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.