USPTO tentatively – and likely temporarily – declares Apple’s ‘pinch-to-zoom’ patent invalid

“A couple of hours ago Samsung proudly informed Judge Koh of the fact that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has tentatively rejected, in a first Office action dated December 29 (mailing date), all 21 claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,844,915, which I consider to be essential to the pinch-to-zoom feature,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.

“Since the spring of 2011 I have been saying till I was blue in the face that first Office actions are non-final,” Mueller explains. “These are ex parte reexaminations (triggered by a request, which can be and in each of these cases was filed anonymously (by a law firm not disclosing any client), for which the hurdle is (even after last year’s patent reform bill) that the request must raise a substantial new questoin for patentability.”

Mueller writes, “Of the three Apple multitouch software patents that have given rise to tentative rejections in the form of first Office action, I believe the ‘915 patent is most likely to have some surviving claims when all is said and done… Depending on how long this process goes, we will at some point also hear about procedural steps (including reconsiderations, appeals etc.) in which some of the tentative rejections are retracted. It will take time, but it will happen. There will be some back-and-forth and some roller coaster rides, and in the meantime, tentative rejections don’t affect the enforceability of a patent claim.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Standard procedure. Expect a FUD blitz and mis/disinformation campaign preying on the low information ignoranti who do not understand the facts of the matter.


  1. A few days ago I had wondered here that maybe the reason why the AAPL has suffered so much recently was because some insider info the big funds are privy to that we are not.

    I had predicted that for that to be correct Apple should get some bad news coming its way. Well, first judge Koh and now this. Maybe there’s more to come still.

  2. This is standard operating procedure. The USPTO hire many lawyers and there is a huge backlog of applications to clear. One of the ways that they ‘clear’ the backlog is to turn down almost every application. This has the effect of shaking out the trivial ones and leaves the ones that are backed by substantial wallets. The government has legislated that the backlog be cleared and are paying part of the bill but the lawyers are creating even more ‘work’ for themselves and are busy building empires with more bureaucracy and steps to apply for a patent. I have been through it and it is costly.

  3. Picked up my friend’s new massive Galaxy with the new “Jellybean”, he was very proud to say. It was fast, BIG, bright, clear icons on what’s what, easy to use….. And EXACTLY a copy of the iPhone. Just massive. How can Apple NOT be suing these guys into submission????? All the hand gestures, (which Apple was the obvious first to ever do these) are all the same. The good news, when Apple has competition, they always do great things. When the competition is weak or non-existent, they can get lazy like everyone else will. But the competition is there. Galaxy is a good phone. There’s nothing that the iPHone does that the Galaxy can’t, as far as I can tell. So they need to keep working to stand out.
    Oh, one more thing: I’m sold on Apple maps now. Took a while, but I’m used to the interface, the menu flow, etc… the new Google maps is horrible, in my view. I tried it expecting to move back, but after a day or 2, I dumped it for the Apple maps.

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