Jul 17th, 2012

Apple’s latest patent should give Google and its stable of Android device manufacturers reason to worry. Granted just today, the latest addition to the Cupertino-based tech giant’s stable of intellectual property could be the mother of all smartphone software patents, granting Apple rights to many aspects of touch-based user interfaces, including the display of documents, a camera roll, messaging, and email on mobile devices. The initial filings date back to as early as 2007.

The bad news for Android and its hardware partners is that this patent will likely become a stable of future patent infringement claims coming from Apple’s court. The effects could be swift and lethal, depending on how descriptions of user interface elements are leveraged. Apple continues to stand by their rights to legally protect and defend the innovations that have arisen alongside their flagship mobile devices, but the granting of such a broad patent could have the negative effect of stifling competition in the marketplace and limiting software advancements.

And the patent could reach its icy fingers into other realms, potentially creating a legal basis to go after the makers of apps and also opening up attacks on other smartphone platforms. We’ll see how quickly Apple acts on these latest rights, but when they do expect the legal battle to be more grueling than ever.

[via Wired | Thanks, Andrey!]

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