Apple Logo1 Apple Granted Patent on Displaying Lists and Documents

Apple has, after waiting five years, been granted a patent on how lists and documents are displayed in a mobile operating system.

After more than five years, Apple has finally been granted a key patent relating to the way lists and documents are displayed within a mobile operating system. Yesterday, patent number 8,223,134 was granted to the Cupertino-based company for “Portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents.” According to the patent’s description, the technology relies on a touch-screen display and includes the function for displaying lists and documents as well as how they look on a mobile device.

Given the current patent wars raging among mobile companies, it is entirely possible that this patent will find its way into the fierce legal disputes between Apple and Samsung, though other operating systems display both documents and lists, putting them potentially within Apple’s crosshairs as well. With that said, it’s still not clear exactly how broad or narrow the scope of this patent is and whether or not Apple will choose to include it in future litigation. The mobile giant files for and receives a huge number of patents every year, but many of them are never utilized.

With the sheer number of ways this patent can be implemented, however, it seems to be a very important patent and would seem to be geared towards use in litigation. Apple writes in the patent that “[in] some embodiments, the functions may include telephoning, video conferencing, e-mailing, instant messaging, blogging, digital photographing, digital videoing, web browsing, digital music playing, and/or digital video playing. Instructions for performing these functions may be included in a computer program product configured for execution by one or more processors.”

The patent granting comes just one day before its major opponent, Samsung, announced its plans to acquire 21 patents in a $310 million deal inked with semiconductor company CSR. Those patents relate to handset connectivity and mobile location technologies.