The initial idea behind the patent made sense: by filing them, inventors could prevent others from stealing and profiting from their ideas. But nowadays, it seems like companies use them more or less as legal weapons.

Well, Apple just added a nuclear missile to its arsenal. The US Patent and Trademark Office published a series of 25 newly granted Apple patents yesterday. And one of them virtually covers the entire smartphone…

PatentlyApple reports:

“Apple’s iPhone truly reinvented the smartphone and Apple’s granted patent reflects the broad range of graphical user interface innovations that they brought to market. Apple’s patent covers UI modules covering blogging, email, telephone, camera, video player, calendar, browser, widgets, search, notes, maps and more importantly, a multi-touch interface,”

The patent, known as the ‘134 patent (8,223,134), was originally filed in the first quarter of 2007, and credits Apple’s Senior VP of iOS Software Scott Forstall, among others, as an inventor.

Now that Apple has been granted this patent, we fully expect to see it come up in the company’s slew of US-based patent wars. And given its scope, it seems like it could be extremely effective.

  • Oh boy.. Let the races begin!

  • Next they’ll patent Litigation so no one can sue them.


    Maybe Apple and others can use this opportunity, to stop fighting each other and focusing on developing their own products/solutions… (I really believe Android and Android phones/tablets are way too much inspired from Apple’s own… That needs to be changed. The market does not need 10s of similar products. Nexus7 looks like a good start, companies must find vacancies and create new product-lines, as Apple did with iPad. More R&D would mean better products and better technology, for us, customers.)

    • Mysteroy3k

      Now that’s REAL competition and innovation

  • Jonathan James

    I get it, apple doesn’t want people copying there stuff… but there is a fine line of copying and regular competition. Its like trademarking an entire TV so no other company can make TVs…

    • Mysteroy3k

      That sounds stupid , they didn’t patent phones so other pol won’t make phones , they patent their idea of what a phone should be, and when they filed it, no other phone was like it….so ¿

      • Emre SÜMENGEN


        If Apple had been given a patent as @google-500f1b72dade66843b90b0fd6fc1fe21:disqus describes, Android would still be a Blackberry imposter… (Remember the pre-production units… All were qwerty devices, with none -as far as I remember- with a touchscreen.)

        It’s normal for companies to try jumping in a vagon of trending technologies. But it’s NOT acceptable, if they don’t do it their way…

        I mean, aside from the fact of the current patent cases, let’s turn our heads towards notebooks… Asus had been doing notebooks for a long long time… Do anyone believe they did come up with the idea of current Zenbooks themselves, or just said “Wow, Apple’s MBA is selling great, it’s a new product that has opened a new product line… Let’s do something similar to that.. Actually, let’s do the same!”

        I believe it’s the latter. Thus, I have no respect for them 🙁

  • this is silly.. patent laws will change because of apple..

    • Because of Apple …or because of Patent Trolls?

      Go back to the original iPhone keynote, and listen back to when Steve said that they had “patented the hell out of the iPhone” and damn near they should. Any smart phone released after 2007 has copied SOMETHING the iPhone has done.

  • This is why i bought a droid….

    • Mysteroy3k

      Don’t feel bad , a lot of ppl do stupid things when they are mad

    • Why? Because of a patent dispute, that which you have never of heard of

      • The way I see it is , Apple invented the smart phone and every one copied .

      • That’s how innovation usually works … you copy something, add upon it and call it a new invention. Just like apple did with this patent … individual parts have been invented and used before, but not in the way it is described.

        There were phones, and smart ones too, that had touch screens (and only touch screens) before the iPhone. Phones that could run apps … but they weren’t as pretty and needed a stylus or sharp fingernails …

      • Absolutely agree.

        I remember using a Windows device which was a “smart” device, even had it’s own start menu…but you had to use a stylus — I don’t really care if you’re pro-iOS or pro-‘droid, you have to admit the race started when the iPhone was born.

      • Will Walker

        My first smart phone was the HTC 8525, and it ran Windows mobile 5. But I agree with your post, smart phones changed after the release of the iPhone in 2007.

