Neonode: We Own Swipe Gesture Patent

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Underscoring how confusing the patent system can be, touch screen maker Neonode claims it was awarded a touch and swipe gesture patent that sounds strikingly similar to Apple’s own swipe patent for the iPhone and iPad.

Neonode says it owns swipe gesture patentsNeonode’s patent (8,095,879) application was filed in 2002 and granted this year. According to the company, the patent describes touch-based “sweep gesture user interfaces,” and dovetails with another patent it owns (7,880,732).

Patent 8,095,879, titled “User interface for mobile handheld computer unit,” shows a filing date of December 10, 2002 and an issue date of January 10, 2012. Neonode’s earlier patent, number 7,880,732, describes a touch screen system for mobile phones.

The company claims it is already licensing its touch-based patents to the likes of Sony, Barnes & Noble, and L&I. Neonode says its ” patented touch solution zForce is developed for touch enabled smart phones and tablets, toys and games devices, health appliances, printers and office equipment, e-readers and automotive applications.”

According to TechCrunch, Neonode is now looking for what its calls “friendly licensing deals,” and it plans to start with Apple. Since Apple already has its own swipe-based gesture patent — and has used that patent court — it doesn’t seem likely that the iPhone and iPad maker will welcome Neonode with open arms.

Apple has not commented on Neonode’s patents.

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Comments

geoduck

This is going to get ugly

Garion

OMG! If Neonode can trump Apple’s patent in court over this VERY key technology it could spell BIG headache for Apple.

Apple? You better BUY Neonode. Now!

zewazir

Apple has been awarded a patent. So, either the patent office screwed up, or the technology is different enough to warrant two patents.

Question: (For anyone who knows about patent law, ‘cause I sure don’t)  WHY WHY WHY would it take 10 years to award a patent? Seems fishy to me.

geoduck

So, either the patent office screwed up

Yeah but that never happens

Sam

This is an old dirty trick companies sometimes pull.  The original patent application looks nothing like the final patent.  They filed something 10 years ago to get their foot in the door, then kept revising it as other people actually invented things to try to cover what the other people invented.  The patent gets assigned the original filing date, but the claims include the new inventions that have been added over time.

Fortunately, courts haven’t been too kind to companies that try to pull this sort of thing off lately.

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