Apple's Multi-Touch patent not so strong to sue competitors

Just a few days after Apple officially secured a patent for its touchscreen technology used in iPhone and iPod touch, Apple's interim CEO Tim Cook warned its iPhone competitors that the company will use any and all weapons to keep its intellectual property from getting ripped off. Though the comment was not aimed specifically at anyone, many experts concluded that it was directed at Palm and its new upcoming Palm Pre.

Jim Goldman, CNBC, reports that wireless analyst Pablo Perez-Fernandez of Global Crown Capital has given a
detailed note on how financially dangerous and difficult will it be for Apple if it decides to go after Palm.

Perez-Fernandez's report says that if Apple goes after Palm, it could also wage patent war against HTC, Garmin and Research in Motion since all of them use some form of the 'multi-touch' interface, specifically the 'pinching' motion to control images on the screen. He also added that US Patent Office may have erred in its awarding of the Apple patent which may be in violation of a patent already awarded to the University of Delaware. He also argues that the Bell Labs, and other universities, companies and research labs work with many of the same gestures that Apple has patented.

Perez-Fernandez points out that Apple also tries to pre-empt Microsoft's use of multi-touch in Windows 7 and to trademark multi-touch, which is ridiculous since the term has been used openly for a long time. Apple has no legal ground to stand on, and if were to move forward with any litigation based on this, it could prove more threatening to itself.

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Apple cannot sue anybody over their worthless Multi-Touch patent, without giving precedent to Microsoft(and a dozen other companies) to sue them. Microsoft Surface came out before the Apple IPhone, and I'm sure a dozen other technologies came out before Microsoft Surface.

This is the same situation as when Apple stole their MacOS interface from Xerox. When Microsoft came out with Windows 3.0, Apple couldn't sue Microsoft for infringement, without giving precedent for Xerox to sue Apple.

Karma is a bitch, isn't it Apple? :-)

Kojio said,
Apple cannot sue anybody over their worthless Multi-Touch patent, without giving precedent to Microsoft(and a dozen other companies) to sue them. Microsoft Surface came out before the Apple IPhone, and I'm sure a dozen other technologies came out before Microsoft Surface.

This is the same situation as when Apple stole their MacOS interface from Xerox. When Microsoft came out with Windows 3.0, Apple couldn't sue Microsoft for infringement, without giving precedent for Xerox to sue Apple.

Karma is a bitch, isn't it Apple? :-)

Apple did not legally steal anything from Xerox. Xerox's lawsuit against Apple in 1990 was dismissed.

In the mid 1980s, Apple considered buying Xerox. But a deal was never reached and Apple instead bought rights to the Alto GUI and adapted it into to a more affordable personal computer, aimed towards the business and education markets. The Apple Macintosh was released in 1984, and was the first personal computer to popularize the GUI and mouse amongst the public.

Xerox management consented to Jobs and others having a three-day full access visit to PARC even after one of the PARC managers complained that Apple would take the concepts that they saw and run with them. Apple paid for this visit quite handsomely. It wasn't free. Jobs liked and was fixated on the concept of the graphical user interface, which by the way is simply a computer science concept and can therefore no more be stolen than the algorithm for hashing can be stolen. Not a single line of Xerox's code for the Alto is or has ever been in the Mac OS, so Apple did nothing more than develop a marketable product using a concept that Xerox allowed them to see.

The whole "Apple stole from Xerox" schtick is nothing more than a myth.

And at the moment, no one is suing anyone. We don't actually know exactly how and to what extent Apple can proceed against anyone in this situation. There are currently no legal proceedings of that nature underway between Apple and Palm, and we're obviously not privy to any information about cases that don't exist. And even if there was such a case underway between Apple and Palm or Apple and whomever else, we certainly wouldn't be privy to all the documentation anyway.

There is no karma at work here, just wild assumptions. All we know for certain is that Apple now legally owns the iPhone patents they filed for. That's all.

You are writing complete BS. I dare you to cite your sources. I will go ahead and cite mine:

New York Times
Apple Computer Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, 35 F.3d 1435 (9th Cir. 1994)

Apple never "bought" the rights to ALTO. They stole the interface by snatching up the Xerox programmers who worked on the GUI. Xerox simply wasn't interested in pursuing litigation at the time. It's the same thing as snatching $5 from my hand and running away; If I don't bother chasing you down, you are not exonerated from being a thief.

Xerox believed that a "Graphical user Interface" is much like a mechanical one, and impossible to protect by copyright. Remember, this is back when the copyright system was not a complete embarrassment. It was only after Apple tried to sue Microsoft over copyright claims that Windows GUI looked too similar to MacOS, Xerox then filed suit claiming MacOS looked too similar to ALTO. When the suit against Microsoft fell apart, so did Xerox's suit against Apple.

You can blow smoke all you want about Saint Jobs until your cheecks turn blue; facts are facts. Apple stole the MacOS GUI from Xerox's ALTO. They never bought the rights, just the programmers. Programmers =/= rights. End of story.

Apparently Apple knows something the rest of us don't.

They're usually several steps ahead when it comes to these things. I don't think your point is lost on them or their legal team.

^^ wow, do you really not know what you're talking about.

repeat: Apple just filed the patent to preemptively intimidate the patently uneducated.

It is such a shame more people are concerned with making comments about other users then actually discussing the topic. No wonder some of these posts have so many comments.

Beastage said,
Yea it was one of the better unbiased articles engadget did

Apple can't sue anyone because they have no real claim.

Apple's claims will be decided by the courts, if it ever comes to that. And even if it does come to that, the public will only be made aware of partial details before there is any ruling.

Wait's for LTD to come and twist this somehow or come up with some BS excuse!

Why should they be able to patent an idea that was invented ages ago for free

tunafish said,
Wait's for LTD to come and twist this somehow or come up with some BS excuse!

Why should they be able to patent an idea that was invented ages ago for free

+1

GP007 said,
Only time will tell if he does. Any bets on a no show? :P

He can't resist his apple sense is tingling.

I hope their patent gets chucked out, as it' using technology that was invented years ago

GP007 said,
Only time will tell if he does. Any bets on a no show? :P


Hahahaha! Doubt it; he'll say something for sure! That guy loves Apple.

As much as I disagree with some of his views, you people are acting childish by baiting out his name on every Apple related article. Similar behaviour is not tolerated in the Gamers Hangout forum. Let him comment if he needs to, no need to throw out fishing hooks.

Since when does LTD know about patents?

In the original article about Apple getting it, many others posted how others have had an been using touch before Apple and it's iPhone.

And seeing how the new Palm is looking good, hell, I'd want them to try something, see what happens.

Well Palm sadly won't do as well as people expect it to. Mainly due to the carrier they are with. Sprint? are you kidding me. Also, yeah there are just way to many phones that look like each other ever since the iPhone came out. I really doubt palm would capture a major chunk of market share. Just way to late to enter the market