Yes, you are right that I was referring to Apple's Multi Touch patent: U.S. Patent No. 7,663,607 described as a "multipoint touchscreen" which lies at the heart of touch screen technology. Both Palm and Motorola have tried unsuccessfully to claim it was invalid, (other patents, prior art etc.) However, the Federal Court Of Appeal ruled in favour of Apple and found the patent valid. This is what one of the appeal judges commented:
""The Smartphone has defined modern life. Be it in the workplace, the home, airports, or entertainment venues across America, individuals are tethered to their handheld devices. Not long ago, users primarily spoke into these devices. Today, fingers tapping, grazing, pinching, or scrolling the screen is a ubiquitous image that reflects how we conduct business, work, play, and live. The asserted patent in this case is an invention that has propelled not just technology, but also dramatically altered how humans across the globe interact and communicate. It marks true innovation."
Furthermore the USPTO has fallen in line with the Appeal Court's ruling and has rejected all the anonymous objections (presumably by Samsung and/or Motorola/Google) regarding Apple's 20 claims relating to another patent, No. 7,479,949, which is another critical Apple Multi Touch with wide scope, otherwise known as Steve Jobs "Heuristics" Patent "touchscreen device, method and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics……...On September 4, the USPTO issued a certificate which states: "No amendments have been made to the patent. As a result of the re-examination, it has been determined that: The patentability of claims 1-20 is confirmed."
Samsung have been found guilty by the ITC of infringing on the "949" patent. Apple are requesting a ban on all Samsung devices which infringe this patent and this request will later be extended to all other infringing Samsung and Droid devices
This is very, very significant and it is difficult to see how any of Apple's rivals will be able to create a workaround to these two crucial Multi Touch patent.