Apple Patentmania: 31 Years of Big Ideas

A visual history of Apple patent filings: the brilliant, the bizarre, the just plain bad.

By  |  Monday, December 15, 2008 at 1:19 am

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applepatents-multitouch

Multipoint Touch Surface Controller

Filed May 2nd, 2006

Eight months before Steve Jobs first touted the wonder of the iPhone’s multitouch interface, Apple filed a multitouch patent. The drawing doesn’t seem to show a phone–or at least not anything that looked like a phone at the time–and the patent doesn’t mention phones, either. But the above example shows one fancy multitouch manuever–it appears to involve two fingers and two thumbs.

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