The court granted in part defendant's motion for summary judgment of noninfringement of plaintiff's touch screen interface patent and rejected plaintiff's argument that a finger swipe was the equivalent of a finger tap. "[T]ouch screen devices are often programmed so that the two gestures can both perform the same next-item command. That does not make them equivalent. . . . If consumers distinguish between the two, they are not interchangeable; if they were interchangeable, programmers would be content to use one or the other method rather than providing a choice. Equivalence refers to a situation in which, in an effort to avoid liability for infringement without making a substantive change in a patented product, the alleged infringer makes a trivial change that neither lowers a producer’s costs or alters the consumer’s experience. . . . [Plaintiff's] final equivalents argument is that 'a tap is a zero-length swipe.' That’s silly. It’s like saying that a point is a zero-length line."
Apple, Inc. v. Motorola, Inc., et. al., 1-11-cv-08540 (ILND April 27, 2012, Order) (Posner, C.J.)