Apple Awarded Patent for MultiTouch Interface

January 27th, 2009 at 12:00 am

multitouch patent apple iphone

Finally.  Apple got its late Christmas gift last January 20 from the US Patent and Trademark Office.  The gift was obviously a patent for Apple’s "invention" the multitouch display and interface.  Officially it’s called the Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics.  Most just call it the iPhone patent.

The patent is extremely long, and covers many of the methods used by the iPhone to display data, such as pinch-to-zoom Web browsing and swipe-to-scroll.

Of course, with the new patent Apple can now exclusively use the multitouch system.  COO Tim Cook said in some comments after the awarding, "Apple will not stand for having our (intellectual property) ripped off, and we’ll use whatever weapons that we have at our disposal." This statement was intended to everyone who wanted to rip off their technology.

This spells bad news for Palm however which boasted during the CES that their new handheld Palm Pre would feature a multitouch screen.  Fortunately, the Palm Pre has not  been released yet which means that they can still make some changes to their system and not piss off Apple.

Anyway, the patent was awarded to several Apple executives including Steve Jobs, iPhone software chief Scott Forstall, and Wayne Westerman, one of the founders of a company called Fingerworks that Apple acquired in 2005.