애플이 그토록 기다리던 멀티터치 발명이 드디어 특허등록되었다.

US특허 제 8,125,463호(2012. 2. 18)

Inventors: Hotelling; Steven Porter (San Jose, CA), Strickon; Joshua (New York, NY), Huppi; Brian Q. (San Francisco, CA)
Assignee: Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)
Appl. No.: 12/267,540
Filed: November 7, 2008

This application is a division of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/840,862, filed May 6, 2004 now U.S. Pat. No. 7,663,607, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. 

이 특허의 심사에 인용된 자료 목록만 해도 공보 6페이지를 차지하고도 남는다. 그것도 매 페이지마다 두 줄로 꽉채워서.. 

클레임을 보자
제1항은 너무도 간단하다.
이런 간결한 청구범위가 정말 무서운 권리가 되는 법.

1. A digital signal processing method, comprising :
receiving raw data, the raw data including values for each transparent capacitive sensing node of a touch screen ;
filtering the raw data ;
generating gradient data ;
calculating the boundaries for touch regions base on the gradient data; and
calculating the coordinates for each touch region.

다음 단계들을 포함한 디지털데이터 처리방법 :
- 미가공 데이터를 수령하는 단계 : 미가공 데이터는 터치스크린의 각 투명 용량성 감지 노드에 대한 값을 포함.
- 미가공 데이터를 필터링하는 단계
- 기울기(gradient) 데이터를 생성하는 단계
- 기울기 데이터에 기초한 터치 영역의 경계들을 산출하는 단계
- 각 터치 영역들의 좌표를 산출하는 단계

=> 현재의 모든 멀티터치 모바일 기기들이 거의 이 특허의 영향을 받을텐데..
많은 경쟁사들의 피를 요구하는 특허?

애플의 다른 멀티터치 특허 :
Portable multifunction device, method, and graphical user interface for translating displayed content _7,966,578

Posted by 허성원 변리사
[플로리안 뮐러의 블로그로부터..]

2012. 1. 13. ITC는 모토로라가 애플의 세 특허를 침해하지 않았다고 예비판결하였다.
2010년 10월에 애플이 제소한 이 사건은 이제 애플이 재심을 신청하면 3월14일에 최종 판결이 있게 될 것이다.

애플이 모토로라에 3건의 특허를 건 것은 다른 경쟁사들에 취한 것에 비해 매우 우호적인 것이었다.
노키아에는 9건, HTC에는 1차에 10건, 2차에 5건을 걸었고, 삼성에 대해서는 디자인 2건을 총 7건으로 제소하였었다.

애플이 내세운 3건의 특허는 다음과 같다.
U.S. Patent No. 5,379,430 "object-oriented system locator system" 
U.S. Patent No. 7,812,828 "ellipse fitting for multi-touch surfaces".
U.S. Patent No. 7,663,607 "multipoint touchscreen".

앞의 두 특허는 세 번째 건에 비해 중요도가 다소 떨어진다. 두 번째의 '828 특허는 삼성을 공격하는 데 이용되고 있지만 애플의 특허전략에 핵심적인 것은 아니다.

'607 특허는 애플이 보유한 터치스크린 관련 하드웨어 특허 중 가장 권리범위가 넓은 특허로서, 여러 국가에서 애플이 가장 대표적으로 내세우고 있는 만큼 제대로 권리행사가 인정되기를 갈망하는 특허이다.
이번 판결이 비록 예비적인 것이기는 하지만 애플은 이 판결로 인해 삼성과의 소송에서도 큰 타격을 받을 수밖에 없다.
물론 삼성에게는 매우 바라고 있던 희소식임에 틀림이 없다.

Posted by 허성원 변리사


아래 자료의 출처 :


Apple Adds another Core iPhone Multitouch Patent to their Arsenal

1 - Apple, core multitouch patent 2011
On December twentieth, The Washington Post reported that "Apple Inc. won a patent-infringement ruling that bans some HTC Corp. smartphones from the U.S. starting next year, bolstering efforts to prove that devices running Google Inc.'s Android operating system copy the iPhone." And today, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published yet another core iPhone multitouch victory for Apple that will bolster their legal arsenal. This particular multitouch related patent focuses on the oscillator signal and circuit, which are central to sensing a touch event on a touch display. And Finally, we add a Classic Photo collage of Steve Jobs introducing the revolutionary iPhone at Macworld in January 2007. These are images that are seared into most of our memories of Steve.

Apple Wins another Key Multitouch Patent

Apple has received another original Multitouch patent from the USPTO. This is the type of patent that could help Apple in legal battles with copycat designers. It's one of the 200 patents that Steve Jobs pointed to when launching the iPhone.

