Apple has been granted an incredibly broad patent giving them monopoly rights to gesture recognition on multitouch displays.
“It covers the basic user interface concept of moving touch-screen content with multitouch gestures–not just one particular way to programmatically recognize one particular gesture for this purpose, but any or all ways to do so,” Mueller said. “This patent describes the solution at such a high level that it effectively lays an exclusive claim to the problem itself, and any solutions to it.”
Patents are supposed to increase the progress of the useful arts. But does anyone really believe that gesture technology would have been left undeveloped without the prospects of a 20-year monopoly?