Apple granted foundational multi-touch patent

“Apple has received a Granted Patent from the US Patent Office today that relates to one of earliest multi-touch patents on record. It’s one of the patents that Apple gained when acquiring a gesture recognition company called FingerWorks back in 2005. Multi-touch was the driver behind the revolutionary 2007 iPhone,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Apple’s newly granted patent covers apparatus and methods for simultaneously tracking multiple finger and palm contacts as hands approach, touch, and slide across a proximity-sensing, multi-touch surface,” Purcher reports. “Identification and classification of intuitive hand configurations and motions enables unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a versatile, ergonomic computer input device.”

Read more, and see Apple’s patent application illustrations and diagrams, in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Edward W.” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. The US patent office has rejected what, 2 patents out of over 15,000 patents that Apple owns. Whether Apple will actually be able to start the fight over multitouch is debatable if you listen Judge Koh’s recently ruling. According to Koh, it would hold up the whole smartphone and tablet market if Samsung were to be held accountable for parts of a product. But isn’t that the point of patent protection? Those stealing technlogy by workarounds should be punished and have their products yanked from store shelves if they’re not paying a royalty to use multitouch.

    Judge Koh is opening the door for copycats. If you have enough market share, the US legal system will let the crooks have a pass on the law. What a joke.

    On the other hand, let’s hope that Koh punishes Samsung by making them pay more than 1 billion for their transgressions against Apple’s patents.

    link to report about Apple’s 15,500 patents:

    1. It’s maddening. The smartphone and tablet markets as we know them were created by Apple, from the very technologies that are being infringed.

      If the Polaroid vs. Kodak instant photography patent case was bring fought today, the judge would have let Kodak continue to infringe Polaroid’s patents.

      Instead the system worked as it should. The judge shut down Kodak’s factories. Their product was simply impossible without the IP. Eventually we’ll see that smartphones and tablets as we know them are simply impossible without Apple’s protected IP.

    2. Nope. If you read the most recent trial coverage, it’s almost a certainty that the fine will actually be reduced, not increased. A slap on the wrist is going to become a tap on the wrist.

      1. I’m not sure of that. Some part will be trippled because of “Willful” infringent. So the base could drop to 600 million and then some parts trippled could still go beyond a billion.

  2. Apple is still taking a billion dollar bit out of Samsung and for that, Samsung will have the word COPYCAT burned into their foreheads forever. So there’s still some bite in Apple patents and there may be more to come.

  3. My understanding of patents is that it’s all about the specific language of the allowed claims. In this case it’s about predicting paths for multi-touch… the independent claims taking up about 8 lines a piece. I have no idea whether or not the particular methods claimed are really foundational. Are they still part of iOS6…are they used by Android, Windows Phone? There’s no way for a lay person to judge the value of these patents without someone with pretty deep technical understanding to interpret. Sadly, the linked blog is purely descriptive. What does this really mean? Will this have Google and MS shaking in their boots or have they moved on?

  4. Apple makes money with patents. They license to IBM, Nokia, HTC and others. They like to keep their licensing out of the press for some reason. But they make money.

    This new patent win seems to cover multitouch in context with keyboards, though the patent drawings tell you that, not the claims in a clear way. It may also apply to Apple’s Magic Pad.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.