2 - Steve Jobs in 2007 touting 200 + inventions in iPhone patents

During this historic event, Steve Jobs stated that "We've been pushing the state of the art in every facet of this design. We've got the multi-touch screen, miniaturization, OS X in a mobile device, precision enclosures, three advanced sensors, desktop class applications, and the widescreen video iPod. We filed over 200 patents for all the inventions in Phone and intend to protect them."

It was a clear warning to copycat designers back in 2007. So the almost daily whining that we hear in the blogosphere by the copycatters and their fans about Apple abusing the patent system is a farce of the highest order. The fact is that prior to the 2007 iPhone, smartphones were a hassle to use, butt ugly, without an innovative operating system and without a workable multitouch display. Of course the copycatters of this world would love nothing better than to have nothing standing in their way of scooping up profits on the backs of others' work. Knock-off products from Asia are a huge market problem today and it appears that this trend continues through to the copying of the iPhone's features. In the big picture, this is what IP is all about: stopping illegal copying of someone else's intellectual property. Apple is only following through as promised. It's also a duty to their shareholders to do so.

The Problem with Single Touch Screen Devices

Apple's patent begins by their pointing out the problems of single-point touch displays of the past and provides us with a classic overview of the situation a time prior to the iPhone as follows:

Touch screens may include a touch panel, which may be a clear panel with a touch-sensitive surface. The touch panel may be positioned in front of a display screen so that the touch-sensitive surface covers the viewable area of the display screen. Touch screens may allow a user to make selections and move a cursor by simply touching the display screen via a finger or stylus. In general, the touch screen may recognize the touch and position of the touch on the display screen, and the computing system may interpret the touch and thereafter perform an action based on the touch event.

One limitation of many conventional touch panel technologies is that they are only capable of reporting a single point or touch event, even when multiple objects come into contact with the sensing surface. That is, they lack the ability to track multiple points of contact at the same time. Thus, even when two points are touched, these conventional devices only identify a single location, which is typically the average between the two contacts (e.g., a conventional touchpad on a notebook computer provides such functionality). This single-point identification is a function of the way these devices provide a value representative of the touch point, which is generally by providing an average resistance or capacitance value.

Moreover, many touch-panel devices use oscillating signals to power and clock electronic elements. Examples of their use include providing clock signals, or providing carrier signals which could later be modified to include information. For example, an oscillating signal could be used to drive a row in a capacitive touch sensor panel. Changes to the sensed signal indicate a touch event at the panel.

There are various known ways to create an oscillating signal. For example, persons of skill in the art would recognize that a simple circuit including an inductor and a capacitor would create such a signal. However, most circuit based oscillators suffer from the fact that they do not provide a signal with a precise and predictable frequency.

Apple's Patent Casts a Wide Net Concerning Multi-Touch Displays

Apple's granted patent corrects the problems laid out in their overview noted above. And while the focus of this particular patent covers all-things related to oscillating signals and circuits, Apple states that they incorporate the content of several other major multitouch patents into this patent. Apple states that "In general, multi-touch panels may be able to detect multiple touches (touch events or contact points) that occur at or about the same time, and identify and track their locations. Examples of multi-touch panels are described in Applicant's co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 10/842,862 entitled "Multipoint Touchscreen," filed on May 6, 2004 and published as U.S. Published Application No. 2006/0097991 on May 11, 2006, the contents of which are incorporated by reference herein.

In view of the above, although this disclosure may describe detecting input in terms of touch-events, it should be understood that the various embodiments disclosed herein may detect near touches or hover-events as well. Accordingly, a touch, a near-touch or a hover may be referred to as an "event" and multiple events that occur at or about the same time may be referred to as a "multi-event."

Apple's multi-touch patent states that the invention could apply to computing devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets or handhelds, including personal digital assistants (PDAs), digital music and/or video players and mobile telephones. The computing system may also correspond to public computer systems such as information kiosks, automated teller machines (ATM), point of sale machines (POS), industrial machines, gaming machines, arcade machines, vending machines, airline e-ticket terminals, restaurant reservation terminals, customer service stations, library terminals, learning devices, and the like.

Apple's patent FIG. 1 shown below illustrates an exemplary computing system using a multi-touch panel input device.

3 - Patent fig 1 Apple Multitouch Patent

Apple's patent FIG. 2a shown below illustrates an exemplary capacitive multi-touch panel; patent FIG. 2b is a side view of an exemplary capacitive touch sensor or pixel in a steady-state (no-touch) condition; and patent FIG. 2c is a side view of the exemplary capacitive touch sensor or pixel in a dynamic (touch) condition.

4 - Patent figs 2a,b,c Apple Multitouch patent

Apple's patent FIG. 5A shown below is a flowchart illustrating operation of calibration logic tuning a local oscillator.

