Apple Awarded Patent For iPhone And Multi-Touch

The US Patent and Trademark Office has announced that as of January 20, 2009, Apple officially has a patent on the iPhone as a touch screen device, it’s user interface and the software that powers it. The title is ‘Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics’.

The application includes applications filed as far back as September 2006 and details the iPhone’s multi-touch capabilities with several diagrams of the device. From the document’s abstract:

A computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a computing device with a touch screen display comprises: detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display, applying one or more heuristics to the one or more finger contacts to determine a command for the device, and processing the command. The one or more heuristics comprise: a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command, a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a two-dimensional screen translation command, and a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items.

Among the inventors listed are Steve Jobs (as usual), Scott Forestall and Wayne Westerman.

[via World of Apple]

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