Patent # 7,479,949… Apple Lowers the Hammer on the Competition.

Ipod Touch Interface
Ipod Touch Interface

Lately the future of Apple has been nothing but gloom and doom. Steve Jobs undisclosed illness and uncertainty as to whether any one else could run the company like Jobs. Can anyone but Jobs create innovative products? No one knows but Apple today received what could be described is a late visit for Mr. Claus. I was surprised to read today that Apple has received its patent #7,479,949: Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics. In simple terms its the cool stuff behind the IPhone and Ipod Touch Interface.  This means that it put a huge dent in the rival Palm plans to counter attack the IPhone success with its product the Palm Pre.  

 

 This battle with Palm can only be good for Apple. I view it as going one of two ways. First a flat out failure to license the technology and let the courts figure it out. This is not a good long term move for Palm. There is simply too much to risk. Option 2: it means at some point Palm will have to settle and license the touch technology from Apple. In financial terms this means that everyone who uses a touch screen interface on a mobile device will be paying cash to Apple. This broadens Apples revenue stream far beyond the Ipod and Iphone. Now no matter what “cool” mobile device you choose you are paying a king’s tribute to Jobs and Apple in the form of a licensing contract.

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2 Comments

  1. “In financial terms this means that everyone who uses a touch screen interface on a mobile device will be paying cash to Apple.”

    Uh, no, it doesn’t. The patent wasn’t for ‘Touch Screen Device’. It was for the heuristic method in which the touch screen commands are interpreted. Hell, it doesn’t even apply to the “pinch and grab” method. Just the way the device figures out what was done to the screen, and applies what it thinks the command the user wanted — ya know, the definition of “heuristic”.

    Apple wasn’t BY FAR the first to come out with a touch screen device, bud. Even IF that is what this patent was for, there are so many preceeding technologies that pre-date their patent, that it would totaly invalidate the patent.

  2. The patent claims only attempts to cover the vertical scrolling feature of the iPhone screen. If interested the claims are on pages 356-358.

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