∞ Apple awarded patent for mutiltouch interface

Apple has been awarded a new patent that could spell trouble for almost all of its smartphone competitors.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]The patent awarded to Apple gives it control over the popular multitouch display that’s become popular on smartphones over the last several years. While Apple popularized the concept of using gestures and touching the screen to interact with the phone, many companies have copied the interface since the introduction of the iPhone, according to PCMag.com.

The abstract of the patent awarded to Apple says it covers a “computer-implemented method, for use in conjunction with a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display, [that] comprises displaying a portion of page content, including a frame displaying a portion of frame content and also including other content of the page, on the touch screen display.”

“This patent covers a kind of functionality without which it will be hard to build a competitive smartphone,” said Florian Mueller from Foss Patents.

An unnamed source speaking with PCMag says the patent could be problematic for companies like HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Research in Motion and Nokia, among others that make phones that Apple could target.

“This patent covers smartphones that allow a user to manipulate the display of a Web page with finger gestures using different fingers and/or combinations of fingers, so it appears broad enough to cover all modern touchscreen smartphones because they all allow you to use one finger to move the Web page left or right, and a combination of two fingers to zoom in and zoom out of the Web page,” the source said.