Moom windowing utility terrorized off the Mac due to patent litigation

Moom was just removed from the store due to a patent that, I kid you not, claims ownership of "positioning windows on a screen via a grid". Yeah, I'll pause while you finish screaming.

From the Many Tricks blog:

Tonight we received notice that Moom is in violation of US patent number 8434019, Apparatus and method for positioning windows on a display. Yes, someone has patented positioning windows on a screen via a grid. Given we've been notified of a patent violation, we have no choice but to remove Moom from sale, effective immediately.

Obviously, I'm not an intellectual property lawyer and can't speak to the specifics of this case, but to the rationally minded, most of these come off as complete bullshit. In general, patent trolls should be ashamed of themselves. So should the USPTO for simply granting any application, no matter how obvious, and no matter how voluminous the prior art, and leaving it to be figured out in crushing, sometimes bankruptcy-inducing litigation for the indie developers involved.

Hopefully, someone at the EFF can help. Or Apple, Google, Microsoft, and the like could set up some sort of combined defense fun for apps in their collective marketplace that could serve as a deterrent for frivolous patent litigation against smaller, more vulnerable developers.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • While I agree that the trolls themselves should be ashamed, the people who have allowed this to go on at the USPTO should be flogged and hung in downtown Dallas. Bunch of bullshit. Having said that, BetterTouchTool kicks Moom's **** from wherever you live to Texas. Edit - It's interesting that the author can swear in the article but I can't use a$$ in my comment without it being censored. Hmm...
  • They censor a lot. I bet I can even mention the famous toilet maker, John Crapper.
  • The irony of it all is that I can use bullshit.
  • "Moom was just removed from the store due to a patent that, I kid you not, claims ownership of "positioning windows on a screen via a grid". Yeah, I'll pause while you finish screaming." Nothing in the realm of patents surprises me since Apple patented a rounded corner, and more recently a paper bag (I kid you not, patent number D785,463).
  • I was reading Rene's article about the rounded corner patent, oh wait, Apple did that? Nm.
  • I'm sorry that you fell for the clickbait about Apple allegedly patenting an ordinary bag. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but unfortunately folks are no longer taught critical thinking. It should have occurred to all of us that you can't patent what is non-unique, obvious, etc., which paper bags are. What is the the truth when we do actual research? Voila, it turns out that what Apple received a patent for is the unique system it came up to reinforce a bag to compensate for using weaker recycled materials. Of course, that wouldn't generate clicks and would require reading all the way to the 35th paragraph of the patent application where it
    specifies "a specific reinforcement system to compensate for the structural weaknesses of Apple’s recycled paper." I won't copy all of the minutiae about the specific processes, but suffice it to say, you fell for the fake news that "Apple patented a paper bag!"
  • Yes, the specific reinforcement that has been used on paper bags for years but no one felt the need to patent such an arbitrary and obvious design.
  • Has this problem for Moom users gone away? The links to the relevant many tricks blog post etc. now go nowhere.
  • I was curious as well, and contacted the developer. They're writing a post that will provide an update on the situation. The response I got only said it's been resolved, but they're not thrilled with the resolution.