The popular “Steve Jobs Patent” is a key multi-touch related patent in Apple’s portfolio. It has been a major weapon of Apple in patent war against its competitors. However, the U.S. Patent Office has deemed the patent as invalid after a re-examination.
The patent was granted in January 2009, and was the comprehensive incorporation of multiple patents into one. Steve Jobs tried to sum some of the pioneering technologies of iPhone in this patent and Apple has repeatedly used it to go after rival smartphone companies.
However, it seems that the U.S. Patent Office is suddenly doubtful of the authenticity of the patent. USPTO has now issued a notice which contained a preliminary ruling. As per this ruling, the patent in question is completely invalid.
This goes on to show the competence of USPTO which has been repeatedly lambasted for not having the adequate resources to judge the veracity of technology-related patents. The current instance shows that there is some truth to this allegation.
Apple has used this very patent to repeatedly cite patent infringement charges against multiple vendors, including Samsung and Motorola. Given the fact that the USPTO now believes that all 20 claims included in this patent are invalid, this can significantly dent Apple’s legal battles. Apple may have to re-apply for a patent by tweaking the language and content of the invalidated patent and also reposition itself legally to save itself from the possible implications of this decision by USPTO.
Source: FOSS Patents
Courtesy: Mac Rumors