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A brand new Apple “touch” patent, approved last week in the USA could spell big problems for Palm who is desperate to bring their new Palm Pre smart phone to market by mid 2009

A brand new Apple “touch” patent, approved last week in the USA could spell big problems for Palm who is desperate to bring their new Palm Pre smart phone to market by mid 2009.


The patented for “Touch screen devices” is a graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics,” including features that sound a lot like those included in the Palm Pre.


Earlier this month Acting Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple “Will not stand for having our IP ripped off.”


The problem for Palm is that their new Palm Pre looks and operates a lot like the Apple iPhone and as a result of Cook’s comments and the granting of yet another “Touch” patent Palm shares have started to wobble as investor show concern that Apple are set to take legal action.


One analyst said “The worst case scenario for Palm is that get within days of launching the Palm Pre and Apple suddenly takes legal action to stop them rolling out the phone to carriers especially Sprint who are desperate for a boost in sales which the Pre could bring if it’s design is not challenged”.


Apple has several touch screen patents and the new one appears to involve the handset trying to guess what someone means when they tap or gesture by comparing it to similar actions in a database.

 
Apple is also waiting on approval for several other patents in the USA including one patent which is described as covering “the idea of having multiple gestures triggering the same action – so a swipe to the right might show the next album cover, but tapping on the perspective-viewed cover would also work.

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