The patent wars may have just gotten a little more lopsided.

Yesterday, the USPTO published the details of 25 newly-granted Apple patents, and though they aren’t all competitively significant, at least one of them is a doozy.

As usual, the folks at Patently Apple have all the details. Before jumping into the wordy minutiae, however, they’ve summarized the awarded series of patents thus:

…Apple’s patent covers UI modules covering blogging, email, telephone, camera, video player, calendar, browser, widgets, search, notes, maps and more importantly, a multi-touch interface.

Apple’s patent also covers the iPhone as a multifunctional and multi-touch device that includes multiple programs, a virtual keyboard and so much more.

While that sounds pretty damning for Apple’s courtroom competition, just remember that patents like these are often extremely specific, sometimes comically so. And this bunch is no exception. Here’s how the portfolio’s first claim (of 30) reads:

1. A method, comprising: at a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display: displaying a portion of an electronic document on the touch screen display, wherein the displayed portion of the electronic document has a vertical position in the electronic document; displaying a vertical bar on top of the displayed portion of the electronic document, the vertical bar displayed proximate to a vertical edge of the displayed portion of the electronic document, wherein: the vertical bar has a vertical position on top of the displayed portion of the electronic document that corresponds to the vertical position in the electronic document of the displayed portion of the electronic document; and the vertical bar is not a scroll bar; detecting a movement of an object in a direction on the displayed portion of the electronic document; in response to detecting the movement: scrolling the electronic document displayed on the touch screen display in the direction of movement of the object so that a new portion of the electronic document is displayed, moving the vertical bar to a new vertical position such that the new vertical position corresponds to the vertical position in the electronic document of the displayed new portion of the electronic document, and maintaining the vertical bar proximate to the vertical edge of the displayed portion of the electronic document; and in response to a predetermined condition being met, ceasing to display the vertical bar while continuing to display the displayed portion of the electronic document, wherein the displayed portion of the electronic document has a vertical extent that is less than a vertical extent of the electronic document.

See the little scroll bar that popped up as you read through the above muddled description? That’s all the first claim is about.

Want to read 29 more?

Me neither.

Source: Patently Apple