PHOTO: an example of a U.S. software patent, which I am named as an inventor on at Hewlett-Packard: U.S. Patent Number 5,883,639 "Visual Software Engineering system and method for developing visual prototypes and for connecting user code to them" Date of Patent: Mar. 16, 1999. See previous post Steve Jobs never acknowledged standing on the shoulders of giants (10/28/11).
Recent articles by Paul M. Barrett, "Patents: Apple vs. Samsung: The Cage Match Begins," BusinessWeek, Aug. 6-12, 2012, p. 36-37 and David Meyer, "US congressmen take on patent trolls with SHIELD Act," ZDNet.com posted Aug. 2, 2012 prompted me to write the following letter to the editor of my local newspaper:
The need to reform U.S. Patent laws can be seen in the current case of Apple accusing Samsung and others of violating the iPhone patents, despite previous testimony that these patents are invalid due to prior art invented at Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis.
Motorola described their soon-to-be-released cell phone invention in a 1982 Bell System Journal technical paper. In response, as an HP research project manager, I initiated a partnership with Motorola to integrate cell phones with already existing HP handheld computer technology.
Unfortunately, an HP corporate executive dismissed my cell phone computer idea for the sexist reason that only female secretaries answered his telephone and therefore no HP customer would be interested. Yes, I was upset by his stupid reason, but I was equally stupid to dismiss his other sexist demand that all future HP computers include a touch screen interface because only women used typewriter keyboards.
After HP cancelled my project, I personally showed a prototype cell phone computer to Apple founder Steve Jobs at a trade show in Silicon Valley while he was successfully recruiting a few key HP engineers to start up his Apple portable product line. (I was too stupid to take his job offer!)
In most countries, the above facts would automatically invalidate Apple's patents instead of allowing Apple to abuse a system originally created to protect individual inventors.
(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Patent laws don't protect inventors of technology goods," Gazette-Times, Aug. 28, 2012, p. A7)
Listed below are my previous posts on U.S. Patents and the iPhone connection between Apple and HP:
- Steve Jobs never acknowledged standing on the shoulders of giants (10/28/11)
- Apple founder Steve Jobs cosmic connection to HP Corvallis (10/12/11) -- (See my letter "H-P: What goes around went around -- to California for a while," Gazette-Times, Jun. 14, 2011)
- Apple to bulldoze HP site to build circular building for 12,000 employees (6/15/11)
- HP 110, Apple, Steve Sakoman book (12/18/08) -- quotes from Steve Sakoman who was one of the principal engineers and project managers in Corvallis, Oregon for the HP 110 portable computer that came out May, 1984 for $2,995. Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple, hired Steve Sakoman (p. 206) in 1984 after bringing out the first Mac and being impressed with the HP 110. Jobs initially asked him to build a Macintosh telephone (p. 206-209) that was also a computer. Ironically, this was the idea that just two years earlier I had proposed and got laughed at during management reviews that ended up choosing to do the HP 110 portable computer and the HP Integral PC (HP IPC) transportable or luggable computer.
Also see my previous posts on HP handheld computer and calculator history: