It's a bit too early in the piece to see the legal ramifications at this stage, but I'll give you a brief outline of what would most likely happen in this environment:
"A system comprising a computer with a touch-sensing display, and a program running on that computer such that gesture A causes the computer to display blah blah blah" ; this is actually two separate things, one is the physical hardware which is a device capable of sensing touch. The program running on the device that performs other actions in reaction to the manipulation of that device is considered software, as it may be substituted at any point by another program that can interpret the gesture differently.
The real interesting bit is actually the touch sensing display, which would be a device with embedded software that provides a basic API for positional feedback. If the embedded software provides gesture recognition as part of the panel, independent of the computer, then you have something that would probably be patentable. This would not stop someone creating another panel that could sense touch, but leave out all of the embedded API to the point it only provided RAW touch output and had to rely 100% on a software implementation for the rest; in that case you can patent the panel, but the software would be covered under standard copyright. In each case the software can be considered independent of the panel, except when the panel itself provides feedback to a computer as a result of embedded software [even then it has to be considered in it's entirety, not as independent bits, and would be trivial to get around.]
Now there is an older article here: http://www.iitp.org.nz/newsletter/article/430 Where if you look down to "The New Amendment", keyfeatures, point 4 you'll get the gist of where we are at. There are probably better sources and articles, but unfortunately I don't have them to hand right now. Key thing to remember is that it's all untested at this time, wait and see :)