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Is Apple's Multi-Touch Patent Valid? 112

An anonymous reader writes "There is evidence that Apple's multi-touch patent application may have failed to list some prior art that showed gestures in multi-touch interfaces as early as the mid 1980s. Some of these examples even appear in the bibliography of Wayne Westerman's doctoral dissertation, and he's one of the inventors on the application's list. If true, that could leave them wide open for legal attack, should they try suing someone like Palm for patent infringement. Also, Apple may be infringing some key multi-touch patents owned by the University of Delaware — and co-developed by Westerman while getting his doctorate."
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Is Apple's Multi-Touch Patent Valid?

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  • by Steve1952 ( 651150 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @04:43PM (#26766581)
    It will be interesting to see if Apple's patent survives the next few days of Slashdot analysis, or even the next few hours! If the Westerman thesis is relevant, than not citing it is unfortunate for them. My guess is that Apple will follow this discussion, and then file for continuations and re-examinations based upon what shows up here.
  • No (Score:3, Funny)

    by hackstraw ( 262471 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @05:29PM (#26766865)

    Next question.

    But seriously, what difference does it make if apple patents this or not? I mean, no other GUI comes close to Apple's.

    An example of this, was that I was not going to finish this post because this stuff is dumb, and people would come back saying that Apples UI is not that great, so I closed the tab. Safari asked if I wanted to close the tab because I was in the middle of filling in this form, with the default being Close (not OK, Cancel, or whatever).

    I love multi-touch. I used to like having a mouse on a laptop, but now that multi-touch is here, its simply better than a mouse. Much more intuitive and less of an issue with RSI with a scroll-wheel.

    I hate to sound too much like an Apple geek, but their software is so nice, that I'm always finding new things in it. Its almost like being with a person that you like. You are always learning something new about them. And I guess the inverse is true, that when you get bored with them, you find someone else.

    I'm done hugging my MacBook :)

    Back to multi-touch, I think that it should be allowed to be used by anyone. Its simply nice.

  • by Daimanta ( 1140543 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @06:19PM (#26767209) Journal


    I'd rather read exactly the same comments in this section.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Saturday February 07, 2009 @06:20PM (#26767213) Journal

    My guess is that Apple will follow this discussion

    Considering the large number of unpaid sales and public relations staff Apple has here at Slashdot, I wouldn't be surprised.

  • by es0vyr4fVY9LD8ub ( 1471907 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @06:35PM (#26767327)
    I'm sorry, but are you somehow implying that patent law can be used to hinder competition in a so called 'free market'? Shame on you, sir.
  • Haha! (Score:2, Funny)

    by kkrajewski ( 1459331 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @07:36PM (#26767777) Journal
    Dibbs!! "huevOS: it's a kick in the eggs!"

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972