In the ongoing patent battle between Apple and Samsung, Samsung may have just brought out a weapon which could take care of quite a bit of the patent related charges against them. While Apple’s complaints about trade dress concerning the company’s packaging and TouchWiz software do remain partially valid, anything based on a multitouch, pinch-to-zoom, or other two finger gesture patent may now come into question.
This is thanks to a key witness from Mitsubishi named Adam Bogue, who worked on the company’s Diamond Touch product. According to Bogue, the Diamond Touch team showed Apple a demonstration of their technology back in 2003 which included functions like a bounce effect at the end of a page, and expanding or shrinking an image by dragging two corners, a gesture that is quite similar to pinch-to-zoom. Diamond Touch was designed mostly with multiple user inputs in mind, but as you can see in the video demonstration above, the technology could easily apply to quite a few multitouch gestures.
While it won’t get them out of all the lawsuits, this could serve to take down some of Apple’s more notable patents on some multitouch gestures. I will admit that based on some of Apple’s demonstrations Samsung does appear to have copied Apple’s packaging and even OS design with TouchWiz in at least a subtle way, but that should be dealt with separately from the multitouch patent cases. As far as I can tell from the evidence I’ve seen, no single entity came up with all the ideas behind multitouch technology, and as such no one should be granted patents or sued based on the fundamental technology.[CNN via Droid-Life]