Apple Squashes Google Multitouch?

VentureBeat is reporting that Google may have kept multitouch capabilities out of the Android gPhone OS to avoid a patent fight with Apple.

According to the site, an Android team member says Google complied with an Apple request not to incorporate multitouch into its smartphone platform and -- by extension -- the first gPhone, the T-Mobile G1.

The latter company recently won a patent for multitouch LCD gestures, which allows users to use more than one finger at a time on a smartphone touch screen, for instance.

The multitouch patent (#7,479,949) granted to Apple is titled "Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics." The company applied for the patent on April 18 of last year.

During Apple's earning call last month, COO Tim Cook hinted at a possible legal fight against Palm for the Pre's multitouch capabilities, something Google appeared intent on avoiding by bowing to the iPhone maker's request.

Palm says it will go ahead with plans to launch its Pre smartphone. The longtime PDA vendor also says it will defend itself if necessary against any legal action by the iPhone maker.