applepatendevice 123
It’s not the mythical pinch-to-zoom patent, but the USPTO just granted a fairly broad Apple patent on capacitive multitouch displays. US Patent #7,663,607 describes a “transparent capacitive sensing medium configured to detect multiple touches” by way of two sandwiched layers of conductive lines hooked up to an appropriate circuit, and also covers a specific type of multitouch display with a similar two-layer capacitive sensor made of glass.
Now, there are certainly other types of capacitive sensors out there, so this isn’t a total lockdown, but it’s certainly one more arrow in Apple’s patent quiver, and at the very least it should spur some interesting developments as competitors try to design around it. We’ll see how it shakes down.