Apple has filed patent infringement action against mobile-maker Motorola for intellectual property relating to multi-touch on smartphones.
The Apple action alleges that Motorola devices including the Droid, Droid 2 and Droid X infringed upon Apple IP, but also named a number of other smartphones from the Cliq range as well as the BackFlip, Devour and Charm handsets.
Patentlyapple.com discusses the patents involved, two of which involve Apple’s multi-touch IP, the first of which described as “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.”
The second appears to essentially describe multi-touch itself in basic terms: “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.”
On an earnings conference call last year, Apple COO Tim Cook warned the firm’s competition: “We approach this business as a software platform business. We are watching the landscape. We like competition as long as they don’t rip off our IP. And if they do, we will go after anyone who does.”
Patentlyapple has also produced an amusing graphic to illustrate the degree of legal action underway between the major firms in the mobile business. Apple can be seen to be particularly involved in legal battles over IP.