Re: You missed the point ...
Actually code wise it really isn't that difficult to monitor pinch / multi-touch on a touch screen. Now the original driver to allow that was probably an ass, but that part is covered in the hardware patent.
As for the idea of making it work "smoothly" with "minimal wasted effort" I could understand that if they patented something and then went into detail of how it worked, for instance saying they used a semaphore timer to allow a seperate thread to pick up the second gesture in a seamless fashion minimizing the latency of the action on the visual output device. But they don't they just patent the broad overaching structure.
Taking it to car terms, because software is always compared to cars for some reasons.
A software patent is like patenting an engine. I go out and make a patent for a device which causes a car to move backwards and forwards via use of a fuel source. It doesn't matter if the engine is petrol, diesel, solar, V8,V6, W8 Wankle. All of those engines are covered by my patent even though each works in very different ways on the concept.
Or what if ford had patented the location of the steering wheel, accellerator, car key and gear stick, and the CBA. If they'd patented that, then right now we'd have no standard setup for cars. People liked that setup in the Cadillac 53, it was easy to use, so other car companies used it and it became a standard. Meanwhile people like the layout of a PC, or Mac, or iOS but nobody can use it because it's been patented.
Patents really shouldn't apply to software unless it's a specific implementation. And then based on the lifecycle of software it probably shouldn't last for too long, 5 years tops.
These "design patents" are just plain stupid. Especially when you hear the term "trademark design" it kind of says it all. Design patents should have the same lifecycle of software patents.