Apple retains multi-touch patent that banned Samsung devices in the past
Some interesting news have just happened, as the US Patent office has decided to uphold the patent No. 7,479,949 after pretty much invalidating it in December of 2012. Why is this important? Well if we all remember the Apple vs Samsung trial, among other lawsuits that included Palm and HTC, Apple has actually won cases against Samsung because of this particular patent, and it has been key in banning Samsung products years ago.
This patent focuses on the iPhone’s capability to ignore unintended swipes while you scroll from top to bottom or left to right. You’ll notice that if you start scrolling from top to bottom on a website, the device will lock itself in that gesture and not accidentally scroll from left to right, even if you intentionally do so. This will not happen until you lift your finger and start scrolling in a different direction. The same goes if you do this the other way around, or if you start scrolling in circles. The device will only acknowledge the first motion, and ignore the rest.
Obviously the fact that this is now a common practice by almost every competing device is the reason why I’m sure a lot of Apple competitors are not going to be happy today. Surely there’s a lot to worry about, even though we have noticed that Tim Cook is less about retaliation than Steve Jobs was. Whether it’s a fair patent or not, Apple is now legally keeping it, and therefore they’re entitled to do something about it. We’ll see how this develops.