Print 46 comment(s) - last by BifurcatedBoat.. on Dec 11 at 4:18 PM

  (Source: AllThingsD)
USPTO finds patent invalid after review

Not long after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hit gadget-maker Apple, Inc. (AAPL) with a painful preliminary invalidation of its "rubber-band" animation patent, the USPTO has moved another crucial Apple patent to the chopping block.

FOSS Patents on Friday announced that the USPTO had issued a preliminary ruling of invalidity regarding U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949, which covers "touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics".

Awarded in 2009, Apple's lawyers had affectionately referred to it as "the Steve Jobs patent" and argued it was a key pillar of Apple's argument that the USPTO had granted it exclusive rights to produce modern smartphones.

Back in 2010, a complaint was filed regarding the patent, requesting a re-review, but the request was denied.  But Apple began to face scrutiny this last year and a half when U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago) Judge Richard A. Posner, a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge who was moonlighting for the important case between Apple and Google Inc. (GOOG) subsidiary Motorola, banned Apple's lawyers from calling the patent "the Steve Jobs patent".  Subsequently Judge Posner rejected Apple's request to ban Motorola handsets, rejecting the case twice with prejudice.

Steve Jobs iPad
The late Steve Jobs's prized multi-touch patent was just invalidated. [Image Source: Reuters]
The rejection, like that of the rubber-band patent is only preliminary, not final.  Steve Jobs is listed as the first author of the multi-touch patent, which was filed in April 2008.

Apple has hundreds of touch-related patents covering hardware, software, and GUI animations, much of which it in part purchased from startups.  In 2006 it brought in TPK Holding Comp., Ltd. (TPE:3673) and Optera (a small U.S. display firm) to supply the multi-touch hardware for a secret project in 2006 [Sources: 12] -- which would later be revealed as the iPhone.  To supply the software, it in 2005 bought a company called FingerWorks, which had implemented and slightly expanded on some of the multi-touch gestures published by Bill Buxton back in the 1980s.

However, the rejected patent was considered among Apple's most crucial.

Apple can at least take comfort that the USPTO has recently approved some of its other questionable filings, such as a patent on animating turning pages.

Source: FOSS Patents

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RE: Don't you mean "to the trash can" not from it?
By MartyLK on 12/10/2012 11:33:51 AM , Rating: -1 you want everyone to believe only Apple tries really hard to successfully patent their tech? Samsung never does anything wrong, huh?

It would not surprise me one little bit if Samsung sent out multitudes of people to subtly introduce scandals or evil-doings about Apple to alter the public view.

That's why I stick to the facts. Apple was first, kicked Samsung's cherry-red ass and now Samsung is licking its wounds and plotting revenge.

RE: Don't you mean "to the trash can" not from it?
By Peter898 on 12/10/12, Rating: -1
RE: Don't you mean "to the trash can" not from it?
By MartyLK on 12/10/2012 12:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
Can you please provide me the address of Rotten Apples screen-manufacturing plant ? How about their CPU-manufacturing plant ??

What does that have to do with anything? You think Samsung won't stab you in the back while reaching around and smiling at your face?

However, companies tend to keep their business separate from their dislike of each other. Samsung has already stated that court litigations would not effect their money-making business with Apple. But that in no way means they won't try to bring Apple down.

RE: Don't you mean "to the trash can" not from it?
By Peter898 on 12/10/12, Rating: -1
RE: Don't you mean "to the trash can" not from it?
By Tony Swash on 12/10/12, Rating: -1
RE: Don't you mean "to the trash can" not from it?
By momorere on 12/10/2012 1:57:10 PM , Rating: 3
Even the pro-loving crApple Yahoo is starting to run daily stories on crApple's slow demise. Everything from the supply guy trying to play CEO, to the rapid falling of marketshare, to lackluster reviews of crApple products, and their decreasing stock value (btw, is down $4.69 now).

I'm really enjoying watching them inch closer to that mythical $1,000 stock price and TRILLION dollar value. Oh wait, they are barely holding on to half of that and it is only getting worse.

Hurry and find some random pro-crApple blogger's site and pass off his opinion as "facts" per your usual tactics.

By momorere on 12/10/2012 2:04:26 PM , Rating: 2
My mistake as they are no longer above 1/2 of that value. Silly me

By retrospooty on 12/10/2012 2:35:40 PM , Rating: 3
"pro-loving crApple Yahoo"

LOL... Yes, that is one of my favorite Tony quotes. "Apple will go over $1000 per share". As if record growth can continue forever. Eventually they would own the entire planet if that were true. With Apple taking an inoovation vacation, the competition was bound to surpass them and now that has happened.

Another great TS line - "No one wants a screen larger than 3.5 inches" . LOL. Until Android started outselling iPhone 5 to 1 with its larger screens... Then of course Apple followed suit and released a larger screen.

By themaster08 on 12/10/2012 4:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
I care for Samsung about as much as I care for Apple. Just because some of us dislike Apple, that doesn't make us fans of Samsung. I use products from neither of those companies.

By Cheesew1z69 on 12/10/2012 4:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
It's quite amusing and pathetic how someone like him, who is completely obsessive about a company who gives 2 shits about him, calls others fans of other companies.

By Any14Tee on 12/10/2012 6:46:28 PM , Rating: 2
"When two tribes go to war 1 on 1 and 2 makes 4, go to war go to war"....that's entertainment with a Capital E.

.......Keep on trolling, keep on rolling.

RE: Don't you mean "to the trash can" not from it?
By sprockkets on 12/10/12, Rating: -1
RE: Don't you mean "to the trash can" not from it?
By MartyLK on 12/10/2012 12:42:21 PM , Rating: 1
Apologies. My mistake. There's so much Apple hate, it's almost a given that any, even moderately, difficult to understand comment will be interpreted as such.

By Cheesew1z69 on 12/10/2012 12:44:00 PM , Rating: 3
Nothing to interpret, it's evident in your posts that you are a total AppleTool.

RE: Don't you mean "to the trash can" not from it?
By MartyLK on 12/10/12, Rating: -1
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/10/2012 1:09:00 PM , Rating: 2
Apple lovers never rationalize. To them, if they love something, that something never did anything wrong - no matter what actually belongs to that something. They only see any and all non-loving comment as hate

By Any14Tee on 12/10/2012 7:40:25 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know man, maybe they need to sack Tony and get a new PR. I hit my head hard on the wall (maybe too hard), I still can't understand,...why are people so angry and why have I lost the feeling in my penis, when I hear Apple???

OK I admit mention the word 'Apple', my head spins around and I froth at the mouth. Vot to do Vot to do I dunno.....

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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