iPhone vendor granted multi-touch patent the day after Palm rebukes Apple legal threat

Apple vs Palm spat heats up

The battle of words between Apple and Palm stepped up a gear yesterday after it emerged that the former had been granted a patent for using multi-touch technology in mobile devices.

The spat became public when Apple COO and current standee chief executive Tim Cook warned the firm’s competitors in its financial call that it would "not stand for having [Apple’s] IP ripped off," adding that the firm would "use any weapons [it] has available."

The patent is question is US7479949, which grants Apple IP rights over devices that work by "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."

It had been thought that Cook had been referring specifically to Palm’s Pre device, which was announced at this year’s CES and features heavy implementation of multi-touch gestures. It is unclear what affect the granting of the patent will have upon Palm’s development of the device – if any – but shares in the company fell ten per cent on the news.

Only yesterday, Palm released a statement saying that: "If faced with legal action, we are confident that we have the tools necessary to defend ourselves," as reported by PC Retail.

Source: Fortune

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