U.S. patent office invalidates ‘Steve Jobs patent’ in its entirely

“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.

42 Comments

    1. What is really outrageous is that stupid patents like “a method to send text information over the internet” is allowed but has no real method just bs. For that, you can sue Apple and win.

      OK we have Homeland security people (300+) that have been caught STEALING OUR STUFF WHEN WE FLY.

      We have patent people approving every stupid patent and then cancelling new and innovative patents. They seem to be paid to act stupid, or criminal.

      We have an entire congress that fights each other rather than work together while the country fails.

      If anyone can bring down this country, it will be us.

      Sadly.

      1. @ MacRaven

        why do you assume steve is in any position to come down from the sky? where, when and how did he ascend?

        this is not a smart-ass rhetorical question, the answer has eternal implications and not just for Steve.

  1. Rubbish. Here’s our own government handing the keys to our future economic prosperity over to Korea wholesale.

    The sound of the jobs being flushed down the toilet may be your own.

    1. I agree with twilightmoon, it’s an incredibly stupid move. Maybe people should petition the USPTO not to invalidate the patent(s). I couldn’t find a contact email, but here’s some USPTO phone numbers, hopefully some are relevant:

      Office of the Commissioner for Patents: 571-272-8800
      Office of Patent Classification : 571-272-7850
      USPTO Customer Support Centers : 1-800-786-9199

  2. Get yourself a decent sub-editor, please, MDN. This is no more than a preliminary ruling, and “tentatively” should appear in your headline. Shame, you don’t need to hit- *****

    1. I was totally blown away when I noticed the iPhone could interpret a diagonal movement! If Jobs hadn’t invented this we would all still be making movements in right angles.

    1. I don’t think it’s convenience, but rather the courts’ bias favoring competition over invention. Apple’s untalented copiers are constantly whining in court that there is no other way to do something than the way Apple does it. Never mind no-one ever did it that way before Apple did.

  3. As soon as Apple can innovate incredibly difficult-to-copy products that no one can copy, the better. I am losing faith that our Justice and Patent systems more and more each day.

  4. The rubber band effect I’m a bit torn about it. On one hand its a really cool effect. On the other its a very trivial piece of blitting code (from a purely mathmatical perspective).

    the heuristics claims in 949 are the bigger problem in my opinion. Massive amounts of prior art in this area and I that will end up sinking the entire patent.

    1. Lets get this correct so all you Andriod Google Sucker’s don’t have a Hart Attack thinking you got one over on Apple by this so called announcement.

      The article posted here was disingenuous due to the fact that All information was not reported, it fails to add the most important information of all ….. Ready.
      ” This is not final, repeating again it’s not final and can be appealed ”

      If people would take the time and read the full post and not just the basic one that is posted here, eerone would find out that ths doesn’t mean a thing and is not by anyway final, Apple can and will go on Appeal to prove that it has the rights to this patent, while most of these patents that are singled out like Apples they do Remain intact and those patents issued are kept whole and not disturbed.

      Now if anyone has a issue with this information go to Foss Patent’s and read the complete article without all the left out information, and really, all you Apple haters have nothing yet to celebrate as you may find that this patent might just prove to be stronger then you think.

      And for all the Apple diehards, come on my friends, we are so aware that left out information brings in page views to pay the bills, problem is we are seeing to often at most of our regular News sites not full information, but it is up to the reader to research further to find out if any information is not included, remember make sure to click the “Read more in the full article Here” link.

      Seeing this patent in its full breakdown and to those of you who have the time to access the Full version of the patent documentation and study the information, many if not all breakdowns of use have not been used before, implementation that can’t be seen as prior art and has a much diffrent way of being interpreted, when all is said and down I still believe this patent and those adjoined with it will pass and be upheld.

      We learn to not take a believe everything you read approach, allot of us have gotten burned to many times.

      Nice Night All.

  5. Nothing works in the US anymore. There is no trust in institutions because they are all filled with very “smart” monkeys who have elevated stupidity to an art form.

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