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Turns Out Apple May Not Exactly Own “Pinch to Zoom”

Pinch to Zoom Patented

With all the craziness in the Apple vs Samsung battle one of the patents that seems to keep on coming up is the “pinch to zoom” gesture. It was introduced with the original iPhone and other vendors have been jumping around it since. Even RIM added pinch to zoom in apps like the browser and email since they purchased Torch mobile. This has made some wonder what Steve Jobs meant back in 2007 when he said “Boy we have patented it” for “Pinch to Zoom.”

Nilay Patel of The Verge has attempted to deconstruct the “Myth” that Apple has a patent on “Pinch to Zoom.” It looks like Apple only has a limited patent on a certain use of “Pinch to Zoom.” Even according to Google “Apple’s ‘915 patent claims a very specific software implementation, and the implementation is different in Jelly Bean.”

It should be interesting to see what vendors including RIM do now that Apple has won this patent battle. I am really hoping they stick with “pinch to zoom” and find a way around Apple’s implementation. If you are interested in the details I recommend checking out Patel’s full writeup here.

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  1. I would really like TAT and RIM to get together and find innovative ways beyond pinch to zoom: swipe to zoom and swipe up/down along the bezel to avoid accidentialy tapping advertisements, or how about using your finger to draw a circle around the area you want to zoom in on. I would like it if there was a virtual trackpad that allows you to fine select text.

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