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Apple Applies for New Multitouch Patent

We've already had two stories about Apple's tablet this week. One about the company bringing back one of the lead developers on its Newton platform (possible to take charge of marketing the new tablet), and one regarding a deal between Apple, newspapers and text book publishers.

Today there's a slightly more interesting rumor doing the rounds and this one is based on a patent application filed by Apple in June of this year. AppleInsider reports that a filing by Morrison and Foerster LLP on behalf of Apple describes a 'a hand-based system that would allow "unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a versatile, ergonomic computer input device."'

Now, companies file patents all the time and sometimes, they just sit there and do nothing forever and ever. However, with all the tablet rumors we've had over the last year (does it feel WAY longer to anyone else?), it's hard to believe Apple would try to patent something that individually detects each finger and both palms, allowing for touchscreen capabilities unlike any other.

AppleInsider goes on to cite the patent filing which gives examples of the touchscreen capabilities. These include resting of hands, measuring when a hand or fingers touches and leaves the surface, interpreting taps from one finger as mouse button clicks, but disregarding a tap from two fingers, and more.

While most Apple tablet rumors have become quite boring (an ereader, really?), this one actually makes me sit up and wonder what the company could have up its sleeve.

  • eyemaster
    I really don't like this type of patent. The touch screen has been invented already, multiple touch or not, it's still the same type of device. It's like I invented the 2x4 plank of wood, so I patent it, but then I have to patent having 2 planks of wood. One touch, 2 touch, 20 touch, what's the difference besides the programing behind it? Even the programming is the same logic, you just multiply it.
  • eddieroolz
    Will I be able to type on the Apple keyboarv?
  • Blessedman
    or better eyemaster you patent the 2x4 board then try and patent all the things you can make with that 2x4 (or patenting all the angled cuts you can make on that 2x4)... This is very silly.
  • vertigo_2000
    You patent the 2x4 and someone just comes along and patents the 4x2.
  • hellwig
    Blessedmanor better eyemaster you patent the 2x4 board then try and patent all the things you can make with that 2x4 (or patenting all the angled cuts you can make on that 2x4)... This is very silly.No no no, you don't patent all the things you make with a 2x4, you wait for someone to make something, then you sue them claiming it was covered under your original "organic geometric construction device" patent.
  • alvine
    looks like from star trek yo
  • digiex
    If they patented touch with finger print recognition then it would be truly a breakthrough. When the tablet or device is stolen it will be unusable since it will only respond to the owner's fingers.
  • Major7up
    regardless of the silliness (or not) of the patent it is interesting to think about what Apple might have up it's sleeve.
  • r3t4rd
    This hasl already been patented. Tom Cruise uses it to access his computer to help him get murderers. Silly Apple...always patenting someones inventions.
  • tester24
    Now you can give your tablet a high five... or low five depending on where it's placed :)