International web standards organization W3C last year created the Web Events Working Group to create a standard for the way touchscreen enabled devices interact with web content. The standard is known as the W3C Touch Events Specification. Now, according to Opera browser developer Haavard, Apple is delaying the process by using “invalid or irrelevant patents” to buy time, something the company has apparently done in the past.

As part of normal procedures, the W3C requested companies submit patents that may be relevant to the new mobile standard for the third time this year. While this report has to be handled with a steady dose of skepticism, Haavard claims Apple has purposely submitted four irrelevant patents to delay the process.

Apple apparently waited until the last minute -approximately a month before the Dec. 26 deadline- to submit their patents to ensure the biggest delay possible. The organization must investigate every submitted patent to determine its relevancy to the new standard. Apple also skipped the Touch Events working group that would have required them to submit the patents earlier.

Haavard claims this is a typical process for Apple, as they supposedly took similar action in 2009 and 2010. Both times resulted in major delays to the proceedings related to widget updates standards. Two of the patents in those cases were found to be non-essential, and a third “both nonessential and invalid,” according to AfterDawn.

It’s unclear Apple’s motive, but the result will likely be a delay of a few months to determine how the patents Apple submitted relate to the yet finalized W3C Touch Events Specification.

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