What About Those Multitouch Patents?

Farhad Manjoo’s piece for Slate on Apple’s patent infringement legal action against HTC bears the headline “Apple’s Multitouch Lawsuit Is Both Dumb and Dangerous”, which is slightly odd, insofar as that none of the patents Apple cited are related to multitouch.

Which raises the question: Why not? Multitouch is certainly the aspect of the iPhone user interface that has been most-talked about with regard to patents, ever since it debuted at Macworld Expo in 2007 and Jobs flat-out bragged about how patented it was. Maybe the aspects of multitouch that HTC has added to the Nexus One don’t violate the patents?

Update: Nilay Patel says none of Apple’s granted patents cover pinch-to-zoom, which, as far as I can tell, is the only “multitouch” supported on the Nexus One. Apple has pending patents on pinch-to-zoom and other multi-finger gestures, but who knows if they’ll be granted.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010