      • Hyr3m

        Palm invented the “smart phone”, not apple. With all the pocket computers at the beginning of the 2000s, EVERYBODY was thinking about combining those with the cell phone. No need to be a genius or a huge unethical corporation… Palm actually did it with their Palm Treo. The Nokia Communicator could fit in the description as well.
        Next up : Apple patents “red lipsticks”, “round pancakes”, “unfolding umbrellas” and “chalk writing and drawing on black or green boards as well as pavement”

      • Emre SÜMENGEN

        Can you elaborate on how many people had those devices? (although by description, you’re right).

        Apple must have done something right, (and followed by Google) so that almost everyone has one…

        And, I had the Treo, I had HP iPaqs (a few different models, with or without phone functions), I had (a lot) Nokia’s (goes back to 9110 towards the E series)… None had the function and ease of use that today’s iPhones and Androids have… They even lacked a lot, back in 2007 (as visible with Apple selling lots of smartphones that didn’t even do copy-paste).

        Being sarcastic is something… Being unreasonable is another.

      • Hyr3m

        Apple has obviously done something right, you’re absolutely correct. Google didn’t do it quite as right (at least on the smartphone level), they “just” benefited from the Apple’s mistakes and from the hype created by these new types of devices.
        What Apple did right in word : Marketing
        The biggest mistake they did : Overpricing (although it’s part of the success since people still don’t get that “way more expensive” doesn’t mean “better”, it did limit their sales to the “very wealthy” and “fairly wealthy” people markets, All others end up buying cheap android devices or lately second-hand iPhone 3GS)

        Of course the Treo was kind of a niche thing and only people into these pocket computers (palm then compaq/hp and misc) would even know about them or think about needing them.

        If you think about it, the Treo (and other Ipaqs) had way more functions than the original iphone when it was first released. I remember doing PC remote access on a network connection shared through bluetooth from an Ipaq.

        You recognize the fact that the iPhone originally did very good despite its lack of third-party apps and of advanced or specialized software. I hope you realize what this means… What guaranteed their the iPhone’s success is not the quality or the possibilities (or the multitouch although it did play a part in the last thing ->) but the marketing behind it.

        Because, let’s face it, Apple is really really good in only one domain : marketing
        Everything else about them is average… except the size of their wallet 🙂

        I was indeed being sarcastic about how unreasonable Apple is. These patenting issues and ensuing lawsuits are ridiculous and kinda show us how fucked up and corrupt the western civilization really is.

      • Emre SÜMENGEN

        I agree with you on all besides “just one thing”: “Apple is really really good in only one domain : marketing”

        The way I see it, they are both as good in marketing AND design… I have not yet been in such “love” with any device other than Apple’s gadgets, be it phones or laptops or desktop computers… And, I can easily say I have a lot…

        That’s of course just me, and other opinions may wary. But, for me, the effort they take to perfect the tiny details (design-wise) is immense, and desires respect.

        And, as a last thing, I believe that culture comes down through Apple’s late CEO, Steve Jobs. Wherever he has worked, you see perfection in products… I can clearly see that in Next and Pixar… (Honestly hope that current execs can keep up with that vision.)

      • Hyr3m

        Well… I must admit their designs are sleek… but there’s a couple of stuff I don’t agree with or that I find quite dull that makes me say that they’re not “really really good” at it. They’re good, yeah but “really really good”, no.
        To keep it short :
        – Glass sucks, it breaks, it reflects light and scratches easily; you have to either stick something to it, buy an expensive and bulky case or whatnot and you still can’t see shit under a bright sun. Just like glare screens on laptops : that’s just a plain stupid gimmick to make it look good when you buy it and regret that choice for the rest of your life
        – One button : I agree that for the elderly and the computer illiterate it might be good but it ends up putting more navigation buttons on the screen and that’s just a waste of space (and it contradicts the first statement: it looks simple but it’s messy). Just like the 1 button mouse for their computers : that’s just plain stupid.
        – (on a personal note) Emptiness : nothing but a sheet of finely brushed metal, a panel of glass and a couple holes… modern art… sorry but my Aphex Twin-loving mind just finds this dull… a bit like an old random can of beans with a white label saying “beans”.

        With all the respect due to this great guy, I don’t believe that this finely and psychologically tuned marketing strategy is the creation of Steve Jobs alone. He certainly put his mark on it and gave it a spirit but the idea of giving it a spirit in the first place was certainly not his.

        Finally, none of Apple’s products are anywhere near perfection. In fact no concurrent devices are anywhere near it either. The list of imperfections is endless but to just mention one on a conceptual point of view, creating proprietary connectors and standards (where universal and better ones exist) shows a desire for profit rather than perfection. (They’re generally mutually exclusive)

      • Emre SÜMENGEN

        To make things clear;

        – I’m not saying Apple products are perfect… They are, for me, as close as the current range of alternatives goes as possible.

        – Of course, neither the products nor the whole strategy could be created by Steve Jobs. But, I believe it would be safe to bet that he had influenced it highly. And also, it’s a CEO’s job to assemble and manage a great team that can deliver the best. And, I believe Jobs has done that, several times in a short lifespan. (As we might guess, he also didn’t create any of the Pixar’s animated movies, but the resolve and vision to back-up those ideas and filter the right alternatives is the success here.)

        – And, I’m sorry but I can’t agree with the arguments on glass here… Might be because I’m not looking for a military-grade shocking-and-drop-resistant device… If you’re looking for a great looking device, that functions as well (in terms of UI and performance) it’s Apple’s way for me (at least currently). And, it was Steve Jobs himself back in 2007, who described the problem they saw with the then-current line of devices: Dedicated buttons… You can’t change physical buttons with a software update. You can’t adapt them to new needs, you can’t differentiate them through different applications. There lies the reason for a “single button” design. And, a good UI design can overcome the space requirements on any kind of screen. At least that’s how I see things.

        But, I respect the way you, and others in that matter, feel. And, that’s why there are alternatives and different options for us to choose from.

        But, as I said in the beginning, those “alternatives” should not be “replicas”. That would not be the best thing for the customer. If anyone would love the UI or the looks of an iPhone, should get an iPhone. For the ones that don’t like the iPhone, there should be devices, looking just as good (but not alike)…

  • So in other words any phone that works like a iPhone .. User interface.. is going to have to pay royalties.. Well that’s most of the competition screwed

  • How is this not going to cause a HUGE anti-trust lawsuit against them by every single phone maker there is?

  • It’s a bit strange that the patent covers widgets yet apple don’t have them unless your apple device is jailbroken of course

    • Emre SÜMENGEN

      Well, weather and stocks along with the new twitter-facebook “buttons” are also called widgets I believe…

  • Falk M.

    Damn, these patents make me feel a little ashamed for being an Apple fan…

    Apple, just stop it.
    You were WAY cooler as the underdog.
    The one who “showed to IBM” and was a tiny, but strong competitor to Microsoft, always belittled by them, but fighting with a smile (Mac vs PC ads).

    Now patents… this word alone has become such a red stop sign for many, that mentioning it alone almost makes you feel alienated when around Android fans you’re friends with.
    It’s like being put in the role of the bully on the school yard, albeit just wanting to enjoy your device.

    The thermonuclear war is getting so tiresome, I can’t even yawn anymore…

    Back to playing Tiny Wings now >_>

    • David Villamizar

      So they should stop winning more money to be cool again?

      • Falk M.

        Yes, that’s exactly what I mean!!!! /s >_>

      • Emre SÜMENGEN

        And you already know that doesn’t make ANY sense, right? :)))

      • Falk M.


      • Emre SÜMENGEN

        Because being cool has nothing to do with the amount of money you earn…

        It’s (in Apple’s case) about being rare, being the first, being the “different”, being the “innovator”, being the “introducer”…

        Thus, if Apple can keep up, they can both be rich and very cool…

    • MohzeenHansrod
      • Falk M.

        Oh really? So I am a hipster, because I don’t like Apple’s behaviour and the smartphone OS wars?

        Give me a break…

      • MohzeenHansrod

        I actually tried to delete that comment but all that seems to happen is that it got erased…

        I WAS (key word, WAS) referencing to the “You were WAY cooler as the underdog”

      • Falk M.

        Well, I get instant email notifications when people comment me on Disqus with a full quote, so that’s why I knew what was in there. 🙂

        Uhm, I only think that Apple as a mainstream company isn’t as exciting. Nothing hipster about that imho.
        Yes, I know hipsters want everything to be underground and non-mainstream, doesn’t mean that everyone who thinks Apple was tidier and trying harder (successfully) when they still were underdogs is a hipster.

        And even if I’m a hipster for wanting Apple back in the status of underdogginess, so be it. Call me a hipster then. 😛
        Words don’t mean jackshit, I am who I am.

    • Emre SÜMENGEN

      Why would you be ashamed?

      Do you own Apple stocks? Even more, are you in the board of directors for any of those companies???

      Why should it matter for people, about the legal proceedings of the manufacturer of a device they own?

      I’m sick of reading these… And, this is not Apple’s, Samsung’s, Google’s or Motorola’s fault… It’s all the “keen” bloggers and news-people, looking for rating… If you’re going to be mad at someone, throw your rock at them, I’d say.

      (Just my 2c)

    • Emre SÜMENGEN

      And, while you’re right about how Apple looked back 6-7 years or before, it’s their investors’ ideas and feelings they will consider first while taking action on anything (normally)…

      And, it’s definitely better for investors now, to become the 1st and best company, rather than stay the “3rd but best” out there…

      • Falk M.

        I know that, in the end we also profit from it, because the more successful they are, the more stable their business and hence their products are (as opposed to discontinuation)… no wait… actually no…

        XServe, non profitable.
        Mac Pro, cool to bring a non-update-“update” after ages.
        iMac, wow… so many innovative ideas stay untouched…
        the list goes on

        And whilst you’re right about the investors, I say screw the investors, I say that as a customer, because right now, Apple doesn’t need them anymore, they could buy out their stock and be done with it, getting their money where it should come from for a big company: the customers.

      • Emre SÜMENGEN

        Wow… The ideas you call “innovative” can be not so much for anyone else. And, it looks like that in this picture, that “anyone else” is the one who calls the shots (and clearly, calls the shots right, as seen in the never-ending raise trend for popularity of Apple products).

        Just cool down, Apple does not need to do any dream of us… They must (and are) aim for the big crowd, trying at the same time make everyone happy at a minimum acceptable level… And, they are doing it IMO…

        Getting back to the main discussion, patents are not evil. Patent trolls are.

        Patents are good for protecting the researcher and the investor that put money in that research, which turns into a valuable product.

        To end the patent wars, having “no patents” is not the solution… Rather, having/issuing patents that makes sense and does not cause anti-trust issues is the first phase IMO. And, there should be punishment(s), severe enough to cause companies learn not to steal, but instead find themselves a new part of life that can be assisted with their products or technology.

        And, again, I honestly cannot understand why a user may feel ashamed of something like a vendor suing another… It’s not your company. It’s not something you have control over. You’re just a user. If you are happy with your iPhone, fine. If your friends are happy with their Androids or Windows Phones, well, fine as well… We’re the ones that embrace these patent wars as ours, and only we can stop ourselves… Remember, there will always be a good product that you’ll like. And, although I like the things Apple introduced into our lives, I know I’m not dependent on them…

  • Lol, bye bye android 🙂

  • Yoni Pinto

    Widgets? Widgets? Where are proper widgets in iOS???

    • Kok Hean

      NC widgets.

    • Emre SÜMENGEN

      Proper =/= Android widgets

  • Folks, you know that patent is about scrolling bar, right?

  • Wow very good discussion … Very interesting …..

  • when they are the only one allowed to sell smartphones prices will be so high that you rent the phone instead of buying it