Niall Ferguson gets credit from Sully for innovating a new form because he innovated a new name for the form with nothing novel added:
Stay tuned. But here’s my old friend Niall Ferguson innovating a new form: the op-vid.
I can think of a few folks who have “innovated” this new form already. With Ferguson’s new op-vid it’s not a big deal. The validating authority is Sullivan’s widely read, reader and colleague critiqued opinion blog. Someone will most probably write in to tell him he’s wrong.
Apple’s patent of “slide to unlock” is another issue. All this patent allows Apple to do is own rights to a technology they did not truly innovate:
In other words, this patent never should have been granted, and it used the almost always questionable “continuation” process to patent something fairly common, with lots of prior art. Good thing the patent reform bill that recently passed doesn’t touch on any of this stuff.
So the company with money to hire the most patent lawyers has the inside track on the future of American industry. Not the company that actually developed and deployed the technology first. This makes the USPTO a regressive force in the world of software development.