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Apple is awarded a potentially industry-altering patent on touchscreens

Posted: , by Ken N.

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Apple is awarded a potentially industry-altering patent on touchscreens
Apple filed for this touchscreen patent back in 2007. But now that it has finally been awarded, it could have sweeping effects on the wireless landscape in the U.S. The patent covers nearly every industry-standard feature of the capacitive interface, which would affect every device maker.

The patent states, most generally, that it covers "a computer-implemented method, for use in conjunction with a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display, [that] comprises displaying a portion of page content, including a frame displaying a portion of frame content and also including other content of the page, on the touch screen display."

The patent also extends to multi-touch gestures like pinch-to-zoom, which have become ubiquitous among touchscreen devices. Florian Mueller of Foss Patents says that Apple could use this patent award to bully other device makers out of the U.S. market: "This patent covers a kind of functionality without which it would be hard to build a competitive smartphone."

Experts suggest that the patent could be interpreted as only applying to the web browser. But even that would prove problematic. Unless the patent is invalidated, Apple could legitimately sue every smartphone and tablet maker, as well as makers of touchscreen music players. On the other hand, the volume of support against the patent could make it easier to invalidate.

source: PCMag

216 Comments
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posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:16 18

1. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Yeah, Apple. Just try now to sue everyone. If you somehow, someway win, everyone will just find some other gesture to use. I can actually already think of a couple.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:19 8

3. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Hahaha if you actually have an idea you can make some money. I doubt it. Only thing you're good at is commenting on Apple articles.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 10:20 9

56. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Well, Taco, gestures I thought of are "pull to scroll" and a circular motion for zooming in and out. They may have already been implemented somewhere, I don't know.

And really, you have no idea what goes on in my head, Taco. You're just a hateful piece of work who lives by the bandwagon morality. As far back as I can remember all you've ever talked about and used as a metric of quality is how well Apple products sell and how much money they have. You give no thought to originality, freedom, attention to customers' wants and needs, respect for other companies...none of those factors matter when you're deciding why you like Apple and why they're the best in your mind.

To you, all that matters is that Apple sells. Well, good luck with that, Taco, and with your Hanna Montana and Justin Bieber CDs, and your Transformers DVDs. I hope you're happy.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 10:56 4

71. remixfa (Posts: 14080; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


hey now, the first transformer movie was pretty cool!! :)

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 11:28 2

88. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


But the second one blew so much it was chased after by every pimp in the country.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 11:39 1

93. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I thought both were good, but this funny...lol

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 11:02 4

73. lzxc10 (Posts: 8; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


I know that circular motion is called HTC TouchFLO! It was implemented in 2007. :)

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 11:28 3

89. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Well see? There you go, we have a winner! :)

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 14:40

163. wassup (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


its in the nokia n900 too :D

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 14:30 3

151. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


hey sniggly so why isnt it alright for apple to be original and get the patent for their idea? just cause they do it it isnt original anymore?

and u r super hypocritical... just a few weeks ago u said pinch to zoom was the only way to zoom and how cud apple claim it first... now that they have it u have to go find another way to not make urself seem wrong?

uhh whats wrong with transformers by the way?

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 14:41 5

165. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


It's fine for Apple to be original. Problem is, some users on here can already think of phones/software that had the functionality Apple patented before the iPhone came out.

I can't remember what I said exactly, but while there may be alternatives to pinch to zoom, right now it is the easiest and most intuitive method to use.

And the first Transformers was okay. Stupid, badly acted, and at times questionably directed, but it was fun and funny.

The second Transformers, though, was racist, sexist, badly directed, badly scripted, badly paced, goofy to the point of total corniness, and it gave the spotlight to the most annoying characters in the movie.

The jury's still out on Transformers 3 though.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 23:34 1

268. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


well if they had it patented before, apple wudnt have had the patent...

and really, the second transformers i agree was not as good as the first, all they did was show megan fox... and now that shes been replaced by blondie idk how good it will be...

