Apple has been granted US patent number 7,479,949 for multi-touch interfaces. The patent describes a computer-implemented method to be used in conjunction with a computing device featuring a touch screen display that is capable of detecting more than one finger.
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The patent is wordy and rather vague (as you expect a patent application to be). However, it appears to cover gestures for scrolling, zooming and more. Think pinching to zoom in and swiping a finger to move pages on an iPhone.
This patent could have some major ramifications in the computer industry. There are lots of notebooks and netbooks coming to market that feature multi-touch track pads. Many of the latest netbooks from Asus do this. With the patent being granted on January 20, 2009 we could see Apple soon going after all other devices that use multi-touch and gesture control.
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