Apple (AAPL) on Tuesday was granted 25 new patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but one patent in particular stands out among the rest. Patent No. 8,223,134 — or, the “mother of all smartphone software patents,” as Phandroid calls it — covers the graphical user interfaces Apple designed for blogging, email, telephone, camera, video player, calendar, browser, widgets, search, notes, maps and other multi-touch interfaces. As is clear from the scope of the patent, it could definitely spell trouble for Google’s Android partners.
Prior to Apple’s invention of the iPhone, most smartphones used physical keys and buttons to control various actions, and did not rely on advanced all-touch interfaces. Since 2007, however, the majority of smartphone vendors have followed in Apple’s footsteps and have employed all-touch graphical user interfaces that use a design similar to the one described in Apple’s newly awarded patent.
The Cupertino-based company has been involved in patent disputes with Samsung (005930), Motorola (GOOG), HTC (2498) and other companies over the past year, and it is likely we will see its latest patent come into play in the next round of litigation.