Skip to main content

Apple Lawyers Using Jailbroken iPhones?

Someone discovered that an image displayed within the iPhone biometric security patent application shows a jailbroken iPhone menu. Shame shame.

Was it a slip-up, or a full-fledged disregard to Steve Jobs' insistence that jailbreaking the iPhone and iPod Touch is nothing more than illegally cracking the devices? That's the question to ask Apple attorneys--Kramer, Levin Naftalis & Frankel--when loading up the iPhone Biometric Security Patent Application, or rather, question the person who created the diagram within the patent. After all, jailbreaking has been a hot topic as of late, and frankly, shouldn't be an issue at all. Why? Because consumers should have the right to install whatever applications they want on a device they personally own. Then again, the iPhone and iPod touch aren't the only devices that feature consumer lockdowns.

For the uninitiated, jailbreaking the iPhone operating system means that consumers can install whatever they please on the device--anything unauthorized to be more specific--whether it's a ported PC game, a cool theme, or applications not available on Apple App Store. There's some speculation about whether jailbreaking is illegal or not, with Apple saying it violates the DMCA and others saying that jailbreaking is protected under fair-use doctrines. Supposedly, jailbreaking the devices will not cause any physical harm, however doing so voids the warranty, especially if 3rd party apps perform malicious actions.

Still, whether jailbreaking is legal or not, the iPhone Biometric Security Patent Application illustration does indeed show non-Apple icons.  Both the and SMBPrefs (SummerBoard website, example image) icons are clearly illustrated on the menu along with a theme displayed in the background (speculated to be the iWood Realize theme from iSpazio although the background looks nothing like wood). Unfortunately, jailbreaking has nothing to do with the filed patent, so it's safe to assume that someone illustrated the diagram using a not-so-official Apple device, and not intentionally doing so for the sake of the patent.

Ultimately, this may become a problem, and it may be that the patent image will disappear once Apple catches wind of the "mistake." The illustration only goes to show that consumers want flexibility and the freedom to customize both the iPhone and iPod Touch, something that jailbroken devices are capable of providing. It's highly likely that Apple will release the reigns, but from the looks of the patent illustration, even Apple attorneys want a little freedom.

  • 08nwsula
    must be the same attorneys that work for psystar. ;)
  • Commandodan
    It's 'reins' not 'reigns' there in the last sentence... Come on people :)
  • Tindytim
    CommandodanIt's 'reins' not 'reigns' there in the last sentence... Come on peopleI certainly hope english isn't your first language.

    reins–plural noun
    1. the kidneys.
    2. the region of the kidneys, or the lower part of the back.
    3. (esp. in Biblical use) the seat of the feelings or affections, formerly identified with the kidneys.


    1. Exercise of sovereign power, as by a monarch.
    2. The period during which a monarch rules.
    3. Dominance or widespread influence: the reign of reason.

    intr.v. reigned, reign·ing, reigns
    1. To exercise sovereign power.
    2. To hold the title of monarch, but with limited authority.
    3. To be predominant or prevalent: Panic reigned as the fire spread.

  • mlopinto2k1
    "Intentional mis-spelling"... relax! Anyway, Apple seems like they are testing the waters in a sort of reverse psychology. How could something like this go "UN-NOTICED". Ridiculous.
  • hillarymakesmecry
    I'm pretty sure the primary purpose of jailbreaking is installing stolen, hacked software.
  • SecksPanther
    Tindytim, you should be a journalist. Nice work presenting only the information that supports your point and deliberately overlooking that which refutes it.

    –noun 1. Often, reins. a leather strap, fastened to each end of the bit of a bridle, by which the rider or driver controls a horse or other animal by pulling so as to exert pressure on the bit.
    2. any of certain other straps or thongs forming part of a harness, as a checkrein.
    3. any means of curbing, controlling, or directing; check; restraint.
    4. reins, the controlling or directing power: the reins of government.

    I believe this is what the author intended to use.

    As for jailbreaking, you could support Apple's lockdown on the device if it's to keep malicious software off of their carrier's cell network, but it's easy to understand why consumers feel they should be in complete control of the device they purchased.
  • Tindytim
    Who -1'd me? Kevin surprisingly used a word correctly, someone spewed some crap information, I corrected them. Kevin said "reign" and he used the word correctly.
  • E7130
    I would imagine that any one high up in Apple walks around with a jailbroken iPhone.
  • blackened144
    hillarymakesmecryI'm pretty sure the primary purpose of jailbreaking is installing stolen, hacked software.Well, as someone who owns an iPhone, I happen to know your wrong. The main reason to jailbreak an iPhone is to use a different carrier or install completely legal software that Apple hasnt approved. Just because Apple didnt approve of it doesnt mean it is hacked or stolen.
  • bounty
    seckspantherAs for jailbreaking, you could support Apple's lockdown on the device if it's to keep malicious software off of their carrier's cell network,
    This part of your argument is like if Microsoft said you can only install MS apps to protect your ISP. I'm gonna go ahead and say no.