Originally Posted by JONOROM
OK, you are right. My apologies. Live and learn. My ignorance is now less. Thanks everyone for all your posts about this.
However (sorry to go on), it does appear that Apple has some relevant IP. They did patent something to do with multitouch in '07, as Steve said in his keynote ("and boy did we patent it!"), and are having some success in the courts in Oz, and now in USA.
Indeed, they appear to have a dozen or more USA patents applied for, some of which have been granted, related to multitouch. Presumably they have similar portfolios in other international jurisdictions which permit software patents.
None of the so-far granted patents cover the principle of multi-touch in general. Rather, they deal with specific use-cases of ways in which objects in a graphical user interface react to various touch stimuli.
For example, one of the patents that Apple has had success with in the Netherlands, apparently has to do with using a swiping gesture over a photograph in an album to move on to the next or previous photo. The patent doesn't cover swiping gestures in general -- it only covers one specific
way in which a photo album specifically
would react to a swiping gesture -- by switching photos.
Samsung already plans to circumvent that patent, on its way to getting around the Netherlands injunction, by releasing a software update that presumably uses a different mechanism to switch between photos.