“For the second time in less than two months, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a first Office action tentatively declaring a key Apple multitouch patent invalid,” FLorian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.

“In late October, a first Office action in a reexamination proceeding stated the preliminary conclusion that all 20 claims of Apple’s rubber-banding (overscroll bounce) patent [U.S. Patent No, 7,469,381] are invalid,” Mueller reports. “Back in August, a California jury held Samsung to infringe that patent, and according to interviews jurors gave later didn’t make much of an effort to ascertain its validity. This week, the USPTO issued a first Office action rejecting all 20 claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 on a ‘touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics,’ which has been referred to by many people, including Apple’s own lawyers, as ‘the Steve Jobs patent.’

Should the first Office actions tentatively invalidating the rubber-banding and the touchscreen heuristics patents be affirmed at the end of the proceedings (after all appeals have been exhausted), Apple would lose two iconic patents, but it would still have thousands of other patents, including hundreds of multitouch patents.

Read more in the full article here.