Palo Alto, CA - A surprise announcement was made today by Apple CEO Steve Jobs when he revealed that his company has been awarded a patent for the 'click'. "A member of our legal staff was doing routine research when she discovered that no patents had yet been granted for this idea. Since we were the first to commercially use a mouse, we quickly snagged it up. It was a no brain-er for us and we feel that it belonged to us anyways. Frankly, I'm rather shocked that we didn't already own it."
When asked if they will enforce this newly granted patent and how, Jobs responded, "absolutely we will. It's our concept, we own it, and as a result we deserve any revenues that were made as a result of this." He explains "We will aggressively pursue everything that is entitled to us by charging royalties to the manufacturers, software vendors and potentially, even the end users themselves." When asked why he is going to such great lengths on this issue, Jobs replied "Look, we don't like the 'click'. It's so 1980. We feel that it has gone the way of the disk drive, only it lasted for much longer. There's a new solution on the horizon, and it's the 'touch' concept that we have with the iPhone."
Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corp. had this to say. "This patent is ridiculous. I mean, you can't just go out and get a patent on something that already exists. What if I got a patent on the power switch? I could make them pay royalties on all those stupid Macs and iPods."
When Jobs heard of this, he responded "Silly Steve, we already thought of that. For starters, the power switch was already patented (patent #4628163), so we couldn't do that. We tried though. Secondly, our new devices won't have a power switch. They will be 'touch' activated. Like I said before, it's the wave of the future. And tell him to stop calling our products stupid. The Zune is stupid. Right mouse clicks are stupid. The iPod is brilliant, and he's just jealous and bitter."
Patent attorney Alfred Bell of Madison, WI is concerned for what this may mean for future innovation. "I have to agree with Microsoft on this one. This patent should have never made it through the system. Once an idea is commonplace, it's not patentable. Like the wheel or the lever. Corporations are simply finding new ways to protect their bottom line, and now they're using the patent office as a weapon. It's time for reform."