Apple retains multitouch patent thanks to Patent Office ruling, forces competition to seek alternatives

Sorry, anonymous Apple multitouch patent challenger -- your victory isn't only temporary, it's also short-lived. The US Patent Office has decided to uphold patent No. 7,479,949 after tentatively invalidating it in December of 2012, which could mean bad news for many of Cupertino's competitors. If those numbers sound vaguely familiar, that's because they're known to most people as the controversial multitouch patent (that covers the downward-swipe gesture as seen in the video after the break) that Apple used against Palm, HTC and Samsung in court. In fact, it was one of the two patents that led to the import ban of some Samsung devices in the US. Needless to say, it now remains a powerful weapon for lawsuits in Apple's arsenal, and rivals best find a way to work around it on their designs.