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Apple newly approved patent may stifle innovation and bully competitors

Apple has been awarded its long sought-after patent (U.S. patent number 7,966,578) on the iPhone. Intellectual property experts say it's so broad and far-reaching that the iPhone maker may be able to bully other smart phone manufacturers out of the U.S. market entirely. This patent may just spell big trouble for rival smartphone makers.

Summary of the patent

The above deficiencies and other problems associated with user interfaces for portable devices are reduced or eliminated by the disclosed portable multifunction device. In some embodiments, the device has a touch-sensitive display (also known as a "touch screen") with a graphical user interface (GUI), one or more processors, memory and one or more modules, programs or sets of instructions stored in the memory for performing multiple functions. In some embodiments, the user interacts with the GUI primarily through finger contacts and gestures on the touch-sensitive display. In some embodiments, the functions may include telephoning, video conferencing, e-mailing, instant messaging, blogging, digital photographing, digital videoing, web browsing, digital music playing, and/or digital video playing. Instructions for performing these functions may be included in a computer program product configured for execution by one or more processors.

In one aspect of the invention, a computer-implemented method, for use in conjunction with a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display, comprises displaying a portion of page content on the touch screen display. The portion of page content includes a frame displaying a portion of frame content and also includes other content of the page. The method further comprises detecting an N-finger translation gesture on or near the touch screen display, and, in response to detecting the N-finger translation gesture, translating the page content to display a new portion of page content on the touch screen display, wherein translating the page content includes translating the displayed portion of the frame content and the other content of the page. Additionally, the method comprises detecting an M-finger translation gesture on or near the touch screen display, where M is a different number than N, and, in response to detecting the M-finger translation gesture, translating the frame content to display a new portion of frame content on the touch screen display, without translating the other content of the page.

In another aspect of the invention, a graphical user interface on a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display comprises a portion of page content on the touch screen display. The portion of page content includes a frame displaying a portion of frame content and also includes other content of the page. In response to detecting an N-finger translation gesture on or near the touch screen display, the page content is translated to display a new portion of page content on the touch screen display, wherein translating the page content includes translating the other content of the page. In response to detecting an M-finger translation gesture on or near the touch screen display, where M is a different number than N, the frame content is translated to display a new portion of frame content on the touch screen display, without translating the other content of the page.

In another aspect of the invention, a portable multifunction device comprises a touch screen display, one or more processors, memory, and one or more programs. The one or more programs are stored in the memory and configured to be executed by the one or more processors. The one or more programs include instructions for displaying a portion of page content on the touch screen display. The portion of page content includes a frame displaying a portion of frame content and also includes other content of the page. The one or more programs also include instructions for detecting an N-finger translation gesture on or near the touch screen display; instructions for translating the page content, in response to detecting the N-finger translation gesture, to display a new portion of page content on the touch screen display, wherein the instructions for translating the page content include instructions for translating the displayed portion of the frame content and the other content of the page; instructions for detecting an M-finger translation gesture on or near the touch screen display, where M is a different number than N; and instructions for translating the frame content, in response to detecting the M-finger translation gesture, to display a new portion of frame content on the touch screen display, without translating the other content of the page.

In another aspect of the invention, a computer readable storage medium stores instructions, which when executed by a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display, cause the device to display a portion of page content on the touch screen display. The portion of page content includes a frame displaying a portion of frame content and also includes other content of the page. The instructions also cause the device to detect an N-finger translation gesture on or near the touch screen display and to translate the page content, in response to detecting the N-finger translation to display a new portion of page content on the touch screen display, wherein translating the page content includes translating the displayed portion of the frame content and the other content of the page. The instructions further cause the device to detect an M-finger translation gesture on or near the touch screen display, where M is a different number than N, and to translate the frame content, in response to detecting the M-finger translation gesture, to display a new portion of frame content on the touch screen display, without translating the other content of the page.

In another aspect of the invention, a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display comprises means for displaying a portion of page content on the touch screen display. The portion of page content includes a frame displaying a portion of frame content and also includes other content of the page. The device also comprises means for detecting an N-finger translation gesture on or near the touch screen display and means for translating the page content, in response to detecting the N-finger translation gesture, to display a new portion of page content on the touch screen display, wherein the means for translating the page content include means for translating the displayed portion of the frame content and the other content of the page. The device further comprises means for detecting an M-finger translation gesture on or near the touch screen display, where M is a different number than N, and means for translating the frame content, in response to detecting the M-finger translation gesture, to display a new portion of frame content on the touch screen display, without translating the other content of the page.

The disclosed embodiments thus allow users to easily translate page content or just translate frame content within the page content, depending on the number of fingers used in the gesture.

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