Apple Sues Motorola Over Multitouch

Earlier this month, Motorola sued Apple for pretty much everything phone-related: MobileMe, the App Store, location based services, antenna design, and so forth. One thing Moto didn't mention however, was multitouch. So guess what happened? Apple decided to sue Motorola right back, filing two patent infringement lawsuits that cover six patents regarding, you guessed it, multitouch.


In the filing, Apple states the infringing products as: the Motorola DROID, DROID 2, DROID X, CLIQ, CLIQ XT, BackFlip, Devour, Devour i5, and Charm 1. Which to say is pretty much every Motorola phone I can think of this side of RAZR.

The six patents in question, according to Patently Apple">:

One: Apple, Inc patent titled: Ellipse Fitting for Multi-Touch Surfaces: Patent Abstract: Apparatus and methods are disclosed for simultaneously tracking multiple finger and palm contacts as hands approach, touch, and slide across a proximity-sensing, multi-touch surface. 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.

Two: Apple, Inc patent titled: Multipoint Touchscreen: Patent Abstract: 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.

Three: Taligent, Inc patent titled: Object-Oriented System Locator System: Patent Abstract: A method and system for adding system components (documents, tools, fonts, libraries, etc.) to a computer system without running an installation program. A location framework is employed to locate system components whose properties match those specified in search criteria. The framework receives notification from the system when system components whose properties match the search criteria are added to or removed from the system.

Four: Apple, Inc, patent titled: Touch Screen Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Determining Commands by Applying Heuristics: Apple's invention generally relates to electronic devices with touch screen displays, and more particularly, to electronic devices that apply heuristics to detected user gestures on a touch screen display to determine commands.

Five: Apple Computer, Inc. patent titled: Method and Apparatus for Displaying and Accessing Control and Status Information in a Computer System: Apple's invention generally relates to the field of computer systems; particularly, the present invention relates to displaying a status and control function bar or window to enable access of user selected indicia to a computer system user.

Six: Apple Computer, Inc. patent titled: Support for Custom User-Interaction Elements in a Graphical, Event-Driven Computer System: Apple's invention relates to graphical, event-driven computer systems, more particularly to custom interactive user-interaction elements in a computer system having a window-based graphical user interface.

Illustration for article titled Apple Sues Motorola Over Multitouch

We probably need to draw more lines [Patently Apple]


the problem with all of these patents is that they are basically vague messes of concepts and not real patents for, say a mechanism. I hate how patents (which are supposed to document the implementation and mechanics behind the device) have turned into "pinch fingers and the picture gets smaller" without any actual documentation of the implementation. It would be like if someone had patented "clicking on icons". Its all just ridiculous, and the only person it hurts is the consumer who can't benefit from innovation.