apple-patentApple on Tuesday was awarded what is being considered as "the mother of all smartphone software patents," according Phandroid's Kevin Krause. Considering Apple's recent track record, the company may be preparing to bring down a legal hail storm against Google's Android. "The effects could be swift and lethal," Krause admitted.

Of particular interest, patent number 8,223,134, which covers "Portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents," could be Apple's biggest weapon. Basically, it covers user interfaces for smartphone email, telephone, camera, video player, browser, widgets, search, notes, maps and a multitouch interface. That's a list of features in every competing smartphone OS.

PatentlyApple said, "Apple reinvented the smartphone, and today they get another patent victory to celebrate that fact… Apple's iPhone truly reinvented the smartphone and Apple's granted patent reflects the broad range of graphical user interface innovations that they brought to market."

Apple has been steadfast in its quest to squash any competition it deems has stolen from the Cupertino-company. Over the past several months, Apple has been embroiled in a number of lawsuits around the globe, the most recent of which dealing with the Galaxy Nexus.

The granting of such a broad patent could have far reaching consequences on the marketplace, and potentially stifle any major future software advancements, which is ultimately bad for consumers.

[via Phandroid, PatentlyApple]