Entire iPod Feature Set Covered Under Other Companies' Patents.

Creative, makers of several “also ran” MP3 players, announced today that it was granted a patent to the hierarchical menu system used in the iPod.

This comes just weeks after it was revealed that Microsoft also holds patents to certain iPod interface elements, including the scroll wheel.

An in-depth analysis of all patents issued since the turn of the century now indicates that Apple’s flagship product may be nothing more than smoke and mirrors. All of the features of the iPod are actually covered under patents issued to other companies and individuals.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs was defiant from inside his cocoon.

“Mmmmf ahmmumm mnnny maffunnah,” Jobs said.

“Steve says he believes these patents are unenforceable,” spokesperson Cynthia McLaren translated.

“Maffunahurner marff ahfrizzahuh,” Jobs declared.

“Steve says the iPod represents Apple’s innovation and no one else’s,” McLaren said.

“Mannafur ah iffuff,” Jobs concluded.

“Steve says silk is much itchier than you’d really think.”

Jobs may, indeed, be correct. Many of the patents that cover the features of the iPod are so vague that they are unlikely to hold up in court or were issued to parties that no longer exist.

The Howard Hughes Corporation, for example, was granted a patent in 1951 covering a music-playing device that was, remarkably, finished in white and chrome. It was also the size of an Edsel. The device was never brought to market as Hughes first insisted on cornering the world market for chrome, which he did in 1954. But then he also insisted on cornering the world market for white.

35 thoughts on “Entire iPod Feature Set Covered Under Other Companies' Patents.”

  1. I have the Hughes prototype- the hPod. It’s not too bad, but doesn’t work too well in your pocket.

    The fins hurt too much.


  2. Would’ve been first if I didn’t go looking up Edsel. Got kinda side tracked at Wikipedia.

    I can see future iPods with no wheel, no menu, no dock connector or any other outputs just a plastic brick. I’d buy one.

    I wonder if Luxpro patented the Super Shuffle?

  3. I’m not sure how to break this or if you are ready for this but “Maffunnahurner marf ahfrizzahuh” is old Aberamman Welsh dialect for “Moltz is making this up”

    I know, as I have often uttered the same phrase on exiting the club on Sunday morning.

  4. White is in the public domain, and now that Johnny Cash is gone, black is up for grabs, too.

    I currently am licensing ecru and chartreuse to all parties, as I got the rights when no one was looking.

    Alizarin crimson is illegal in Boston, so don’t go there

    And Davy’s Gray is owned by some guy named Davy.

  5. Dude, this was barely readable. There’ve gotta be at least 4 missing words….and, uh, …I couldn’t really figure out what they were supposed to be. Yeah.

  6. *CreAAtive has also sent billions of cease and decist orders to pepole who have violated their trademark by using the word *Kreative. If you have ever used the word *Cree-ate-ive, expect a notice in the mail shortly.

    *Misspelled on purpose so I can’t be sued.

  7. Mr. Hughes also holds six patents on the patent process. His corporation is currently suing the U.S. Patent Office seeking damage for each patent they have issued. (The number is still being calculated but it is rumored to be larger than the digits in pi.) Patent Office spokesman called the suit, “Patently ridiculous.”

  8. Where is the Disgusted Col Retd? We need to hear how the British had actually invented the iPod just prior to WWI.

    Once again, it is us Bloody Colonials who take all things proper and British and sully them by making them common and universal. Fortunately we like it that way.

    BTW, turns out Dell was given a patent on all computer things that suck. That patent will go uncontested.

  9. Edsel is a car, It’s seems weird that everyone wouldn’t know that, but everyone outside of Michigan isn’t dragged to the Henry Ford museum once a year for a field trip. I think it is state law that schools lose funding if they don’t force a field trip there every year.

    I also have one of the “Edsel” sized iPods. I have the HFpod (Hughes and Ford) that actually is made on the frame of an Edsel. I can drive it to work… or at least I could if I could afford to put gas in the beast right now.

  10. “But then he also insisted on cornering the world market for white.”

    I think the Osmonds beat him to that one.

  11. Chris,

    Sorry, you got it wrong, Michael Jackson did that.

    Chris E Boy,

    You’ve got it wrong too. Edsel was the name of a Ford sibling and the car was about as desirable as Homermobile. The National Car Collection has one.

  12. Actually, Edsel was either the name of Henry Ford’s mother or grandmother (Iforget which), and is a notorious bomb in the auto world and among car nuts, because the hype was so huge, and the car was so damn ugly.


  13. Ahnyer Keester


    The British did not invent the iPod just before The Great War, the iPod was invented by Apple in the very late 80s.

    However during the Boer War, privates were issued with a modified water bottle containing one dwarf singer/musician for entertainment in the field. They were withdrawn quickly as the manual (privates for the issue of) failed to mention feeding or watering the water bottle occupants.

    There is a strong possibility that your forename is misspelt. Anya is the conventional Anglicised Russian spelling, but I shall not recommend that you be taken out and shot for illiteracy.

    Disgusted Col Retd

  14. I believe one of the ugliest cars ever is *ugluk*, uh, no, I mean the Ford Pinto. Rather than evoking images of a speedy steed, cavorting on the plains, one tended toward thoughts of a squishy, overcooked bean.

    And, while I’m ranting, why does everything have to be “the size of an Edsel”. Why can’t it be the size of a breadbox? That used to do nicely, as superlatives go…

  15. Edsel? Surely he means that dude with the beard. You know, the one that took the photosÂ… oh what is his name?

    Ah, that’s it. Adams, Edsel Adams. Yeah, He was big.

  16. Edsel Ford was Henry’s son. What few people realize is that he also patented a Creative method of acquiring income by using bogus patents to sue competitors after failing to beat them in the market due to the inadequacies of one’s own product vis a vis the competitor’s product.

  17. CARS! Edsel! Get it? Har!

    Ok, maybe not so funny.

    And…I like Edsels. Especially the ’58 and the ’60. The ’59 – not so much. Looked too much like a Mercury.

    The joke on Ford when the ’58 Edsel was introduced was that the vertical grille looked too much like a vagina.

    People were very repressed back then.

  18. Moltz is diggin this cocoon thing. Let it go John, just let it go. We’ll forgive you, really…

    Besides, you know Jobs is the one lighting those paper bags full of poody and ringing your doorbell. I think its a hint.

  19. I hate to be the one to raise this… but after over a day inside his cucoon, surely steve will have run out of power for his iPod?! THAT has got to be frustrating him! Bet he sympathises with the class action people now… 😉

  20. No, Steve Jobs already has an 8th Generation iPod that can do things you can’t even imagine, because Apple has not yet created a market for it.

    His iPod has enough battery life to last a month, and if he’s in their longer than that, it simply charges from his brain power (did I mention the whole thing is telekinetic, so if Steve temporarily loses his digits during the transformation, he’ll have no problem controlling it. It can also float, so he won’t have to hold it either.

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