Apple Facing Loss Of High Profile Patent

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Apple holds a ton of patents, and it’s been referencing dozens of them in the regular legal disputes it finds itself in with other smartphone manufacturers. One of the patents it’s taken a special shine to has been the so-called “Steve Jobs patent”. This one came up this past summer in Apple’s big case against Samsung, when the judge specifically forbid Apple from referring to Steve Jobs in reference to the patent, just to try avoid manipulating the jury’s emotions. There’s now a chance that Apple could lose the patent altogether, as the Patent Office has taken the first steps towards having the patent declared invalid.

US patent 7,479,949 concerns a “touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics”, and describes certain iOS UI elements, like the rubber-band effect you see when scrolling to the end of a list. The USPTO has now issued what’s called a “first Office action” ruling that all claims made in the patent should be declared invalid.

This is just the first step towards a final action being made, and Apple could very well end up keeping the patent. For the moment, though, its fate is very much up in the air.

Source: FOSS Patents

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!