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 19:23 6

238. cheetah2k (Posts: 859; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


Samsung have implemented a few really good gestures on the SGSII like the two finger hold on screen with tilt action to zoom in and out.

However, Samsung better get on the boat quickly and patent their own gestures before Apple thinks they invented them.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 10:16 6

53. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


I dont to pick on Sniggly as we both Droid X user. i respect that

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 10:33 8

65. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Thanks man. I appreciate respect from anyone. Thumbs up to you. :)

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 12:34 7

100. messiah (Posts: 433; Member since: 19 Feb 2010)


i'd rather withdraw back to a landline rather than get an iphone. why? because i simply don't want one.

I'm more discouraged by their business practices than with their product. I admire choice. Apple's arguement that products look like their? Can you not imagine the dispute existing between the automibile industry? "Your Ford has four wheels and a windshield as does my Nissan".

Ironically, from previous articles with Apples pattent on remote camera shut down, clearly they not only are not concerned with sharing a market, they are not supportive of its clientele. I will say this once and only once as that's all it takes to make a point. "Apple's interest is only Apple. Not the consumer."

a five dollar landline phone with large buttons and a twenty foot cord is more concerned with the general public. That, is commendable.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 18:20 1

224. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


I am a fan of Apple, and that comment made me laugh out loud. Nicely done, sir.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:17 7

2. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Fandroids where you at? It's shameful how android copied their entire OS from Apple. All they did is some minor tweaks like widgets and live wall paper. China likes knock offs so maybe android can still sell there lol.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:21 14

5. android_hitman (Posts: 655; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)


wow, you are really stupid, i am so sorry for you

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:22 7

6. redleg6 (Posts: 25; Member since: 14 May 2011)


Minor tweaks? LOL. This kid has never used an android.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:26 4

8. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


I have actually. Tell me about something that's a major difference in the UI.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:31 9

10. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


The Settings areas.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:33 11

13. lzxc10 (Posts: 8; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


The notification bar that only Android has. Now apple's trying to rip it off and say that it's revolutionary. The swipe to a specific app that HTC Sense 3.0 has. Apple has ripped it off too. All these comes in a package called iOS5.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:39 3

18. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Swipe is a gesture that android took from Apple. The notification bar was a difference but not a major one.


How about android having the same app layout with multiple screens that you swipe across just like the iPhone. And using all the same gestures? Android OS is copied down to the core.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:41 7

21. lzxc10 (Posts: 8; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


So you are implying that MeeGo has copied iOS too? Swipe is a major feature in MeeGo.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:44 6

25. lzxc10 (Posts: 8; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


Not a major one? So why is Apple ripping off that notification bar from Android?

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:54 3

37. hepresearch (unregistered)


Ah... well, you know... what goes around comes around. Bill Gates, the "Pirate of Silicon Valley" stole the Windows concept from Apple's Mac OS. And now, to make things fair, it is Steve Jobs' turn to steal something back from somebody else, somebody like Google...

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:46 2

29. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


No not down to the core.

Then again, arent both iOS and Android based on Linux, Unix? Not really sure about Android.

So you may be right...

Then again, since Android uses a virtual machine to run the OS and iOS doesnt...its not copied down to the core.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:51 2

36. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Android OS has a lil in common with the OS on the LG Prada too.

The OS on the Prada was based on Flash Lite.

2 different types of ways to run an OS, Flash and off a virtual machine.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 11:00 4

72. remixfa (Posts: 14080; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


actually taco, android's base app drawer is one that scrolls top top bottom in a smooth fashion, not left to right. Only Samsung Touchwiz does that.

The notification bar in android is leagues ahead of that crap in iOS, which is why iOS5 blatantly steals it.

