Apple has been awarded a multi-touch patent

Apple has been awarded a multi-touch patent
Recently, Apple’s acting CEO Tim Cook had all feelings run high (especially at Palm), claiming that his company will use any means necessary in order to prove itself as the undisputed owner of the multi-touch technology, and as it seems, Apple is already consolidating its positions.

Patent No. 7479949 is all about the technologies involved with iPhone’s touch screen and GUI (graphical user interface). It dates back to September 2007 and features the names of Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple) and Scott Forstall (iPhone software director). Finally, the patent has been awarded to Apple, which claims coverage for the iPhone and the technologies that make the detection of gestures (like pinching, for example) possible. In addition, a number of other characteristics of the multi-touch user interface like finger swipe and two-thumb twist had been included, as well as a method of determining which object should be selected, in case the user had touched two.

Whether Palm really “rips off” Apple’s intellectual property is still a question to be discussed. It is even possible that other companies may also take a side in the quarrel and thus make the final showdown more interesting than expected.

source: AppleInsider



1. Metall8cat

Posts: 7; Member since: Apr 12, 2008

This is such a joke. How can you claim ownership of simple gestures? I really hope this gets challenged somehow. I mean, how do you patent a finger swipe?!

2. baldilocks

Posts: 1505; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Another reason why I'd never buy an Apple product. The want COMPLETE control of everything.

6. *HOVA*

Posts: 564; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

ANY company who comes up with something new files for a patent. So WTF are you talking about? I agree gestures are pretty ridiculous, but every company is going to file for a patent, and if they get approved it's not their fault it's for ridiculous things, they just filed for it not approved it.

19. Legion

Posts: 397; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

The problem is, ITS NOT NEW.

3. The Doc

Posts: 122; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Come on, Apple. Rather than competition, it seems as though the only way for Apple to be the best is to make sure they are the only one's doing it. Seriously...

14. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

So whatever cool thing Apple invents they have to just sit back and watch the next phone copy the technology? What's the point of inventing new things when the next person that comes along is going to copy it and keep you from making money. You guys need to put yourself in their position. Competition is good for us because everyone is trying to make better phones but it is bad for them because they want to keep making money!! Come on think.

17. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

I agree that a company can not just sit there and let people rip thier ideas. Problem is Apple ripped a few of Palm patents with the original iPhone which is why I believe Palm is doing the same thing in return. Here is a great artical that goes into detail about some of the approved patents that both Apple and Palm have. These are just three patents that Palm has in their portfolio which are also found on the iphone. Take #7,268,775, entitled "Dynamic brightness range for portable computer displays based on ambient conditions," for example -- it covers automatically adjusting display brightness using an ambient light sensor while leaving a user-selected brightness setting alone. Yep, that's exactly how the iPhone does it: Or how about #7,007,239, "Method and apparatus for accessing a contacts database and telephone services"? Claim 10 is an almost exact description of the iPhone's phone app -- buttons for dialing, call history, contacts, and speed dial that stay on-screen as you toggle between them: And let's not forget 2001's greatest hit, patent #7,231,208, "User interface-technique for managing an active call": it describes in detail a conference call management system that's exactly like the iPhone's -- you put one call on hold while you make another, and then you can independently manage each call from a single screen. Look familiar?

21. The Spartan

Posts: 98; Member since: Jan 27, 2009

One small thing...Apple did not invent the technology. They acquired Fingerworks in 2005, who had invented the multi-touch GUI interface that would be used today on devices such as the iPod Touch and iPhone. To be quite honest though, I can't say I really care. HTC has it's own gestures, eventually, everyone will have different gestures for multi-touch. That'll be real competition then.

4. onedeep

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 27, 2009

Apple is running scared they trying sooo HARD to hold back the Pre.

12. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I understand that the Pre is pretty cool... but, Be honest, the Pre won't do as well as the Apple iPhone. No Matter what comes out, Storm, Omnia, Pre, Eternity, Behold and so forth, they won't "kill" the iPhone. I am not an iPhone or Apple Lover. I don't own an iPhone and I don't care to, but honestly... Nothing will beat the iPhone for a long time. Something eventually will, but not soon and not with the power to damage Apple like many of you people on here would like to see. Now, in contrast, I believe that with all these great phones coming out, and with Android coming out on more phones, that Apple will be hurt (in their sales) at some point soon in their future. Their profits and stocks both went up. Their not hurting right now. @ The Doc... why would Apple want competition? They would like a monopoly. Also, they are a business. Other companies taking away from their sales is not something they welcome. It's business man.

13. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Don't forget voyager (original iPhone-killer), dare, instinct and G1.

20. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Thanks ;)

5. tomascco

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 27, 2009

I understand patenting the underlying hardware, and I agree with copywriting the underlying software. But gestures? With that in mind I have applied for a gesture: the middle finger salute. I figure that with licensing just a six-block stretch of W 43rd in midtown Manhattan that I could retire in 60 days.

7. knightgolf

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 27, 2009

This may be the best post I've ever read on here.

8. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

"Finally, the patent has been awarded to Apple, which claims coverage for the iPhone and the technologies that make the detection of gestures (like pinching, for example) possible." These patents are for the technologies that make multi-touch possible and these patents do not belong to Apple and were awarded almost 5 years before the iPhone was unveiled US Patent 6492979 - Dual sensor touchscreen utilizing projective-capacitive and force touch Issued on December 10, 2002 US Patent 6297811 - Projective capacitive touchscreen Issued on October 2, 2001 I can see how the gestures could be in question since the Pre does have some of the same ones like pinching to zoom it but those were also out before the iPhone thanks to Jeff Han in Feb of 2006.

9. insider80

Posts: 93; Member since: Jan 26, 2009

this is the kind of stuff that forced the iphone on to the att network no one else wants to deal with there crap next thing there gonna do is not let att carry palm anymore or some other exclusivity crap

10. LGVX1993

Posts: 260; Member since: Jan 27, 2009

Im guessin the Pre will be a real wanna be iPohone killer if Apple's doing this.

11. Sully

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 27, 2009

So who owns the point and click gesture, or the hold and drag a window across the screen gesture! I navigate with my mouse all day with many different devices and platforms, know one owns how the pointer moves!? Are we really going to this measure in patents. To me a swipe or pinch is a method to communicate with the device not a patent. The software and hardware are what count . Anyone know who developed the fist touch screen so we can see who owns the first "poke gesture" patent. Maybe I'm off basis, or maybe i just want to see the pre dominate the market. : )

15. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

there are dozens of iphone "killers" depending on what it is you want to do with the phone. the iphone is a great interface on a poor network. and of course a company wants to protect its INTELLECTUAL property. im not a fan of apple, but its common sence and common practice. if they invented the coding that allows for the gestures, then they have a right to protect it. its not the "gestures", its all the tech that makes those gestures work. god, i cant beleive you made me defend apple! ugh!! now my day will suck!

16. *HOVA*

Posts: 564; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Just had to post this as I found it to be the best article I've come accross in regards to this. Really in-depth and packed full of good info....

18. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Damn Hova....I just noticed there were two pages of comments to this artical and just posted the same engadget story which really puts it all into perspective.

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