» The phantom monopoly

Matthew Yglesias writing for Salon:

What troubles me is the verdict upholding the US Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to say that, for example, Apple should have a legal monopoly on the pinch-to-zoom feature which I think is a great example of how the modern-day patent system has gone awry.

The verdict does not grant Apple a “legal monopoly” on pinch-to-zoom because Apple has only a limited patent on it and did not even assert it in the suit against Samsung. Scores of comments on Yglesias’s post and no one noticed that. There sure is a lot of talk about steering wheels, though! Rest easy, Salon readers. No one will crash their Android device into a busy farmers market because Apple took away their pinch-to-zoom.