Apple’s Multi-Touch IP Claim Fruitless? | webOS Nation
 
 

Apple’s Multi-Touch IP Claim Fruitless?

by Annie Latham Tue, 03 Feb 2009 10:43 am EST

Monday was another interesting day in the “Wonderful World of IP.”

According to an investor note issued by Pablo Perez-Fernandez, an analyst at Global Crown Capital, “Initiating multi-touch infringement litigation may prove lengthy, costly and fruitless for Apple, in our view.”

Per a RCR Wireless News story, in an 8-page report, Perez-Fernandez details how Apple’s IP holdings in multi-touch, capacitive touchscreen technology may not hold up upon review.  

Though the review of granted and filed patents shows that Apple has a "formidable arsenal of capacitive, multi-touch patents that constitute a nearly impenetrable barrier to entry for companies hoping to commercialize capacitive, multi-touch devices," Perez-Fernandez also noted that Apple’s key patents may be “invalidated based on prior art considerations if subjected to a review by the USPTO.”

There’s a new one for you -- “Prior art” refers to publicly known information, in other patents or in published research papers, before a particular invention is made public.  The story goes on to explain where Apple may have violated the IP of other companies and research labs.

[This is starting to be as confusing as last week’s episode of “Lost.”]

In his TechCheck column at CNBC.com, Jim Goldman noted that the notion of "prior art" is precisely the reason why RIM lost its case against patent holder NTP (and well over $600 million in the process).    Goldman concluded that “this issue ain't disappearing any time soon, but if Perez-Fernandez's arguments carry some weight, Palm investors might have a little less to worry about.”

At least, that’s today’s story in the Wonderful World of IP.  And kudos to Perez-Fernandez for his “fruitless” comment.  It, ah, got right to the core of the issue!

 

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