California - Apple had a busy week recently with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in which it was issued a whopping 25 patents for various new inventions. Within the last several months, Apple has been on somewhat of a patent spree with filings for everything from hardware, to software, to accessories.
Some would argue that the most important of these newly granted patents is one that applies to a "portable electronic device, method and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents". In particular, patent number 8,223,134 covers the graphical interface that Apple designed for use with telephones, email, cameras, video players, calendars and numerous other multi-touch applications. Filed in March 2012, experts are calling the patent extremely important and have dubbed it "the mother of all smartphone software patents". Additionally, Apple's newest smartphone patent is expected to provide significant competition for its main adversary Google Android.
In the years since the smartphone burst into the cell phone market, mobile phone technology has increased at such a rapid rate that consumers can hardly keep up. But savvy smartphone users have likely noticed a variety of similarities between the top products.
Before iPhone hit the market, smartphones used actual physical buttons and keys that had to be pushed to direct actions. However, the iPhone ushered in a period of new technology that advanced multi-touch graphical user interfaces that are a trademark of the iPhone today. Smartphone manufacturers have not hesitated to copy that design to the extent possible with new products in the marketplace today. Historically, Apple has taken drastic steps to protect its intellectual property, including extensive patent applications and numerous patent infringement lawsuits. Undoubtedly, the newest patent granted to Apple will play a part in ongoing litigation with companies such as Samsung, Motorola and HTC, who have chosen to battle it out in court with Apple over patent infringement.