Apple patent, important to their ongoing troubles with Samsung, rejected by USPTO

by: Nate SwannerJuly 29, 2013

Apple Patent rejected

The US Patent and Trademark Office has rejected an Apple, Inc. filing to patent “pinch to zoom” functionality. The patent was crucial to their ongoing and widespread dispute with Samsung, which is currently being tried in courtrooms across the globe.

The rejection of the patent’s 21 claims are deemed to be a “final office action” by the USPTO, but is open to appeal by Apple to the Patent Trial Appeal Board. A denied patent application in April led Apple to seek review, and this claim has met a similar decision, which means a similar request for review is expected. Apple can also seek a judicial review of the ruling, should they feel it necessary.

The crux of the patent filing is the ability to distinguish between a two finger pinch action and one finger scrolling on a touchscreen device. Of the 21 claims in this patent filing, claim eight is the most important to their Samsung issues. That claim was crucial to their $1.05 billion initial judgement, but with a settlement review, it could unravel a bit for Apple.

This coincides with another rejected Apple patent that figured prominently in their legal issues with Samsung, the “overscroll bounce” patent. As Apple continues to seek review of their rejected patent applications, Samsung will continue to argue for lesser damages to be paid to the Cupertino company. Like many lawsuits of its kind, this one is becoming less sensational as the judicial and patent system work the kinks out. Apple will undoubtedly reap rewards, but it looks like that original $1.05 billion amount, and maybe even the later judgement for half that amount, may not happen.

  • lifelessons

    This is what happens when a crazed dictator threatens to go “thermonuclear”… destruction is mutually assured and both parities lose. Except perhaps patent attorneys, who make countless millions while the companies involved just look like tool bags for seeking bans and billions from common sense ideas which should never have been granted patents in the first place. At the end of the day, the cost of this attrition is simply passed on to consumers. Ain’t life grand!?!?

    • OMGgary

      Hmm.. You know, after reading that, I’m thinking they should hire Sacha Baron Cohen instead of Ashton Kutcher for the movie about Jobs. After all, he does have more experience at playing a dictator.

    • pikmin

      I hope that “thermonuclear” exploded on their own facilities :D

    • mobilemann

      you do know that nokia hit first with the patent fights right? And that apple is a fraction of the patent wars? I love kids who need someone to play the villain.

  • OMGgary

    I think Nelson Muntz said it best.

  • Simon Craddock

    Time for Apple to put up and shut up. One by one their patents are being picked apart after being thrust into the spotlight of litigation.Give it up as a bad job and concentrate on your business instead of lining the pockets of lawyers that have no interest but getting rich on the back of a dead man’s fading dream of taking down Android.

  • Rijoenpial

    Apple is reaping what it sowed: these suits are just smokescreen to divert from their true goal, which was to delay or unfairly profit from competitors’ ideas,namely the S3, S4 and others… Their claims and the amount of applied patents (clearly showing that they don’t want to use that tech, but stop others from getting it or figuring it out on their own!) prove that contrary to what comes out of their lying mouths, especially Tim Cook’s, they ARE seeking to profit from others! For instance, they had an internal Samsung document presented on the US patent suit, with only ONE mention of the iPhone! ONE! And it was Samsung technicians warning the brass at Samsung that the icons looked A BIT like the iPhone’s! That was it! So, yeah, this is sheer proof that Apple is just trying to restrain (hence the focus on trying to stop the selling of Samsung products)… They even tried to throw the S4 in it while they were at it, but the American courts wisely and responsibly told them to take a hike, because Apple was holding back other, more important cases from seeing their day in court! Apple is withering, and they are so threatened by Samsung and Android, that they can’t hide it anymore and blatantly show their greedy and hainous core! First, these ridiculous suits, and then the pathetic displya at WWDC where after trash-talking Android, they presented iOS7, which is nothing more than a BLATANT COPY of Android and WIndows Phone! SO, as far as credibility goes, Apple doesn’t pack any more of it for me! Apple is gonna wither and die, and I will not miss it at all! Not because of the iPhone, or the iPad, but because they are an unethical, immoral, corrupt entity that hates competition, the competitive market and wants to show that less is more, namely, one-trick pony OSs that are only suitable to the technologically challenged, namely children and the elderly… And women, because they are miniature phones for miniature hands… And simple enough so that even a child would understand it… Now, because technology ever moves forward, Apple has tried to show us through marketing ploys and ridiculous sect-toned bravado (Just listen to the monotonous Jony Ive’s rant in the iPHone and iOs commercials, almost like trying to get people into transe! Or just talking really slow so that to be understood by Apple demographics: the aforementioned old people, children and the other technologically challenged millions out there! Rather depressing figures, I might say… Either way, Apple’s hold on the media has enabled them to brainwash the US public into believing that ‘less is better and technology should have a snail’s pace and be draconianly controlled by them, rather than let the consummer make up his own damn mind! I digress, but all this, all that Apple is doing, is why they should fall! Fortunately, Android and Samsung are already hammering the nails in Apple’s coffin, and given the might of Samsung and the rampant dissemination of Android, Apple’s days are indeed numbered! All it would take is for Samsung to tabe advantage of Apple’s delays and the iPhone 5S will look pretty redundant and silly by the time it gets out! And so will the iPad mini and iPad 5! It is a great day for those who scorn Apple for the bad seeds and the bad apples in their midst! Pun intended, of course… Cheers

  • Joshua Hill

    I’m just gold to see some common sense and justice make there way to the US patent and legal system again. Now if they can only get some sense into their espionage and terrorist parts of their law…

  • rabidhunter

    Samsung should put a bug in every chip it makes for Apple that changes iOS to Tizen