Apple v. Samsung: one patent puts industry in a pinch

How common are the technologies Apple says are protected by their mobile patents? So common, the court victory over patent claims will likely put a pinch on the industry and consumers.

Here’s our story today on one patent — pinch to zoom technology:


An Apple iPhone 4s and Samsung Galaxy S are seen in this illustration photo in Berlin August 27, 2012. (Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters)

By Craig Timberg and Hayley Tsukayama

If the swipe is the essential gesture of the smartphone revolution, the pinch is a close second. Many of the coolest things that can be done on today’s mobile devices — from finding an out-of-the-way bar to determining whether a thunderstorm is going to ruin your party — are made easier by placing fingers on the screen and sliding them.

Friday’s $1 billion court ruling for Apple, which upheld patents for what manufacturers call “pinch to zoom,” among other popular features, has clouded the future of the gesture for anyone inclined to buy mobile devices from other companies. Apple made clear its determination to press its advantage Monday, announcing plans to seek preliminary injunctions on eight phones made by Samsung, the loser in the case.

Read here for full story.

Related:

Jury awards Apple $1.05 billion over patent claims

Judge at center of Apple v. Samsung

Cecilia Kang is a senior technology correspondent for The Washington Post.

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