Apple struck with touch-based patent lawsuit
The patent wars continues with FlatWorld accusing Apple of violating one of its touch-interface patents
According to Ars Technica, small company FlatWorld Interactives has filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming the company is infringing on one of its touch-based patents. The patent in contention is United State Patent #6,920,619, entitled "User interface for removing an object from a display". It involves a system to move items on a touchscreen using the drag-and-drop method.
The inventor of the patent and originator of the complaint, Professor Slavoljub Milekic, previously used the system in 1997 to run interactive displays at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY. The patent was issued in 2005. The company that holds the patent, FlatWorld, was incorporated in January 2007, weeks after Apple announced the original iPhone. Flatworld then filed a reissue request for the patent in July of 2007.
Flatworld claims willful infringement on Apple's part and is targeting the entire Apple product line, including the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, sixth-gen iPod nano, MacBook Pro, and any other Mac device using a Magic Mouse or Trackpad.