Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apple's US 7814163 and sexting

On 12 October 2010, Apple's 7814163 , titled Text-based communication control for personal communication device , issued.

The first claim reads:

A text-based communication device comprising:

input circuitry that provides a user interface to enable a user to perform at least one of
inputting and editing a text message;

transmission circuitry for sending the text message; and
processing circuitry for controlling the sending of the text message based on at least a portion of the text message and at least one message control condition, wherein the at least one message control condition comprises a rated message control condition corresponding to the user's designated language skill rating.

[All other claims in the '163 patent depend from claim 1.]

Of "skill rating," the summary of invention includes the text:

In another embodiment, the control application includes an instructional tool or study aid where the administrator sets one or more modes, such as language, vocabulary, grammar, spelling, punctuation and/or other content of a text-based communication based on, for example, a user's age or grade level. This can be especially useful, for example, such as when a child's grades go down. A parent can then institute a condition to improve a child's grades. For example, the control application may require a user during specified time periods to send messages in a designated foreign language, to include certain designated vocabulary words, or to use proper designated spelling, designated grammar and designated punctuation and like designated language forms based on the user's defined skill level and/or designated language skill rating. If the text-based communication fails to include the required language or format, the control application may alert the user and/or the administrator/parent of the absence of such text.

Media have described this patent as a way to control sexting. [Apple's Anti-Sexting Patent Is Misleading]


"how little control Apple gives its users"


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