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Apple Patent Claims

|Includes: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

The Economist printed a nice summary of the claims in Apple v. Samsung. As an ex-programmer, I thought I should comment on the utility patents. The design patents are beneath contempt. It's unbelievable that USPTO actually granted a patent for "rectangle with rounded corners," or that this will hold up on appeal. The utility patents are:

1. Tap-to-zoom

2. Multi-touch gestures

3. Bounce-back scrolling

As you know, patent claims must be "non-obvious." The gestures used on a multi-touch screen have been obvious since the first one was built. Longer, actually, because multi-touch pads predate the screens. Jefferson Han demonstrates the gestures in this video from 2006.

Tap-to-zoom is maybe non-obvious, if you can separate it from mouse-click to zoom. That leaves bounce-back scrolling, which I do think is really clever. Sad that Samsung devices must now scroll to a dead stop at end-of-page. Sadder yet that AAPL has become a patent troll.

Disclosure: I am long GOOG and plan to go longer yet. I may even short AAPL now.