Patent 8,223,134 could be one of the most important documents Apple has ever filed. Granted on by the US Patent Department it outlines almost every aspect of the touch-screen smartphone experience as we know it.
This patent could enable Apple to force rivals, such as Samsung and Motorola to stop using the Android operating system in its current form. Even though Apple has been ordered today to take out ads saying Samsung didn't copy the iPad.
Let's take a close look at this patent and what it means for Apple, and the tech industry in general.
Title: Portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents
Abstract: In a computer-implemented method, a portion of an electronic document is displayed on the touch screen display. The displayed portion of the electronic document has a vertical position in the electronic document. An object is detected on or near the displayed portion of the electronic document. In response to detecting the object on or near the displayed portion of the electronic document, a vertical bar is displayed on top of the displayed portion of the electronic document. The vertical bar has a vertical position on top of the displayed portion of the electronic document that corresponds to the vertical position in the electronic document of the displayed portion of the electronic document. After a predetermined condition is met, display of the vertical bar is ceased. The vertical bar is displayed for a predetermined time period when the portion of the electronic document is initially displayed.
Here are some of the more telling images from the patent:
1. Layout of the interface between the applications in memory, controller, processor and peripherals.
2. A device with a touchscreen interface
3. Slide to unlock mechanism
4. Icons and a dock.
5. Message list
6. Scrolling through the list of messages with a keyboard present
7. Typing a message (note options appearing above the keyborard).
9. Autocorrect of text message displaying alternative option above text being typed into the screen.
10. Scrolling up and down through thumbnails of photographs
11. Scrolling left and right to move between displayed photographs
12. Another big one. Apple has the patent on pinch to zoom
We'll leave you with this video of Steve Jobs introducing the original iPhone. Looks like Apple wasn't kidding after all.