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Old Jun 22, 2011, 09:51 AM   #1
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Apple Wins Broad Patent on iPhone Multi-Touch User Interface




As briefly noted by Patently Apple yesterday, Apple has finally been awarded a key patent related to the iOS user interface as implemented on the original iPhone. Originally filed in December 2007, the patent application incorporated several previous provisional patent applications dating back to January 2007 when Apple first unveiled the iPhone six months ahead of its launch.




While the newly-granted patent does not reach the scale of "The iPhone Patent", a 358-page monster patent granted in January 2009 and carrying Steve Jobs' name as an inventor, it does specifically address some basic multi-touch functionality including providing users with the ability to pan around the screen while touching the screen with some number of fingers but panning around a specific frame within the displayed content using a different number of fingers. In essence, the patent describes the basic concept of navigating around webpages with a one-finger touch while also being able to to use a two-finger touch to independently scroll within an embedded frame.

PC Magazine takes a look at the implications of the granted patent, noting that the covered material is broad enough to pose potential problems for other smartphone manufacturers employing capacitive multitouch interfaces on their devices.
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It gets quite a bit more technical in its full form, but there's one thing patent experts consulted by PCMag agree on -- Apple has been awarded an incredibly broad patent that could prove to be hugely problematic for other makers of capacitive touch-screen smartphones.

Apple's patent essentially gives it ownership of the capacitive multitouch interface the company pioneered with its iPhone, said one source who has been involved in intellectual property litigation on similar matters.
Apple's patent is also written broadly enough to apply to non-smartphone devices such as tablets and iPod touch-like media players, giving Apple significant clout in protecting its technology.

Apple has already filed infringement lawsuits against a number of its competitors in the smartphone industry including HTC and Samsung, making good on promises that the company would aggressively defend its intellectual property behind the iPhone.

Article Link: Apple Wins Broad Patent on iPhone Multi-Touch User Interface
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 09:54 AM   #2
jamesryanbell
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Everyone give up. Apple won. Figure out something innovative on your own.

(Sorry...had to FanBoi the crap out of that one)
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 09:55 AM   #3
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I wonder who the new infringers are.

Samsung, we know about. HTC perhaps?

Apple *did* patent the hell out of it, guys.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 09:55 AM   #4
cmaier
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Patent number? Need to see the claims.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 09:58 AM   #5
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Steve Jobs invented the iPhone? srsly...
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 09:59 AM   #6
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This makes sense. Apple may not have invented touch screens, but their specific mult-touch gestures seemed to be uniquely Apple when the iPhone first came out. Now, of course, people copied them and they are in use all over the place, but back in 2007 . . . not so much.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 09:59 AM   #7
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Patent number? Need to see the claims.
http://www.patentlyapple.com/patentl...front-row.html
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 09:59 AM   #8
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Steve Jobs invented the iPhone? srsly...
Yes he did.

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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:00 AM   #9
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Does patent law lend itself to patent trolls more than to companies that actually ship products? It sure seems to. An idiotic patent like Lodsys files all these lawsuits. However, when Apple sues Samsung for obviously ripping them off, some judge says "can't we just all get along?" Justice is FAR from blind in this country. Sorry.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:02 AM   #10
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:03 AM   #11
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Patent number? Need to see the claims.
7,966,578


http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...S=PN/7,966,578
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:03 AM   #12
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Does patent law lend itself to patent trolls more than to companies that actually ship products? It sure seems to. An idiotic patent like Lodsys files all these lawsuits. However, when Apple sues Samsung for obviously ripping them off, some judge says "can't we just all get along?" Justice is FAR from blind in this country. Sorry.
The judge said that because if Apple were to follow through with their case, we'd see around half (if not more) of Samsung's smartphone business shut down. That would be quite a blow.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:04 AM   #13
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Somewhere in Cupertino, Steve Jobs is smiling.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by *LTD* View Post
The judge said that because if Apple were to follow through with their case, we'd see around half (if not more) of Samsung's smartphone business shut down. That would be quite a blow.

Having companies stop inventing things because their patents aren't worth anything IRL and anyone can copy it as long as they're big enough, would be quite a blow too.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:06 AM   #15
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Somewhere in Cupertino, Steve Jobs is smiling.
Smartest company in tech. Easily.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:06 AM   #16
cmaier
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Thanks.

Patent doesn't cover what everyone says. It covers only the use of one finger to move a web page while using two fingers to scroll a frame. (or m fingers and n fingers).

To infringe, you need to do both.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:06 AM   #17
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Disclaimer: I despise our broken patent system and realize this will unfortunately likely be used to strongarm competitors.

That said, I really wonder what people like the folks at Samsung were thinking. Steve Jobs got on stage and ranted about how hard they'd patented it during the introduction presentation. This was Jobs' baby. I'm not surprised that he was willing to press the big red lawsuit button in the patent arms race, and they really are going to get what was coming to them.

However, sued competitors = less innovation all around. Hopefully this isn't broad enough to hurt the actually interesting competitors (especially WebOS/Windows Phone 7) and only hits designs like Samsung's.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:07 AM   #18
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Following the recent Nokia agreement, will Apple forbid other phone makers from using their patents or allow them to for a tasty licence fee?
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:07 AM   #19
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Interesting, trying to figure that one out. Could be good for photography apps when dealing with large photos. Whatever it is, sure it will be great!
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:08 AM   #20
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Good. Now maybe Apple can shut down these stupid "we're better than the iPhone because we're droid" idiots. I've used 6 different iPhone killers for a month each at a time and not even one of them came close. Each month of a different phone was hell, too. I'm sick to DEATH of people telling me what they can do with their droid when my iPhone can also do it, and do it better and for free (TETHERING) when it's jailbroken.

"Well, yeah. But then you have to jailbreak it..."

Well... Jailbreaking takes 20 minutes. A fragmented OS lasts forever.

The only people I'm really jealous of are people using their smartphones on T Mobile. I REALLY want my iPhone on the best service possible. The best phone in the world can not be the phone it could be on the worlds worst carrier.

Verizon isn't much better than ATT. But then again I'm thinking back to the experience I had in '06 when I had to cancel my dad's Verizon plan. Took 3 phone calls, 2 hours, 28 /facepalms and a sore throat from screaming at them so much to just cancel my service. Oh, and we STILL got bills for $45/month for 6 months after until we filed for Arbitration with them, along with the BBB. I would NEVER go back to Verizon after that. It would take something really awesome to make me want to switch to them.

I went off topic. Good job, Apple! Shut down as many droids as you can! Make them come up with something else!
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:08 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *LTD* View Post
The judge said that because if Apple were to follow through with their case, we'd see around half (if not more) of Samsung's smartphone business shut down. That would be quite a blow.
Source?
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:08 AM   #22
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I think a lot of these awarded patents are way too broad and stifle creativity. Whether it is Lodys or Apple, some of these patents are just a logical progression of ideas.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:09 AM   #23
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You all do realize they have no choice, but to license out this technology and the result of lawsuits will amount to nothing more than private licensing deals? They would eventually be considered a monopoly and broken up if they chose not to and to just broadly put the rest of the tablet/touch industry out of business.

Don't kid yourself if you think this is going to put Samsung et. al out of business.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:09 AM   #24
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Source?
My crystal ball. It's *very* effective.

I could make you one, if you like. PM me for a price list.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 10:10 AM   #25
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I think a lot of these awarded patents are way too broad and stifle creativity. Whether it is Lodys or Apple, some of these patents are just a logical progression of ideas.
Patent is very narrow. Article is wrong.
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