Apple’s advantage: iPhone multi-touch patent

“Apple may hinder wide deployment of multi-touchscreen technologies as it owns one of the patents involved, according to the analysts at iSuppli,” Jonny Evans reports for Macworld UK.

“Apple has adopted multi-touch technology within its iPhone. Such technology is more responsive than single touch, and is capable of recognising multiple simultaneous touches – which is why iPhone users will be able to pinch an area of their screen to zoom into an image, for example,” Evans reports.

“However, Apple owns one of the essential multi-touch patents, and at present: ‘It’s unclear whether Apple will be willing to accept royalty payments in exchange for use of the technology,’ the analysts said,” Evans reports.

Full article here.


  1. There are many ways to make multi-touch work. Apple does not own patents on them all. When you see future stories about multi-touch screens available on other devices don’t immediately expect a lawsuit from Apple.

  2. iPhone’s multi-touch advantage:
    1. Touch the hearts of consumers
    2. Touch the nerves of unimaginative, lazy-ass competitors.
    3. Touch the vulnerable minds of technology and communication companies, driving them to madness.

    Have you touched yourself today, Mr. Ballmer?

  3. The ‘Big-assed’ table is a multi-touch system, but does not have a multi-touch screen.

    The ‘Big-assed’ table has 5 video cameras (infrared, I believe) installed in the table part. The cameras see the touches to the screen and feede the info into a Windows box also installed in the table. Then add some bluetooth and RFID tech to sense cameras and drinks placed on the table top.

    It’ll be years before you could cram those cameras and a windows box into a phone form.

  4. @Joel

    Yeah, but in Apple’s first implementation of Mac OS they invented things like the “file” metaphor, the metaphor of dragging icons around and from folder to folder, and the Copy/Cut + Paste thing.

    If they had patented things like that, and enforced them, everyone else would pretty much be screwed. Except for the well known licence some incompetent Apple lawyer gave M$ for $1 which a court ruled gave M$ the rights to copy MacOS.

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