it isn't a joke. . . Though sad, yes.
source: Apple vs. Palm: the in-depth analysis -- Engadget
"Here's the thing, though -- patent #7,479,949, entitled "Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics" that you might have seen touted around the web as Apple's "key multitouch patent"? It's really not, at least anymore. Patents become narrower in scope as they go through the approval process, and although we teasingly referred to it as "the iPhone patent" when it was initially filed, it now only covers touch devices that have a very specific interface feature: sensing whether or not you want to just scroll up and down in one dimension or pan around in two dimensions based on the angle you initially move your finger relative to the screen. It's way easier to explain this in a video:"
one would think that a mousepad would demonstrate this same thing = prior art.