Apple (Steve Jobs, et al.) has been awarded the multi-touch patent on January 20th, 2009. This means less competition for iPhone multi-touch technology which is one of the great mobile phone innovations.
A similar technology seems to have been used in the upcoming Palm Pre phone and Apple COO Tim Cook has said that Apple will not let their intellectual property get ripped off. This could result in an interesting fight between the two as Palm has collected numerous patents over the years and if they find something in their portfolio to go against Apple for, Sprint customers might actually see a device like iPhone (even better for multi-tasking) available to them. They will still have a big challenge of duplicating the success of iPhone app store.
Here are the full details of Apple multi-touch patent. The patent is not available via Google patent search yet.