Apple is being accused of stealing the idea of bounceback scrolling from Atari. However, there’s a flaw in the argument of a law pundit who describes the action as “professional theft,” reports “Macworld UK” (http://macte.ch/Dg6SA).
The flaw? Apple CEO and co-founder, the late Steve Jobs, worked on the product in question when he was employed at Atari.
In the Apple-Samsung patent battle verdict reached by a California jury, it was ruled that Samsung had copied elements of its iPad and iPhone. One feature that Apple was able to demonstrate that Samsung had copied was bounce back scrolling. However, the “LawPundit” site claims (http://macte.ch/z9tky) Apple stole the idea from the Atari game Pong.
“The essential principle of bounce-back scrolling becomes obvious if you play the famed Atari game Pong which was virtually ‘the first game’ in the early days of the computer,” writes “LawPundit.” “Whenever the ball hits the paddle, that is a ‘bounce-back’ and if it does not hit the paddle, there is no ‘bounce-back.’ Apple has essentially stolen this Pong bounce-back invention for the basics of its scrolling patent 746938.”
However, Jobs’s first job was at Atari, where he and Steve Wozniak worked on a game called Breakout, which was a multiplayer version of Pong, notes “Macworld UK.”
However, “Forbes” (http://macte.ch/43Fqk) says the “LawPundit” claim isn’t a fair accusation. Tim Worstall, “Forbes” contributor, writes: “Now, of course I do not endorse this accusation of professional theft. I also don’t quite agree that bounce back is quite that simple. For of course we have the entire patent system of the United States of America telling us that the two are absolutely not the same thing. Bounce back in Pong is completely different from bounce back in list scrolling. Must be, otherwise no one could have a patent valid in 2012 for something that has been around since 1972. Well, unless the US patent system was definitively and entirely broken and it’s impossible to conceive of all those bright people in government using all our money to achieve something as ridiculous as that, isn’t it?”