There is also widgets
customizable home screens
reorganizable app drawers
multi tasking
larger screens
flash on camera (came to android first buddy)
adobe flash
3g lol
4g
video chat over 3g not just wifi
skype
wifi calling
tethering
wireless tethering


on and on and on.

what does iOS have? it runs smooth and it lists icons. woop.
oh wait.. iOS5 goes out of its way to steal much of what i just listed.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 11:07 1

79. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


so you listed stuff that's not even software like "larger screens, flash on the camera which iPhone has by the way" and stuff iPhone has like wifi calling, skype, tethering wireless tethering, multitasking, customizable home screens


Skype is an app for gods sake it's not part of the OS

idiot

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 13:53 3

118. wassup (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


yeah... flash on the camera the iPhone has...but it came out on android phones before...forgot?

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 11:02 6

74. BenCjamin (Posts: 80; Member since: 13 May 2011)


Taco your out numbered a billion to one. I am an apple fan and i think your wrong. I've used android phones in the past and yes they are similar but to say they ripped it off of apple is a ridiculous argument. it's like saying that General Motors ripped the idea of an engine off of ford because they have similar parts.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 12:10 1

97. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


"Swipe is a gesture Android took from Apple..."

See, the problem with saying something so broad and generic is it opens itself up for immediate debate. Like this article did yesterday all over the web.

I'm sure the Swipe gesture was around before the iPhone. On stylus phones with resistive screen too. Palm and Win Mo, probably Black Berry too.

Like with this article from yesterday, when you say Swipe, be more specific.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 12:58 1

103. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


That notification gesture has been a part of iOS API as well years ago that google ripped off. Just look at their implementation. Android's notification is half baked, while iOS is much better implemented. That's the difference between someone who just rips someone off just so they would seem like the first to have it, and someone who actually takes their time in doing things right.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:38 7

17. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


When pro Apple, iPhone folks say Android is copying Apple, they must mean the home screen layout.

The Settings area for iOS looks like OS X, Android's doesnt.

Android has an app drawer, iOS doesnt

Android is more open, customizable than iOS.

Widgets and notifications.

When it comes down to it, they only thing ppl can really say Android "copied" is the homescreen layout,

The homescreen layout and icons doesnt make up the entire OS.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:43 2

23. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Same webkit browser, app store are two more major things copied. ALL the gestures Apple uses are on android. App drawer? You mean like folders? Android is chasing the leader.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:54 7

38. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


You asked whats the differences. App drawer and folder. Seems different to me.

Even if you wanna go there:

The app drawer is 1 giant folder then. I'll give you that. I thought iOS put all the apps on the homescreen when installing?

Androids go in the app drawer, I mean folder.

Yea...copied down to the core...

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:56 7

39. AndroidOS (Posts: 100; Member since: 21 Jun 2011)


Did this kid really just say Android copied apple by having an App store? -.-

The gesture uses thing is dead wrong too.
http://www.androiduipatterns.com/2011/06/differences-between-android-and-ios-ui.html

How long have folders been around? And Apple didn't even start out with folders.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 11:04 1

76. remixfa (Posts: 14080; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


android has had folders since the beginning. Apple just added them.

oh yea.. forgot

cut n paste
folders
a s**t ton of jestures other than apple's pinch to zoom.
NFC
open development
alternate reality browsers
real navigation


on n on.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 11:08 1

80. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


cut and paste????

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 13:39 1

113. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


as far as I know copy and paste where added on cupcake android version 1.5 around april 2009 while they where added on iOS 3x around June, not much of i difference in time to actually matter I have to say

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:23 2

7. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


edit...............

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:48 4

35. hepresearch (unregistered)


And this is possible because...? How does a platform based on Linux "copy their entire OS" from a platform based on a proprietary, stripped-down version of Mac OS X?

China is a HUGE market... and even if Android gets sued out of existence in the Western world, they could do very well in China alone... :p

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 13:22 3

107. HockeyDood (Posts: 66; Member since: 14 May 2010)


OS X is a Linux base as well, fyi. :)

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 14:10 1

130. hepresearch (unregistered)


Hmmm... I honestly didn't know that. Thanks for the info... I try to learn something new every day!

