Apple vs Android vs Windows Phone 7, well it doesn’t really matter who comes out on top any more because if the patent that was recently awarded to Apple means what it does, regardless which platform you choose, Apple will be getting a cut for that device’s multitouch capacitive interface (assuming of course it uses capacitive and not resistive). It was filed 3 years ago but it has finally been awarded to Apple, something which we’re assuming they’re now celebrating.
[a] computer-implemented method, for use in conjunction with a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display, [that] comprises displaying a portion of page content, including a frame displaying a portion of frame content and also including other content of the page, on the touch screen display.
How the patent was worded could be taken in a couple of ways, all of which seems to favor Apple which we will have to give Apple’s legal team credit for. For starters it could just be referring to Apple’s own technology which is fine and dandy until you remember the recent patent infringement lawsuit between Apple and Samsung, which means that companies looking to put out multitouch capacitive interfaces will be hardpressed to prove that they aren’t copying Apple’s technology.
Secondly it could cover all multitouch capacitive interfaces used by a variety of manufacturers, in which case Apple could start denying them use of their technology which would give Apple the upper hand and dominate the market until their competitors come up with an alternative.
A third alternative has been proposed which suggests that Apple may scrap the patent altogether to avoid a bunch of antitrust lawsuits and time and money spent in the courtrooms, but then again considering how much Apple could make in terms of licensing why would they want to do that? This should be interesting to see how all the other manufacturers are going to handle this as according to Damon Poeter of PCMag who was quoting an unnamed source, “Apple’s patent essentially gives it ownership of the capacitive multitouch interface the company pioneered with its iPhone [...] 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.”