Developer claims Apple stole, patented game control idea | iLounge News


Developer claims Apple stole, patented game control idea


Craig Rothwell, inventor of the iControlPad peripheral for jailbroken iPhones, has taken issue with a recently-published Apple patent application that appears to describe a device much like his own. Entitled “Accessory For Playing Games With A Portable Electronic Device,” the application describes a controller-like accessory—with standard game controller buttons—with a recess in the center into which a user can place a touchscreen gaming device. Variations on the design include one with a rotating dock connector for connection to the device, one which connects wirelessly, and one that offers wireless connectivity to other devices.

In a post titled “An extremely sinister development,” Rothwell said he and his colleagues “were very very surprised to see that Apple have [sic] allegedly filed a patent for our original iControlPad design some 6 months after we revealed it,” promising to give “More updates once we get a more clear picture of what the h—- is going on.” Development on the iControlPad dates back to May 2008, while Apple’s application was filed in September 2008. [via Pocket Gamer]

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Your “[sic]” is unwarranted.  The U.S. is the only English-speaking country in which company names are treated in the singular (although many Canadians follow that practice as well).  Elsewhere, it is correct to say “Apple have done [action],” etc.  I suspect Rothwell is British, given his name and the fact that he mentions a U.K. location for the factory producing his product.

Posted by Susan on April 3, 2010 at 12:22 AM (CDT)


Grammar quibbles aside (I’d argue that being primarily a U.S./Canadian website that the sic IS warranted, albeit not necessarily so), I’m amazed either Apple or Rothwell think there’s anything patentable about something that has been around since at least the Gameboy Advance, and there’s probably another prior art example that’s escaping me. The only thing different between these devices and the many, many, many “stick your game in it to get better/bigger hand holds and controls” devices that have existed throughout the past decade or longer is that these specify a wireless based game device, well whoopdee doo. You don’t get to patent a retread of an old device because you thought to paint yours red when the original device only came in blue and yellow, and you shouldn’t get to patent such a patently, fall of a log simple idea without actually bringing something new to the table, technologically speaking.

Posted by Code Monkey on April 3, 2010 at 9:24 AM (CDT)


Yes, I think this comes firmly into the category “most obvious idea ever”.

Posted by Enrique on April 4, 2010 at 9:11 PM (CDT)

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