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

Posted: , by Alan F.

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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

Apple received a patent for the use of a finger and associated gestures to help display and manage a list on a mobile multifunction device

Apple received a patent for the use of a finger and associated gestures to help display and manage a list on a mobile multifunction device

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posted on 04 Jan 2012, 21:53 3

1. JC557 (Posts: 1794; Member since: 07 Dec 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:


posted on 05 Jan 2012, 00:27 3

8. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 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

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 02:40 3

12. Crossblade (Posts: 215; Member since: 21 Apr 2005)

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

posted on 04 Jan 2012, 22:14 10

2. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 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.

posted on 04 Jan 2012, 23:30

3. ILikeBubbles (Posts: 525; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)

im confused... what exactly does this mean?

posted on 04 Jan 2012, 23:32 3

4. frydaexiii (Posts: 1475; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

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

posted on 04 Jan 2012, 23:58 5

5. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

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

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 00:19 11

6. JGuinan007 (Posts: 692; Member since: 19 May 2011)

Dude, you're a barista. ZING!

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 00:21 14

7. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 660; Member since: 03 Nov 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.

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 01:15 2

10. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

best thing I have heard from an apple user ever....apple 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.

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 06:07 2

14. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 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.

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 05:16 1

13. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

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

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 00:49 3

9. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)

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

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 07:23 1

15. ElectroManiac (Posts: 47; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)

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

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 07:25

16. mctcm (Posts: 204; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

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

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 11:41

19. frydaexiii (Posts: 1475; Member since: 01 Dec 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...

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 10:26 1

17. troybuilt (Posts: 155; Member since: 16 Dec 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!!

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 10:29 3

18. troybuilt (Posts: 155; Member since: 16 Dec 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?

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 12:09 2

20. ZayZay (Posts: 571; Member since: 26 Feb 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.

posted on 06 Jan 2012, 18:49

21. roscuthiii (Posts: 2246; Member since: 18 Jul 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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