Apple Hit with Gesture-Based Patent Lawsuit

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Touchscreen Gestures filed a lawsuit this week against Apple and RIM alleging the companies are infringing on patents it owns related to common touch-based gestures used to navigate interfaces and edit documents.

Touchscreen Gestures targets Apple in touch-based patent lawsuitTouchscreen Gestures targets Apple in touch-based patent lawsuit

The lawsuit targeted gestures iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users are familiar with such as tap and drag, swipe, and double tap. The patents in question include:

  • US  Patent 7190356 “A method of identifying double tap gesture”
  • US Patent 7180506 “A method for identifying a movement of single tap 7180506
  • US Patent 7184031 “A method identifying a drag gesture”
  • US Patent 7,319,457 “Method of Scrolling Window Screen by Means of Controlling Electronic Device”

The patents were originally issued to Taiwan-based Sentelic. The company’s trackpads have found their way into some PC laptops. Exactly how Touchscreen Gestures is related to Sentelic isn’t clear yet.

Touchscreen Gestures happens to be a Texas-based company, and it filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division — a court that’s commonly used by patent trolls. Since Touchscreen Gestures doesn’t seem to manufacture any products, the company most likely purchased the patents from Sentelic and is using the intellectual property to target companies such as Apple and RIM with lawsuits.

Apple hasn’t commented on the Touchscreen Gestures lawsuit.

[Thanks to paidContent for the heads up.]

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Two interesting bits of information from an Electronista article

First HTC is also included.
Second the patents were awarded in 2007 and 2008, way after these gestures had been in use on the iPhone and other devices.

Lee Dronick

Apple Hit with Gesture-based Patent Lawsuit

How do you gesture a lawsuit? smile


I have the right gesture for this lawsuit.

If the patents were granted after the original iPhone came out, it sounds like their case is shaky, at best. Also, this could be a very good example of overlapping patents, which seems to be a big problem.


How do you gesture a lawsuit?

With your middle finger. smile

Lee Dronick

D’monder, that would be the gesture used by the defence smile


that would be the gesture used by the defense

Which would put a new spin on the idea of making a motion before the court


Aren’t you all a bunch of jesters!

The date that a patent was granted might not be the relevant date (as it takes a long time to obtain the patent).

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