Apple sues Motorola over alleged multi-touch patent infringement

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| Published: October 30, 2010

Apple Motorola lawsuit

Motorola and Apple haven't exactly had the best relationship lately, and today things are getting even more complicated.  After Moto announced earlier this month that it was suing Apple for patent infringement, Steve Jobs and Co. has filed suit against Moto over six multitouch-related patents spanning two lawsuits.  The offending products in Apple's suit cover just about every Motorola-made Android phone in the U.S.: the DROID, DROID 2, DROID X, CLIQ, CLIQ XT, Backflip, Devour, Devour i5, and Charm 1.  All six patents included in the suit can be found below.

Well, we can add another lawsuit to the increasingly large list of mobile companies getting into legal battles with one another.  After it was announced that Motorola was going to sic their lawyers on Apple, though, I think a lot of people assumed that Apple would figure out some way to retaliate.  A lot suits end in some sort of licensing agreement between the two companies, so it'll be interesting to see if the one between Moto and Apple follows that trend or if we're in for some drawn out court battles. 

One: Apple, Inc patent titled: Ellipse Fitting for Multi-Touch Surfaces: Patent Abstract: Apparatus and methods are disclosed for simultaneously tracking multiple finger and palm contacts as hands approach, touch, and slide across a proximity-sensing, multi-touch surface. Identification and classification of intuitive hand configurations and motions enables unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a versatile, ergonomic computer input device.

Two: Apple, Inc patent titled: Multipoint Touchscreen: Patent Abstract: A touch panel having a transparent capacitive sensing medium configured to detect multiple touches or near touches that occur at the same time and at distinct locations in the plane of the touch panel and to produce distinct signals representative of the location of the touches on the plane of the touch panel for each of the multiple touches
is disclosed.

Three: Taligent, Inc patent titled: Object-Oriented System Locator System: Patent Abstract: A method and system for adding system components (documents, tools, fonts, libraries, etc.) to a computer system without running an installation program. A location framework is employed to locate system components whose properties match those specified in search criteria. The framework receives notification from the system when system components whose properties match the search criteria are added to or removed from the system.

Four: Apple, Inc, patent titled: Touch Screen Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Determining Commands by Applying Heuristics: Apple’s invention generally relates to electronic devices with touch screen displays, and more particularly, to electronic devices that apply heuristics to detected user gestures on a touch screen display to determine commands.

Five: Apple Computer, Inc. patent titled: Method and Apparatus for Displaying and Accessing Control and Status Information in a Computer System: Apple’s invention generally relates to the field of computer systems; particularly, the present invention relates to displaying a status and control function bar or window to enable access of user selected indicia to a computer system user.

Six: Apple Computer, Inc. patent titled: Support for Custom User-Interaction Elements in a Graphical, Event-Driven Computer System: Apple’s invention relates to graphical, event-driven computer systems, more particularly to custom interactive user-interaction elements in a computer system having a window-based graphical user interface.

Via Boy Genius Report, Patently Apple