Apple was finally awarded a patent on their much-loved and mimicked iPhone after waiting over three-long years, to the demise of many of their big name rival companies including Samsung.
The far-reaching patent could cause some major setbacks for other smart phone manufacturers, patent and intellectual property experts are speculating.
Submitted in December of 2007, the Apple patent covered a “portable multifunction device, method, and graphical user interface for translating displayed content.”
An anonymous source told PCMag that the patent seemed broad enough in scope to cover virtually any mobile device with an interface that incorporated the finger movements used to operate Apple’s touchscreen devices, which was likely to produce a whole new slew of lawsuits.
Though infringement would only occur if every single characteristic of the patent claims were fulfilled, 20 in total, the new patent would still be considered highly problematic among competitors.
Adding to the list of grievances, rival company Samsung was recently denied a motion to see a sample of the final version of the next generation iPhone and iPad.
Samsung and Apple have been battling in court since April, when Apple sued the Korean electronics company for allegedly copying the iPad, iPod and iPhone with its Galaxy Tab and Galaxy handsets. Ten charges of patent infringement are being weighed.
Apple stated in their complaint that the copying was so pervasive that Samsung Galaxy products actually looked like Apple products because of the same rectangular shape with rounded corners, silver edging, a flat surface face, and etc.
They then filed a motion asking that Samsung show several of its newest smartphones and tablets as part of the discovery phase of the lawsuit.
U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh granted the motion because Samsung had already released images and samples of their forthcoming products to the media and members of the public.
The results of discovery were limited to outside counsel only however, and not in-house counsel or Apple as well.
When Samsung asked Apple to do the same, only with their next generation iPhone and iPad, Apple accused the company of attempting to harass them into disclosing trade secrets.
Koh denied Samsung’s motion, stating that Apple confined their infringement claims to their current iPhone and iPad, not future models.
She also noted that Apple maintained a strict policy of not commenting on future products, while Samsung did not.
Though Samsung could not see a preview of the new Apple products, Koh stated that because of confusion analysis they could later argue that Apple’s future devices should be compared side-by-side with their own new products, and not compared with the old, soon to be outdated models.
Apple’s next iPhone is purportedly set for release sometime in September.