Given the difficulty of determining exactly what most of these patents even claim, it's no wonder examiners can do a proper prior art search to determine if claims have already been done. Unfortunately instead of rejecting unclear applications, examiners seem to have just thrown up their hands in the face of the deluge and just granted everything.
Over at, takes a look at Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent. Many other writers have given up trying to decipher it, just assuming it gives Apple all rights to pinch-to-zoom. After a careful reading, Nilay explains that it is actually pretty easy to work around.
The myth of pinch-to-zoom: how a confused media gave Apple something it doesn’t own
In 2007, Steve Jobs stood on stage, listing the benefits of Apple’s then-new iPhone touchscreen. “You can do multi-finger gestures on it,” he said, moving his hands back and forth in the now-familiar….
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