When it comes to the mobile marketplace, there's one company that comes up in most conversations and that is Apple. Google/Android come up as well, but the other isn't just known for very stylish and well performing devices. They're also known for their approach when it comes to patents and defending them as much as they can. Thanks to the wonderful US patent system, Apple's arsenal just got even more powerful.
The company was granted a new user interface patent which will undoubtedly affect Android manufacturers. Basically, it entails a "Portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents". If this couldn't be even more generic, we wouldn't know what is. The patent features a series of applications that go back to as early as 2007, the year the iPhone made its big debut.
Either way, this is again bad news for anyone other than Apple themselves. Essentially this gives them the power to go after any and every manufacturer who has a portable device that features a graphical user interface and does a number of the things that are mentioned in the patent. Of course Apple won't go after just anybody. Their main focus is Android as they are their biggest competitor.
While many can get upset at the tech giant, it's not just them. This all goes back to the US Patent and Trademark Office who approve these kinds of things in the first place and help companies such as Apple ruthlessly try and destroy the competition.