Stardock responds: Bring it on
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 by Frogboy | Discussion: WinCustomize News
Apple has been granted a patent for the MacOS dock.
Read the whole thing here.
Besides the general idea of a userbar with "a plurality of item representations" that consolidates features like "launching and managing running applications," the patent focuses particularly on the Dock's magnification feature that makes icons bigger as you sweep by them with a cursor.
Some may recall this article that points out that not only have docks been seen in operating systems for decades but that Stardock has been doing docks since 1994.
Look familiar? Apple has every right to protect their inventions. But their innovation with regards to the Mac dock is extremely narrow. Stardock doesn't patent its software as a rule for philosophical reasons. But the lack of a patent doesn't mean Stardock hasn't been heavily involved in creating prior art.
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