Apple has won another patent to add to their massive collection of broad general patents that should never be issued in the first place. Of course this patent takes direct aim at Android considering what this new one covers in terms of smartphone functionality.
This new patent Apple has scored essentially covers just about every scenario of using an sort of application while also making a call. This sort of multi-tasking functionality has been inside Android since it’s beginning, something which Apple had only recently added yet here we are with Apple being granted a patent for it. Here is the patent in question:
Patent number #8,082,523:
1. During a call on a mobile device with a touch screen, with the phone user interface showing, the users touches either a menu button or an icon.
2. The device replaces the phone interface with a menu of application icons, including the phone icon.
3. A user’s finger gesture chooses another app.
4. The app’s interface comes up, all the while not dropping the call. The interface includes a “switch application icon” only when a phone call is occurring.
5. The user performs a finger gesture on the switch application icon, taking the user back to the phone interface.
This sort of service should never have been granted a patent in the first place but if someone is to have a patent for it, it surely shouldn’t be Apple who only added this sort of multi-tasking feature to iOS recently while Android has had it since day 1 basically. This just goes to show how flawed the patent system is here in the US.
So what does this mean for Android? It means manufacturers will have to come up with another means to pull this sort of function off on Android devices without infringing on this new patent. While they work on that though you can be sure Apple will be going after them in the meantime.
This comes on the heels of another victory for Apple against HTC in a patent infringement lawsuit which could see HTC Android devices banned from the US next year unless HTC can develop a workaround against that particular patent as well.
Website Referenced: Android And Me