Apple's legal team gets new ammunition with patent on original Apple iPhone feature

Apple's legal team gets new ammunition with patent on original Apple iPhone feature
Apple's legal team just received some new ammunition against unlicensed patent users as the USPTO on Wednesday issued a series of patents to the Cupertino based firm. Among the patents issued was one that was filed by Apple for the use of finger gestures on the original Apple iPhone as a replacement for buttons and a stylus. Apple notes that the use of a finger that could be tracked on the touchscreen of a portable multifunction device could help in displaying and managing lists.

Apple's patent filing mentions how some mobile communications devices can end up being swamped by buttons, or manufactured with buttons that control a number of different functions, or controlled with the use of a complex menu system. Apple noted that the use of these tools could result in the user having to memorize certain key sequences in order to store or retrieve information. In its filing, the tech giant also notes that some portable devices use a stylus to manage a list. But the problem with that is because the screen is designed to use the pinpoint edge of the stylus, it won't work with a thicker fingertip.

On the image below, provided courtesy of Patently Apple, you can see on the left, the diagram from Apple's patent filing that shows how the company envisioned displaying and managing a favorite contacts list on an iPhone. To the right is a screenshot of an Apple iPod Touch showing the patent in operation.

Another patent awarded to Apple, 8,090,767, covers how the portable hard drive capabilities of the Apple iPod Touch was eventually carried over to the Apple iPhone. The latter did not have the functionality of being used as a portable hard drive from the get go, which is something that the iPod Touch was capable of almost immediately upon its launch.

source: PatentlyApple via AppleInsider



1. JC557

Posts: 1927; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

So then what to make of this? TouchFlo was in the works for quite a while not to mention the forefather of the digital desk:

8. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

did they just not patent it? because otherwise apple did it first if they got the patent… but if htc decided not to patent it then that is fully expected

12. Crossblade

Posts: 224; Member since: Apr 21, 2005

TouchFlo (and HTC Touch) are announced after the original iPhone was originally announced. A few months later.

2. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Yippee, more lawsuits courtesy of APPLE are just around the corner - and, do not forget to patent the power key or rather how one presses it to turn the power off.

3. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

im confused... what exactly does this mean?

4. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

So technically Apple can now sue all of us who aren't using iPhones/iPod touches? *slow clap*

5. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Let the whining and crying begin. Ladies and gentlemen, this is called protecting your business. What apple invents, Android copies. ZING!

6. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

Dude, you're a barista. ZING!

7. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

The_Miz, u got issues and most of iFans, it's ppl like you that makes the rest of use Apple fans sound stupid, brainwashed and simply...... STUPID, what do you get by defending Apple? I love Apple and some of their products, but me defending them and letting them stop innovation is gonna end up hurting me, as the consumer. Plus who will Apple copy now, Let's all face it, there is nothing new that Apple came up with, they took an existing idea and polished it and made it work better (I'm sure that is called innovating) which I believe other manufacturers are doing the same, the difference here is that Apple has loyal fans, that we turn a simple idea from Apple as a "game changing" idea, while other manufacturers come up with game changing ideas we just side line them, I bet you if Android was the one using Siri, it'd have not have received such fame, tech sides would have looked for the bugs and what it doesnt do and so on, because it's Apple's, we side lines all the bugs within Siri, and how easy it is as Apple fans when iPhone has a problem, we just say, well you can work around it.

10. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

best thing I have heard from an apple user with these lawsuits and patenting things that existed before is not helping anyone but themselves....good thing is that most of these broad and vague and used ideas get thrown out in court....remember the lockscreen patent apple got and everone got scared but when they tried to use on Samsung...guess what the judge didn't have any of apples nonsense with the lockscreen patent.

14. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

If Android didn't receive fame if they received Siri, then blame it on Android for not putting it out there and not make excuses for them. And let's not make Android the only victim of criticism. Whenever iPhone has a problem, it spreads throughout the internet like fire.

13. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

You should get hit by R Truth again with a bottle of water.

9. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Apple sue Android But i wonder if they'll ever sue Windows Phone?

15. ElectroManiac

Posts: 47; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

They won't because apple have always been scared of microsoft after loosing so many lawsuits against them.

16. mctcm

Posts: 204; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Dear Die Hard, you rock. Especially the part where that dude is on the rooftop. P.S. Do you know Mad Max?

19. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Apple won't sue Windows Phone for the same reason they don't sue the china companies who are making cheap blatent iPhone ripoffs...They aren't a threat yet...

17. troybuilt

Posts: 155; Member since: Dec 16, 2011

Yes, I'm sure they'll patent the Home button too. The volume toggle on the side in a certain spot. The battery icon and clock at the top. They want to make sure they can sue more companies. Keep it Apple! You'll see your company FALL and hit rock BOTTOM!!

18. troybuilt

Posts: 155; Member since: Dec 16, 2011

One more thing, have you all noticed that in Apple's legal battles with these other companies, there always seems to be an "ex-Apple" employee that defected to the other company that had "secrets" they shared "supposedly" with that company?

20. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

The new United States Patent and Trademark Office Department of Commerce should just change that logo to an American flag made out of an Apple.

21. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Touchscreens have been in development since at least the 60's... there should be absolutely zero patents granted to any company now for touching a screen. People point and gesture naturally around the age of 1; so it's all prior art.

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