Apple awarded for patent on pinch-to-zoom

Apple wins three major multi-touch patents on pinch-to-zoom.Multi-touch will extend beyond the iPod, iPhone and iPad and eventually advance to devices such as the MacBook and the iMac…..

Apple has been awarded three very important multi-touch related patents. The first patent, “Portable Electronic Device with Multi-Touch Input,” describes in detail the multi-touch input method present on the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Apple’s multi-touch trackpads. It also sounds remarkably similar to the input methods present on competitors’ touchscreen smartphones.

The second patent, “Ellipse Fitting for Multi-Touch Surfaces,” is similar to another patent that Apple filed last year. It describes multiple input methods that all iOS device users will recognize: typing, pointing, scrolling, object manipulation, and so forth. The third patent, “Simultaneous Sensing Arrangement,” describes some of the sensing mechanisms present in multi-touch devices. Patently Apple has the full details on the patents if you’re truly curious, but they basically represent patents for both the hardware and input methods behind multi-touch.

Patents are an unusually touchy subject, particularly when lawsuits over them are involved. Apple’s initial lawsuit against HTC earlier this year sparked a firestorm of Internet rage, with many commentators complaining that Apple was engaged in anti-competitive practices and attempting to stifle innovation. That’s certainly one way of looking at it.

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