Multi-Touch Patents, You Belong to Apple Now

What was once but an administrative possibility has become the most sublime of legal certainties: Apple has been granted the multi-touch patents.

Credited to the one, Steve Jobs, and the many, Scott Forstall and the iPhone team, the news patents are simultaneously as wide ranging as they are specifically crafted towards the implementation of one or many fingers interacting on the screen in a mobile device, with the most subtle of heuristic interpretations.

Apropos the heretofore mentioned anomaly; ergo Palm Pre's exacting duplication of the iPhone's multi-touch gestures and behavioral interactions and Apple's deliberately obscure threats in their direction, these new patents provide a single, potentially catastrophic result of a singular equation: Apple has grounds to sue.

Vis a vis Palm's own far-reaching patent portfolio in the mobile space: these remain a perplexing, perhaps equation changing variable. Through one door, a cross licensing agreement. Through the other, years if not decades of litigation.

In sum, the situation remains predictably uncertain.

(Thanks to David, Chad, and everyone who sent this in!)

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.