Well-respected Judge Richard Posner has handed Apple a key victory in its ongoing patent dispute with Motorola. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents reports that Posner has delivered his interpretation of Apple’s touchscreen heuristics patent—which covers a handful of basic gestures—and has agreed with many of Apple’s assertions. In more detailed terms, the patent covers the strategy used by software to interpret a user’s touchscreen input by recognizing movements that are not straight lines, thus enabling vertical and horizontal scrolling using natural gestures. “Jury trials come with considerable uncertainty, but based on Judge Posner’s conclusions, Motorola will realistically be unable to avoid a finding of infringement and will have to come up with some really good invalidity arguments if it wants to avoid a disaster,” Mueller writes.
Notably, a passage from Apple’s argument is also included in the report. “[H]aving identified the problems associated with imprecise finger gestures, solved them, and successfully incorporated them into a commercial product, Apple should be entitled to the fruits of its innovation via broad patent protection, and the public is benefited by the disclosure of Apple’s invention,” it reads; Mueller notes that the “disclosure” would not happen until 2028.