Apple Granted Patent For iPod Scroll Wheel
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a scroll wheel patent, which covers the iPod’s use of a touch-sensitive scrolling surface.
Titled â€œTouch pad for handheld deviceâ€ and originally filed in 2006, U.S. Patent 7,348,967 describes a handheld music player that â€œincludes a controller disposed inside the housing and configured to acquire motion information from the touch pad assembly and to control various features of the music player based on motion information provided by the touch pad assembly. The features include at least moving the visual indicator through the list of songs. The direction and speed of the movement of the visual indicator is based at least in part on the direction and speed of the finger sliding across the planar touch surface of the touch pad assembly.â€
As explained, the patent could conceivably cover certain post-iPod touch-based media players, such as the Microsoft Zune, and allow the company to perform a little reverse patent terrorism.