An Apple patent for a "3D imaging and display system" staggers out into daylight after seven years buried in the USPTO. Its eyes steadily adjust to the brightness of a Kinect-dominated world and its heart sinks. But then a random guy approaches and says,

"Hey little patent, what's wrong?"

"I'm obsolete," comes the sullen reply. "I'm all about detecting user movements in three dimensions, but the competition has that covered. Sure, people might *think* I've patented some kind of wild holographic virtual reality stuff too, but my paperwork only mentions that in the vaguest possible terms. There's no way I can threaten Microsoft."

"Nonsense!" cries the guy. "Follow me. I know a judge in Düsseldorf."

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Apple '3D imaging and display' patent was cutting edge in 2005