Apple’s latest legal beagle, Bruce Sewell, will likely be taking a close look at HTC’s new Windows Mobile-powered device, wondering if it crashes any patents Apple may hold on elements of Multi-Touch technology.
This short video of HTC Leo demonstrates some of the capabilities of this as-yet-unannounced Windows phone, including its large display’s support for Multi-Touch. The newly released ZuneHD also takes advantage of this technology.
Granted, Apple’s currently in dispute with Elan Microelectronics on two Multi-Touch related patents, which the Taiwanese firm employs in some Eee PCs (video below).
However, when the iPhone was originally announced, Apple CEO, Steve Jobs promised the company would aggressively protect its patents on technology used in the device.
These statements were echoed by COO, Tim Cook, earlier this year, when he said, “We approach this business as a software platform business. And so I think we approach it fundamentally different than people that are approaching it only from a hardware point of view. And, so, as I’ve said before, we’re very, very confident with where we are competitively. We are watching the landscape. We like competition, as long as they don’t rip off our IP. And if they do, were going to go after anybody that does.”
While questions remain as to the extent to which Apple can make claims against competitors introducing gesture-based Multi-Touch controls, it is pretty certain that Sewell has the required experience to make such cases, should the company choose to engage.
Apple’s new legal chief was formerly part of the team which represented the company in the infamous Apple versus Windows Mac OS UI case. Given the impact of that – Microsoft proceeded to take over the PC industry – is Apple likely to cede the user interface again?
We watch with interest.
Elan sample video: