[linux-elitists] Apple patents themes, ignores prior art AND WEBSITE

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Sun Feb 25 16:12:02 PST 2001


Apple has been awarded a patent for desktop themes.  They managed to
avoid mentioning a website devoted to just such technology which had
been existence TWO YEARS PRIOR TO FILING!

    http://delphion.com/details?pn=US06188399__

    US6188399:Multiple theme engine graphical user interface
    architecture 

    Systems and methods for providing a user with increased flexibility
    and control over the appearance and behavior of objects on a user
    interface are described. Sets of objects can be grouped into themes
    to provide a user with a distinct overall impression of the
    interface. These themes can be invoked by calling a corresponding
    theme engine. Theme engines can be hard-coded or data-driven. 

Unfortunately for them, their filing was 13 days too late for some
rather substantial prior art.  The Internet domain, themes.org,
dedicated to distributing, you guessed it, desktop themes, was created
April 25, 1998.  Apple's patent filing was May 8, same year.

Practicing systems include the Enlightenment window manager, which is
strongly themes-oriented.  Today, themes.org supports themes for
Afterstep, Blackbox, Enlightenment, Ecewm, KDE, Sawfish, and Windowmaker

Actually, the thirteen days likely wouldn't have mattered.  Reading the
themes.org history page (http://www.themes.org/about/history.phtml), we
find:

    The story of Themes.org begins back in 1996, with Trae McCombs, who
    the world knows as OctobrX...

    "I started themes.org, no it goes back before then... I started
    running GNU/Linux in Sept. of 1996. I started running it because I
    had seen a certain screenshot that Carste (aka: Raster) had taken of
    his then 'FVWM-XPM' project. Thats when I determined I wanted to run
    GNU/Linux.

    After a month or so, I started making graphics for my desktop while
    using a window manager called 'AfterStep'. I worked hard for several
    months, and created about 30+ themes for AfterStep. To my knowledge,
    I was the first person to mass produce themes for the GNU/Linux/Un*x
    community. Then, I started running a window manager called Window
    Maker, and decided to make themes for it. I made about 50+ themes
    for WM, and then somehow got wrapped up in Enlightenment. Another 12
    themes for E, and I decided I should get web hosting for all this

Doh!

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>    http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?       There is no K5 cabal
  http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/         http://www.kuro5hin.org



-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>    http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?       There is no K5 cabal
  http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/         http://www.kuro5hin.org

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