Apple has managed to get a patent on its multi-touch technology used in the iPhone. The extremely long patent number 7,479,949 was awarded on the 20th and seems to be a way to stifle competition in the smart phone market.
This new patent comes as companies like Acer and Palm are getting into the market. Apple's acting man in charge Tom Cook said they were not trying to stamp out the competition but just wanted to protect their IP.
I am not sure I buy that, lately Apple has faced some stiff competition from the G1 and other smart phones that cost less and allow for greater freedom. Google was even selling Unlocked and Unrestricted G1 phones for less than you could get an iPhone. Something tells me this is method to slow down the other guys as they are getting too close to dethroning the iPhone.