Bad news for Android: U.S. patent office confirms all 20 claims of ‘Steve Jobs patent’

“Last December, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a first Office action tentatively rejecting all claims of the ‘Steve Jobs patent,’ 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,'” Florian Müller reports for FOSS Patents. “First Office actions are of some, but actually rather limited, relevance.”

“As we speak, the Steve Jobs patent is even stronger than it was before someone (presumably Samsung and Google) challenged it anonymously,” Müller reports. “On September 4, 2013, the USPTO issued a reexamination certificate confirming the patentability of all 20 claims because the prior art neither anticipated this invention nor renders it obvious. This outcome is a major strategic win for Apple, a massive setback for Samsung and Google, and a potential threat to other Android device makers.”

Müller writes, “The situation on the patent front is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for Google, Samsung, and the Android ecosystem at large. More and more strategic Apple patents are confirmed by the patent office and the appeals court, and it appears inevitable that Android device makers pay Apple royalties and agree to “anti-cloning” provisions of the kind HTC accepted. For some time the Android camp thought that standard-essential patents were the answer, but it turns out that they are not. Patent enforcement takes time, especially in the U.S., but Apple has already made enormous headway, particularly in recent months. Let there be no doubt: Apple is on the winning track against Samsung and Google (at least in the U.S.).”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Google’s going to rue the day they got greedy by deciding to try to work against Apple instead of with them.MacDailyNews Take, March 09, 2010

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Luke” and “brizyr” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
EU says Samsung offers to stop patent lawsuits in Europe in order to avoid $18.3 billion FRAND abuse fine – October 17, 2013
Trouble in Androidland? – July 30, 2013
Yankee Group: iPhone ownership in the U.S. will top Android by 2015 – April 26, 2013
Yankee Group: Apple continues to eat Samsung’s lunch; customer loyalty will drive iPhone ownership past Android’s peak – April 26, 2013
Apple’s iPhone user gains again out-pace Android in the U.S. – April 5, 2013
Why Apple’s new iPhone can’t lose; as with all iPhones, next-gen likely to become best-selling smartphone of all time – April 4, 2013
Apple increases lead over Samsung, gains on Google’s Android in U.S. smartphone market share – April 4, 2013
Analyst: Apple iPhone 5 got over 5X times as many tweets as Samsung’s lackluster Galaxy S4 – March 27, 2013
Yankee Group: Apple to gain additional U.S. smartphone share over Samsung in 2013 – March 20, 2013
With 78% share, Apple’s iOS tightening its grip on the enterprise and taking share from Android – March 8, 2013
Apple rules the skies with 84% in-flight share vs. Android’s 16% – March 7, 2013
Apple iPad continues domination with over 80% usage share in U.S. and Canada – March 7, 2013
comScore: Google’s Android, Samsung continue to lose U.S. share to Apple’s iOS, iPhone – March 6, 2013
World’s best-selling smartphone: Apple iPhone 5; iPhone 4S #2, third place Samsung Galaxy 3 brings up rear – February 20, 2013
Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
Android’s unit share growth has not hurt Apple’s profit share – February 26, 2013
Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
IDC: Apple dominates worldwide tablet market with 43.6% unit share – January 31, 2013
The Android engagement paradox – November 26, 2012
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPhone users vastly outspent Android users on apps, respond much better to ads – August 20, 2012
Apple utterly dominates mobile device market with 6% market share – and 77% of the profits – August 6, 2012


    1. The only issue they disingenuously LOVE to bring is the “rounded corners” thing as if that dismisses everything. They know they don’t have a leg to stand on and support thieves in their immoral dishonest take. I hope they are able to cut both Larry Page and especially Eric Schmidt’s nuts off.

  1. I remember Jobs saying, and I paraphrase: “And we patented the hell out of it.” I am surprised it took so long, damn lawyers. I assume Apple will be getting royalties from Samdung, Goofle, and Microsuck as well. Or as I like to say, the den of thieves. This is a great day for justice.

      1. Correct on Mr. Softy but on Giggles and SamDung, especially SamDung, time to pay up and pay up big …..

        You can bet your sweat behind A$$droid development is either slowing or reversing course to work around the various patents – cause Apple ain’t goin’ stop, baby!

    1. “The existence of a free market does not of course eliminate the need for government. On the contrary, government is essential both as a forum for determining the “rules of the game” and as an umpire to interpret and enforce the rules decided on.”

      ~Milton Friedman

      I.e., it all depends on the quality of the rule-makers we send to DC and the rules they make or don’t…

  2. Perhaps Apple should create a separate company, that no one knows they own, just to challenge the validity of Apple’s patents around the world, and fail, before anyone else does, thereby strengthening and securing them. They could call it “Devil’s Advocate Multi National” or D.A.M.N.

    1. How terribly clever! But the court would find out and nail to the wall anyone attempting it.

      Better idea: Gut the stupid US patent system and build a new one that actually knows technology and patent law AND takes full responsibility when it bungles patent approvals AND learns from its mistakes. Imagine that!

  3. To me, Apple is unique in that once it saw a specific set of features it could achieve to make a usable device, they threw their entire weight of software & hardware engineering at it.

    After the initial success internally, they obviously decided to go full speed on the next devices & that included patents by the dozens and it has continued after the 2007 launch.

    This is the first major consumer product full court press I have seen where the emphasis was to blow out the doors even if the ‘old’ products suffered in the attempt to take the high ground and dominate a new class of products.

    It is still simply amazing they pulled this off.

  4. HTC licensed Apple’s patents – and look at the HTC One – actually a very nice device. I really don’t understand why others don’t do the same. In the end – it keeps money out of the lawyers hands – it makes for great competition – and eventually – someone will come up with a better idea. A win for all.

    Optimistic? Oh yeah – but one can dream.

    1. HTC unlike others, actually plays nicer with Apple and yes, they do have arguably the best non-Apple devices. HTC would be a great competitor to Apple if they didn’t rely on Android.

    1. Preemptive – no disrespect, Apple earned this, but it’s strange how they were getting slammed so much and not all of a sudden Samsung is on the hot seat and Apple is getting their justified rewards.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.