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Apple Awarded A Huge Multi-Touch Patent, Which Could Harm Their Competitors

Apple Awarded A Huge Multi-Touch Patent, Which Could Harm Their Competitors

The below patent application, which Apple originally applied for in December of 2007, was awarded to Apple this week. According to intellectual property experts, this patent will become very significant for Apple, as well as their competitors.

Apple, on Tuesday, was granted US Patent 7,966,578, which is entitled titled “Portable multifunction device, method, and graphical user interface for translating displayed content.” Several patent experts believe that Apple’s ownership of this patent could give them significant claims against other manufacturers of touch screen devices such as smartphones and tablets.

The patent, in essence, gives Apple complete ownership of the type of capacitative multitouch display that they introduced when they released the iPhone, and experts agree that it’s likely to result in a wave of Apple-instigated lawsuits against their competition the likes of which we can only begin to imagine.

Another option is that, rather than fighting virtually every other electronics company in the world, Apple could add some more cash to their already gigantic company reserves by licensing the idea to other companies.

Apple was arguable the first to release a true multi-touch phone without a physical keypad or any real interface-level tactile keys, as companies such as HTC, Nokia, and Motorola didn’t begin releasing such devices until some time after the original iPhone hit the streets.

If nothing else, one thing is clear: This is a very significant victory for Apple, and could very well make life a bit easier for them for some time to come.

Your thoughts? Sound off in the comments!

  1. NSEmpire says:

    If the competitors don’t place the items like the accelerometer at the same spots, they could avoid the lawsuits, couldn’t they ?

    1. That’s difficult to say – I suspect that they could argue that the big-picture similarity is too much.

    2. Jason Kerry says:

      Maybe, but I think they already did.

    3. Anonymous says:

      But the idea of accelerometers in phones to adjust from portrait mode to landscape mode was introduced by myOrigo back in 2004. How can Apple own that idea when they stole it from the my Origo phone which was released 3 years before the iPhone?

  2. Drake Valle says:

    Steve jobs really is taking over the world..

  3. Anonymous says:

    well… that’s how the patent system works. as if apple didn’t lose a case to someone. apple lost to nokia the last time right? then there’s microsoft. and finally nokia losing too.

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