Apple get patent to touchscreen phones, which could be disaster for smartphone manufacturers

24 June 2011

Uh-oh! apple_logo_rainbow_6_colorApple have been awarded the patent for something that pretty much all smartphones use. Basically, they've got an iPhone patent that is so broad in reach that they may well be able to bully the rest of the smartphone market into submission.

Apple have been awarded U.S. patent number 7,966,578 for "[a] computer-implemented method, for use in conjunction with a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display, [that] comprises displaying a portion of page content, including a frame displaying a portion of frame content and also including other content of the page, on the touch screen display."

Basically, this means that Apple now own the capacitive multitouch interface which is used on most phones and tablets. Cue the lawsuits against HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Nokia or anyone who makes a device that allows a user to manipulate the display of a web page with finger gestures and the like.

So what happens next? Well, should Apple wish, they could stop people from making touchscreen smartphones, tablets or whatever. However, it is probable that other companies will be asked to pay for use of their technology.

However, a court may well end up scrapping the patent if Apple impose themselves on the market too much because they could be seen as monopolising and acting in a way that isn't in the public interest.

Next week: Apple bag claim for wheel invention.

[PCM]

TOPICS:   Technology   Mobile   Gadgets   Games

6 comments

  • Yue
    They stuck a phone on a Nintendo DS, what are they on about with patents?. Never thought much of Apple, not so much a tribalism thing but fuck em if they cause me problems for not buying their product.
  • Phil
    Wonder if I can get a patent on breathing?
  • Brandon H.
    its bo*****s. An organisation such as the one that grants patents surely would not allow this to pass when touchscreen existed way before apple did (check the link below). If any company can prove they had touchscreen before apple (regardless of whether or not they invented the technology) then it would would almost be like fraud, trying to pass off someone elses invention as your own when touchscreen product histories alone would be evidence to the conrtary. http://inventors.about.com/od/tstartinventions/a/Touch-Screen.htm
  • Steve
    Apple, get fucked.
  • Away f.
    I thought long and hard for an intellectual comment to make about this. Here it is: "I guess it goes to prove the only thing more wank than Apple is the USA legal system." I hope it was worth it. At least it is fairly accurate, if not totally true in a physical way.
  • dan
    this is complete bollocks. have you even bothered to research past the headline or did you want to piss off early on a friday? this is a very specific patent under US law under which all components must be breached to stake a claim. it is disaster for no-one! read this: http://thisismynext.com/2011/06/22/apple-granted-patent-webpage-scrolling-behaviors-media-crazy/

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