New Won Patent Means Apple Will Profit From Every Android Device Sold

New Won Patent Means Apple Will Profit From Every Android Device Sold

Four years after it set the smartphone world on fire, Apple has won a patent for the original iPhone.

This isn’t just old news: it’s a huge win for Apple that will not only help Cupertino out in their case against Samsung, but according to some patent specialists could even allow Apple to go to war against other smartphone makers.

PC Mag explains:

Apple’s patent essentially gives it ownership of the capacitive multitouch interface the company pioneered with its iPhone, said one source who has been involved in intellectual property litigation on similar matters. That’s likely to produce a new round of lawsuits over the now-ubiquitous multitouch interfaces used in smartphones made by the likes of HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Research in Motion, Nokia, and others that run operating systems similar in nature to Apple’s iOS, like Google’s Android, said the source, who asked not to be named.

What’s more, the patent seems broad enough in scope to cover virtually any mobile device with an interface that incorporates the finger movements used to operate Apple’s touchscreen devices, the source said.

Theoretically, Apple could use this iPhone patent to totally restrict and even stop the competition from selling touchscreen tablets and smartphones in the United States, but Apple’s unlikely to do this: instead, they’ll probably squeeze the competition for patent licensing fees, enriching their already engorged coffers with every smartphone sold in America.

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  • vincenzof

    Or they’ll use the patent to hit back at anyone that tries to claim a patent on their devices *cough* Samsung *cough*

  • tiresius

    Ed. Note to John Brownlee:

       Please proofread prior to posting.  Today’s error:

    “Apple has won a parent for the original iPhone.”

     

  • Elliot George

    Yea, i’m getting sick of this now. Sloppy mistakes that would take a matter of minutes to prevent. I would rather read articles that are written well, then articles that come out the second a story breaks.

  • Guest

    As well as “Every Android Smartphone or TANLET Sold” in the title.

  • Ashoka8350

    Does it mean that every touch screen mobile manufacturer has to pay royalty to Apple? or fight it in the court?

  • JRD

    FINALLY! 

  • WVMikeP

    “…that are written well thAn articles….”

    Just sayin’.

  • iMac user

    Patent trolling at its finest. Stay classy.

  • Andrew

    Congrats to Apple! It finally has a Dad! Too bad Father’s Day was a few days ago.

  • Some Guy

    Of course, you meant to say, “THAN articles.” 

  • Guest

    *than

  • TheKnox

    Wow, hope Apple doesn’t turn out to be as evil as they seem to be.

  • ivucica

    “yea”, “i’m”, “then articles”, eh? :)

  • Guest

    The only problem I see with that, is didn’t samsung had a “multi-touch” thing beforehand?  I’ll have to find the phone again, but I do know for a fact it was unveiled in 2006.  But it might have been a “swiping” thing. :/

  • Andrew21742

    Profitability  just got worse for the makers of fake iPhones, (aka Android based phones).  I’m sure Apple will now force a License fee for each phone sold onto them making it even harder for them to compete with iOS devices on price.  As if fragmentation and spaghetti code, coupled with the security concerns and malware plaguing Android devices isn’t enough… this has got to have the HTC, LG, and others concerned.

  • Tom McGrath

    Well, I think Google gets money for every iPhone sold, what with YouTube and Google Maps being implemented directly on the devices (I heard Google say something about that, saying they don’t want iOS devices to stop being sold, as it actually helps them in some ways), so this could basically balance that out for Apple. Scrap that, Apple won’t want to balance it, they’ll want more than that. I can sense a whole load of lawsuits coming now.

  • jocelyne egan

    Very interesting post.  A well written article?  Please re-read yours.  Your english is improper.  “I would rather read  articles that are written well, then articles that come out the second a story breaks.”

    The correction here is the use of the word “then”.  Should have used the word “than” to be correct in grammar and meaning.

    Just a few minutes of editing what is written would prevent “sloppy mistakes”.

  • BlackWidower

    This is why I hate Apple.  Now I can’t avoid doing business with them if I want a cell phone.  They’re like the Kracken.

  • 300AShareMakesMeSmile

    What the hell is the point of having a patent if you can’t use it to make money from?  So what if Apple gets a few cents on every Android smartphone sold since vendors are getting Android for free.  Too many people wearing tin foil hats.  Apple doesn’t even come close to owning the most patents in the computer industry.

  • Lochias

    Right.  Hate anyone who comes up with anything new, unless they give it away.

  • Lochias

    The LG Prada touch screen phone was announced, but not released, before Jobs’s iPhone announcement. 

    LG threatened to sue, but never did.  I do not know know if they tried to get a patent.  The Prada was not a multitouch device as described in the Apple patent in any event, but touch screens have been around since the 70s.

    (Mostly, they weren’t very good.)

  • TheKnox

    no, some people hate apple because of their proprietary closed systems and high prices, though mostly people just hate rabid apple fanboys. the fact that they’re working very hard to eliminate choice from the market is indeed a scary thought

  • Wayne_Luke

    They make money from iOS devices indirectly through advertising. They actually make more money via advertising on iOS than they do with Android.

  • John Coates

    It’s not a touch screen patent. It’s multi-touch. You can poke and prod all you want, but when you use two fingers to do anything (zoom-in, move to next page or whatever) that’s where the patent comes into play.

  • Daniel Hertlein

    How is it trolling to patent technology that they not only developed themselves (or purchased the rights to) but were first to go to market with by over a year? 

  • Daniel Hertlein

    You don’t appear to understand the concept of intellectual property. Societies/systems that fail to reward innovation always lose out to those  that do. All the patent system does is speed things up. 

  • David Thorpe

    Patent’s are going to really stifle any new technological advancements soon.

  • Guest

    I said Samsung, not LG.

    I have attached the phone below.  It was shown off sometime in 2006.

    Its all gesture. 

  • Guest

    Can apple really force Android or others to pay them now?

    The question is, where can you patent to?

    Can ford patent a thing with 4 wheels, and basically anybody making a 4 wheel device will have to pay ford for it?

  • Lochias

    And this is multitouch because…?  How does it differ from fixed device (including phone) touchscreens of the 1980s?

  • Lochias

    Why do you care how high the price is, if you do not intend to buy it?

    The company has a perfect right to price itself out of the market.  And you have the right to make any choice you like

     I don’t get why you are scared, or why you think that they limit your choice, if you don’t buy into their ‘proprietary, closed systems’ in the first place.  Pick products philosophically more aligned with your own view of what ought to be.

    And let me pick mine.

  • Rann Xeroxx

    I have an old Dell AXIM that you can use your fingers to control. Microsoft also made phones for the longest time and even if they did suck, they still used this same technology. Some might argue that you had to use a stylus to use it but parts of the UI, such as number dialing, was meant for fingers.

    Just another example of how our patient process is totally broken and its only the lawyers who really win with this (not us as consumers, Apple has to pay out to bogus patients as well and we are passed that cost).

  • sn0wskier

    The smartphone market has way too many choices, if you ask me.  Apple’s done nothing to “eliminate choice.”  iOS is not even the most-used phone operating system.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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