Apple awarded huge ‘multi-touch’ patent covering iPhone, iPod touch

“Apple last week was awarded a monstrous 358-page patent covering the touch screen, graphical user interface, and methods that combine to define the iPhone user experience,” Zach Spear reports for AppleInsider.

“Dating back to September of 2007 and granted last Tuesday, U.S. Patent No. 7479949 lists many inventors; notably, Apple co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs, iPhone software director Scott Forstall, and FingerWorks co-founder Wayne Westerman,” Spear reports. “(FingerWorks was responsible for gadgets with an opaque surface that could respond to gesture controls before being acquired by Apple to aid its multi-touch efforts several years ago.)”

“The filing is essentially a summary and overview of all the technologies that come together in the iPhone. In the patent, Apple claims coverage for the device itself, the way gestures like pinches and zooms are detected, and the software the device runs. Also mentioned are many other different details and aspects of the multi-touch user interface, such as a finger swipe, a two-thumb twist, and a method of determining which object was intended when a touch seems to cover both,” Spear reports.

“Apple interim chief executive Tim Cook recently promised to aggressively pursue any company or person who ‘rips off’ Apple’s intellectual property, and this patent affords the Cupertino-based iPhone maker the footing it would need to mount any such defense,” Spear reports. “Along with covering the iPhone, the patent filing is notable for referencing 40 other existing patents, and for naming Jobs first among its inventors.”

Much more, including patent illustrations, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Don the Depends, Palm et al. This is obviously insanely bad news for Palm’s takeover bait (Pre), not to mention any other company that plans to or has already ripped-off Apple’s patented intellectual property (IP). It’s time to pay the piper, you derivative hacks.

We’ve been pushing the state-of-the-art in every facet of design… We’ve been innovating like crazy for the last few years on this and we’ve filed for over 200 patents for all of the inventions in iPhone. And we intend to protect them.Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiling iPhone, January 9, 2007

We like competition, as long as they don’t rip off our IP… We will not stand for having our IP ripped off. And we will use whatever weapons we have at our disposal.Apple COO Tim Cook Apple conference call, January 21, 2009

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