Apple's anti-sexting patent ruffles feathers

Apple managed to squeeze an 'anti-sexting' patent past the powers that be, raising concerns that the new king of consumerism not only wants to overcharge you for using its hardware, it also wants to limit what you can say.

Of course, posting a patent isn't necessarily about using an idea you had.

These days its a free-for-all on ideas. So you can patent an idea someone else may make use of in the future.

You'll be quids in if they do.

The patent causing the kerfuffle was filed by Apple in 2008, and describes methods of filtering "text-based messages" and blocking what is defined as “objectionable content”.

According to the patent application, "Users such as children may send or receive messages (intentionally or not) with parentally objectionable language.”

It if took our advice, Apple would trademark the phrase 'parentally objectionable'.

The technology would have applications in a business environment as well as in the parent-who-pays-the-bill-versus-child-who-consumes relationship.

The patent suggests a way of blacklisting a bunch of words that would refuse of display themselves for fear of offending public sensibilities.

Naturally, what you can say really always depends on who's paying the bill.