Apple awarded multitouch patent

Apple was recently awarded with a patent for the multitouch technology in the iPhone 3G and other devices.

On Jan. 20, Apple was granted U.S. patent no. 7,479,949, which appears to cover the technology used to detect touches on the screen, the methods used to determine what commands the touches indicate and used to process the commands. The patent was granted one day before acting Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a warning about Apple's intellectual property rights on the company's fiscal first quarter earnings conference call.

"I'm just making a general statement that we think competition is good; it makes us all better. And we're ready to suit up and go against anyone," he said. "However, we will not stand for having our [intellectual property] ripped off and we'll use whatever weapons we have at our disposal. I don't know that I can be more clear than that."

The Palm Pre, has many capabilities similar to the iPhone, including pinching the screen to zoom in and the ability to scroll through a web page with a simple flick. Palm said if it were faced with legal action over intellectual property, it would have the tools to defend itself.

For more:
- see this article
- see the patent
- see FierceWireless' comparison between the Pre and the iPhone

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