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 10:15 5

51. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Where's the app drawer for the iPhone? Oh, I forgot, it's actually just the homescreen.

Where's the iPhone's notification tray? That's right, it didn't have one until iOS.

Android also totally copied Apple's style of multitasking, right? Oh wait, they didn't.

Android's look and feel has more in common with BREW and Windows than with iOS. The homescreen is the desktop, the launcher is the "menu" key/Start menu, etc.

You can do anything you want to your homescreen like you can to a Windows desktop, with Motoblur you can organize all of your apps into different folders (like folders on a desktop). So yeah, total ripoff of iOS.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 10:22 5

57. AndroidOS (Posts: 100; Member since: 21 Jun 2011)


And on Android you could edit your homescreen from the beginning.

How many YEARS did it take Apple to add backgrounds to homescreens?

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 11:32 2

91. christianqwerty (Posts: 460; Member since: 05 May 2011)


Well, not everyone needs flashy moving wallpaper and dancing widgets, some people like me, like phones that aren't laggy, and just work , before you call me an isheep, I have a windows phone 7, you like Android because its customizable, and you can hack your need, taco likes iPhone because its easy, grandparents know how to use it, its a universal operating system. I like WP7 because I like to be different. We all have our own preferences , but some people like simple!

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 11:47 3

94. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Um....you do realize all this started cuz taco said Android is a copy of iOS.

Most of these comments are just replies to that statement. Some may agree, some may not.

He can like whatever he wants, thats fine. I feel he is wrong, as most ppl in here now do. I actually thought about it today and except for the home screen layout, they are so different its almost like night n day.

Usually, when you post something in a comment section you will either have ppl that agree or dont agree.

Its the nature of the beast.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 22:06 1

262. AndroidOS (Posts: 100; Member since: 21 Jun 2011)


I was just pointing out differences between Android and iOS. Sorry if I offended lol. :)

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 13:06 1

105. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


I wouldn't be surprised if google stole all their android's features from Apple. Remember when Steve hid information from google's CEO when he felt that they're up to something?

Apple as we all know is very secretive. Someone cunning enough to steal their ideas and use it first could easily get away with to seem like it was their idea, not Apple's.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 13:30 5

109. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Lol, Gemini, how narcissistic of you to thumb up your own comment. Google stole everything from Apple? How much of that kool aid did you drink, son? You're clearly having some kind of Applegasmic mind seizure.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 14:39 1

161. SteveJobsEvilTwin (unregistered)


Well, I would have said the notifications, but Apple just ripped that off from Android.

posted on 29 Jun 2011, 21:18

295. pirateninja (unregistered)


isheep in the house.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:21 5

4. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Even if this patent is upheld, I remember when we didnt have pinch to zoom. Double tap worked and still works fine.

Double tap to zoom actually made the words reflow in the browser vs. pinch to zoom on some phone I had. I'm guessing the pinch to zoom - words reflow in the browser just wasnt done. So I was used to not really using it for the browser on my phone.

i wasnt walking around saying...oh owe is me I cant pinch to zoom...HTC used it for a cool effect for seeing the other homescreens on their phones that Android developers and other Android phone manufactures started using.

Everyone else will either have to pay, stop using it, or come up with another way to zoom if this stands. Samsung and LG already have tilt to zoom and swipe screens n their new Android UI's. It can be done.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:28 1

9. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


iPhone had the double tap as well. That's also copied by android.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:33 5

12. AndroidOS (Posts: 100; Member since: 21 Jun 2011)


Apple invented the double tap?

I never knew that!

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:37 1

15. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Apple was using the double tap before android existed so android copied it then no? Didn't say they invented it.

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 09:40 4

19. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Ok, so if Apple used double tap and some one else invented it, used it first....its not considered copying then?

Just trying to clarify ....

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