5 - patent fig 5a, multitouch Apple patent 2011

A Few Key Patent Claims

Considering the importance of Apple's Multitouch Patents, we'll list several key patent claims out of a total of forty-seven associated with this patent for the legal professionals amongst us:

Patent Claim 1: A method for tuning a local oscillator of an event-sensitive device, comprising: tuning the local oscillator to a desired frequency using a binary search algorithm; outputting a local oscillator signal from the local oscillator; and applying the local oscillator signal to at least one sensor node of an event-sensitive panel, wherein tuning the local oscillator to the desired frequency comprises: determining a desired clock count corresponding to the desired frequency of the local oscillator; setting a first tune bit value to a first median value within a first range of tune bit values having a first minimum value and a first maximum value; adjusting a first frequency of the local oscillator signal according to the first tune bit value; counting a first an actual clock count corresponding to the first frequency of the local oscillator signal; comparing the first actual clock count with the desired clock count to determine whether the first frequency of the local oscillator signal is greater or less than the desired frequency; setting a second tune bit value to a second median value within a second range of tune bit values having a second minimum value equal to the first minimum value within the first range of tune bit values and a second maximum value equal to the first median value if the first frequency of the local oscillator signal is greater than the desired frequency; setting the second tune bit value to the second median value within the second range of tune bit values having the second minimum value equal to the first median value and the second maximum value equal to the first maximum value within the first range of tune bit values if the first frequency of the local oscillator signal is less than the desired frequency; adjusting a second frequency of the local oscillator signal according to the second tune bit value; counting a second actual clock count corresponding to the second frequency of the local oscillator signal; selecting the first or second frequency of the local oscillator signal that is closest to the desired frequency by selecting the first or second actual clock count that is closest to the desired clock count; and applying the selected first or second frequency of the local oscillator signal to the input of at least one sensor node of the event-sensitive device.

Apple Adds another Core iPhone Multitouch Patent to their Arsenal


Posted by 허성원 변리사
아래 동영상은 윈도우8 태블릿에 적용될 환상적인 '터치+펜' 인터페이스이다.

두개의 손가락과 하나의 스타일러스 펜을 이용한 그래픽 작업은 현란하기 이를 데 없다.
이 기능을 확인하고 싶어 내년 출시될 윈도우8이 기다려진다.
먼저 동영상을 감상해보자.


이 기술은 특허출원 중이며, 지난 11. 07.28에 공개되었다.

Techniques involving gestures and other functionality are described. In one or more implementations, the techniques describe gestures that are usable to provide inputs to a computing device. A variety of different gestures are contemplated, including bimodal gestures (e.g., using more than one type of input) and single modal gestures. Additionally, the gesture techniques may be configured to leverage these different input types to increase the amount of gestures that are made available to initiate operations of a computing device.

1. A method comprising: recognizing a first input as selecting an object displayed by a display device; recognizing a second input as a line drawn outside the bounds of the object, the line recognized as being drawn while the object is selected; and identifying a brush gesture from the recognized first and second inputs, the brush gesture effective to cause a display of the line being drawn as a copy of a corresponding line of the object.

디스플레이장치에 표시된 오브젝트를 선택한 제1입력을 인식,
오브젝트가 선택된 상태에서 오브젝트의 경계 바깥으로 끌어당겨지는 라인으로서 제2입력을 인식,
인식된 제1입력과 제2입력으로부터 브러시 제스쳐를 확인.
브러시 제스쳐는 라인의 표시를 오브젝트의 대응 라인의 복사로서 발생되게 함.


클레임 기재만으로는 이 기술의 전체적 활용도를 잘 이해하기 어렵다.
동영상을 참조하기 바란다.

특허출원서의 도면들만 참고하여도 이 발명의 실시예들을 상당 부분 이해할 수 있을 것으로 생각된다.













아래의 특허는 마이크로소프트의 또 다른 멀티 입력 포인트 제스처의 인식에 관한 특허.

7,907,125 Recognizing multiple input point gestures





The present invention extends to methods, systems, and computer program products for recognizing multiple input point gestures. A recognition module receives an ordered set of points indicating that contacts have been detected in a specified order at multiple different locations on a multi-touch input surface. The recognition module determines the position of subsequently detected locations (e.g., third detected location) relative to (e.g., to the left of right of) line segments connecting previously detected locations (e.g., connecting first and second detected locations). The gesture module also detects whether line segments connecting subsequently detected locations (e.g., connecting third and fourth detected locations) intersect line segments connecting previously detected locations (e.g., connecting first and second detected locations). The gesture module recognizes an input gesture based on the relative positions and whether or not line segments intersect. The gesture module then identifies a corresponding input operation to be performed.

참고자료 :

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