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Apple Wins Important Multi Touch Patent

While Samsung and Apple have been dealing blows back and forth in their current patent disputes spanning the globe, Apple just received another patent to put in their arsenal.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Apple a patent for their “core iPhone multitouch”. While touch screen smartphones predated the iPhone over at Apple (like the Pre and Treo), multitouch technology originated with the iPhone. Today, multitouch technology is present in many Android and Windows phone devices.

More after the break
An excerpt from the awarded patent reads:

In general, multi-touch panels may be able to detect multiple touches (touch events or contact points) that occur at or about the same time, and identify and track their locations. Examples of multi-touch panels are described in Applicant’s co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 10/842,862 entitled “Multipoint Touchscreen,” filed on May 6, 2004 and published as U.S. Published Application No. 2006/0097991 on May 11, 2006, the contents of which are incorporated by reference herein.

In view of the above, although this disclosure may describe detecting input in terms of touch-events, it should be understood that the various embodiments disclosed herein may detect near touches or hover-events as well. Accordingly, a touch, a near-touch or a hover may be referred to as an “event” and multiple events that occur at or about the same time may be referred to as a “multi-event.”

When Apple filed this patent they stated that the multitouch technology could operate on various types of hardware including laptops, desktops, tablets, PDA’s, handhelds and phones.

While this may be seen as a big blow to Android it’s good to keep in mind that Samsung and Motorola hold critical patents that pertain to 3G and cellphone technologies that are found in the core “phone” part of the iPhone.

source: TFTS


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  1. Does this mean that Apple will be able to kill Android off, since Android relies heavily on multitouch?

  2. Does this mean that Apple will be able to kill Android off, since Android relies heavily on multitouch?

  3. Err… wrong.  Multitouch has been around a lot longer than any Apple devices that use it. It’s also been manufactured and sold for many years prior to Apple applying for the patent.  Apple are showing their dishonesty and greed here, for sure, but the real problem lies with the fact that they are *able* to patent this in the first place.  How can you possibly patent something that you have clearly copied??


  4. The site listed below is the source of this news with graphics.


    I think that Google has patents just like Apple. Apple is the one that brought multitouch to all sizes of tablets and should be compensated just like Motorola’s (now Google) patent win over Apple. It’s just the business of IP and nothing to get upset over. This has gone on forever in techland. It used to be behind the scenes and for lawyer types. Now it’s public and the public doesn’t really get it. So the get upset for nothing. IP is important for all companies, period.

  5. Patents are supposed to be about original new advances over the current state of the art. Look at the movie Minority Report and many others and determine whether you think Apple should have been granted the patent at all. After all they “borrowed” ideas already in the public domain. Maybe they can patent the specific method to implement the idea, but the method may be rather obvious once you already know the idea and you are not entitled to a patent on something that is obvious.

  6. Oh great… more patents that will allow Apple to stop the growth of innovation by suing anything now with a touchscreen! Why don’t the US just award every patent possible in todays technology to Apple and be done with it! The thing is, no matter what patents they award Apple, i will NEVER purchase one of their products and WOULD sell any Apple product given to me as a gift. The fact they dont licence their intellectual property to anyone else, and these patents that are being awarded to Apple, will only effect the consumers within the US as Apple will completely monopolize and dominate the market. Why wasn’t AT&T allowed to buy T-Mobile in America, because it would de-stabilize the market and pave the way for AT&T to dominate the mobile communications industry. The same will happen, if they are not careful, with Apple trying to eliminate Samsung, HTC, LG or anything that is Android based…. very sad times indeed.

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