Apple snags blockbuster multi-touch patent

“Apple was granted two dozen patents in the US Patent and Trademark Office’s weekly patent-palooza, held each Tuesday, providing Cupertino’s legal team with a new cache of ammunition to be fired up in future patent wars,” Rik Myslewski reports for The Register.
“Snuggled in amongst Tuesday’s hoard is a patent entitled ‘Multipoint touchscreen’ that could potentially be big trouble for manufacturers of other multi-touch devices – such as, oh, practically every other smartphone and tablet on the market,” Myslewski reports. “The abstract of this patent – which seems at first blush to be exceptionally broad – portends trouble for Apple’s competition: ‘A touch panel having a transparent capacitive sensing medium configured to detect multiple touches or near touches that occur at the same time and at distinct locations in the plane of the touch panel and to produce distinct signals representative of the location of the touches on the plane of the touch panel for each of the multiple touches is disclosed.’”

Myslewski reports, “Most certainly, some of these user-interface patents will be pored over by patent-law teams at Google, Samsung, Motorola, and others, but we can’t help but think that the implications of patent number 8,125,463, “Multipoint touchscreen”, has the greatest potential to upset a few applecarts – or, as Cupertino might prefer to call them, Apple patent infringers.”

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