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Apple Gets Apparent Killer Patent

It governs how content moves around the screen when touched

Apple got a broad - some say "incredibly broad" - multitouch patent Wednesday on swiping and how many fingers do the swiping and we shall doubtlessly find out in the fullness of time after the liberal and tedious application of jurisprudence whether or not, as some suggest, it covers all capacitive touchscreens everywhere including tablets.

It is patent number 7,966,578 entitled "Portable multifunction device, method, and graphical user interface for translating displayed content."

It governs how content moves around the screen when touched: one finger an entire page, two fingers just the content inside a smaller, so-called frame. It extends to productivity apps and maps.

Potentially a real little moneymaker, lawyers on both sides of the aisle will probably come to bless the day it was granted.

For those rushing ahead thinking prior art, the original patent application dates to December 2007 and incorporates some provisional patent applications going back 12 months.

See http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2387401,00.asp and http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2011/06/apple-wins-patents-for-their-original-iphone-interface-a-microdvi-connector-the-imacs-edge-to-edge-glass-cover-front-row.html to be scared to death.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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