TheMadScientist - 7:57 am on Mar 3, 2010 (gmt 0)
As a matter of fact, the wiki claims the technology has been around since 1982.
IMO Wikipedia is allowing the term multi-touch to be thrown around very loosely by allowing too many things with a touch screen to be referred to as the Apple TradeMark 'Multi-Touch' [apple.com...] Touch screen technology has been around longer, but IMO not the way Apple did it with the iPhone or their TradeMark Multi-Touch Technology. (See Below)
Besides, didn't MS Surface use multi-touch before the iPhone ever shipped?
According to the same Wikipedia, with sources cited for these:
The Microsoft Surface was initially released Apr. 17, 2008.
The iPhone was released June 29, 2007.
It seems it was actually the other way around.
The actual title of the touch screen Patent is:
"Touch Screen Device, Method, And Graphical User Interface For Determining Commands By Applying Heuristics"
Here's a portion of Claim 1 from the link above:
wherein the one or more heuristics comprise:
a vertical screen scrolling heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command rather than a two-dimensional screen translation command based on an angle of initial movement of a finger contact with respect to the touch screen display;
a two-dimensional screen translation heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to the two-dimensional screen translation command rather than the one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command based on the angle of initial movement of the finger contact with respect to the touch screen display; and
IMO It's not simply a basic touch screen they're talking about.
What I don't understand about the 'it makes further development impossible' argument is if someone else can do more or different or in another way, then IMO they don't have to infringe on Apple's Patent, but if they can't then Apple already developed it, so why should others be able to copy?
IMO The 'it ruins development' argument is like saying since Xerox holds so many copy related patents there is no way another copy machine could ever be developed and the copy machine will not ever be developed or advanced, but somehow Cannon, Minolta, Mita, and others seem to make copy machines... They just had to do things a different way.