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Palm says Apple multi-touch patent wont stop its Pre

The U.S. patent system is severely broken, as most fans of technology will agree. Patents are issued with alarming frequency for technology that is obvious and at times even pre-existed the patent application.

Many see this as the case with the patent that was granted to Apple this week covering multi-touch and gesture control for its iPhone and computing devices. The problem for some technology fans is that multi-touch and gesture control were hardly pioneered by Apple in many eyes.

When I first heard Apple was granted a patent I immediately had visions of a mass legal crusade by Apple to get other tech firms to stop using multi-touch or else pay licensing fees to fatten the fruity coffers.

If you look at it multi-touch is everywhere already, many computer makers like ASUS have multi-touch track pads. Microsoft has been showing multi-touch in its Surface design for years and other firms use the technology currently as well.

One of the technology firms that is placing a lot on multi-touch is Palm with its Pre handset that debuted at CES 2009. The potential issue for Palm is that the Pre uses both multi-touch and gesture control. Laptop Magazine talked to a Palm spokesperson Lynn Fox to get insights on what Palm thinks about the Apple patent.

Fox told Laptop, "Palm has a long history of innovation that’s reflective in our products and our robust patent portfolio, and we’ve been long recognized for those fundamental patents in the mobile space. If we are faced with legal action we are confident that we have the tools necessary to defend ourselves."

Fox also says that Palm has no plans to delay the launch of the Pre based on the patent being issued.

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good for you
By Screwballl on 1/28/2009 2:18:14 PM , Rating: 3
even though I do not care for Palm personally, I think this is the best stance they can take, and I hope they stick with their word to get this patent reversed and denied preventing Apple's "lawsuit crusade".

RE: good for you
By omnicronx on 1/28/2009 3:23:52 PM , Rating: 2
As someone already pointed out in the last article, the patent office does not enforce patents, merely having a patent means little to nothing if you can't enforce it. What i find funny here is that Apple even went as far as to try and patent multitouch off screen, which is a feature that is not in the iPod but is already implemented in the Palm Pre.
It seems to me that almost ALL the big players in the market can make the 'prior art' claim in which Apple patent would be null and void anyways.

As for gestures, many people have pointed out that both Palm and MS have been using gestures with their hand held devices but just not multitouch gestures. They should easily be able to make the case that this technology should be transferred to multitouch uses.

RE: good for you
By HaZaRd2K6 on 1/29/2009 12:52:31 AM , Rating: 2
Engadget has a really good article up about each firm's respective patents. While it appears on the surface that Palm is blatantly infringing on Apple's patents, some old patent searches reveal that Palm owns a lot of patents that Apple uses--and hasn't licensed. Should play out nicely (personally, I hope Apple's lawsuit-fixation gets quashed).


RE: good for you
By scrapsma54 on 2/2/2009 1:19:39 AM , Rating: 2
Is it just me or apple is turning out to be like sony? It appears niether company can take lightly to competition cause in reality, they really cant.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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