user on how to use the switch.
The foregoing is further illustrated by way of an example. Assuming that an individual purchases a DVD containing a video game entitled “The Legend of Zelda,” which is generally a computer game that is played on a Nintendo GameCube (“EG”), by installing the “Linkage” component with the Nintendo Wii (“N”), the individual is provided with instructions on how to transfer data from the Wii to the DVD player. In this example, once the links have been established between the Wii and the DVD player, the “figures” that are generally present in the “linkage” component of the example embodiment are the optical drives. In this case, once the Wii is connected to a television set (“TV”), the individual can view the video game stored on the DVD that is being played on the TV. It should be noted that although the example is illustrative, it is not meant to serve as an example of how the present application will operate.
In the instant example, once the user interfaces with the optical drive, whether by creating a CD-ROM or by inserting a USB drive (“PD”) containing the data, the “figures” in the switch layout need not be computer graphics, as is generally the case. Instead, the drivers can be written in a language, such as Nanocode, that has been specifically designed to execute on the Apple Macintosh computer system. In this regard, the use of such a programming language would be highly beneficial to the inventors, as it allows them to avoid the costly coding required for a software program. Moreover, the invention is made far more effective when the language utilized is a higher-order programming language. Finally, once the user interfaces with the optical disc and the application program interface switches, the computer graphics that are typically found in the “back window” of the graphics tablet on the screen need not be computer graphics, as is typically the case.