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U.S. patent office upholds ‘Steve Jobs’ patent

Reaffirming of the ‘Steve Jobs patent’ could significantly sway the Apple v. Samsung retrial in Apple’s favor.


The anchor of Apple’s suit against Samsung, once invalidated by the US Patent and Trademark office, has been reaffirmed and is now likely stronger one patent lawyer believes.

US Patent No. 7,479,949, entitled, “Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics,” lists Apple’s late co-founder and 24 other prominent current and former Apple engineers as inventors.  Apple applied for the patent in April 2008 and was granted it less than a year later.

All 20 claims of the patent were reaffirmed by the Patent Office. The patent was originally challenged anonymously, with many believing Samsung or Google being the instigating party.

Patent lawyer and blogger Florian Mueller believes that this represents a major victory for Apple and the beginning of a massive uphill battle for Samsung:

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.

The Steve Jobs patent is one of two patents Samsung must now work around to avoid a U.S. import ban ordered in August that took effect last week. Apple is also asserting this patent against Google’s Motorola Mobility in a lawsuit that I believe will soon be remanded by the Federal Circuit to the Northern District of Illinois.

In June Apple already fended off a reexamination threat to another key multi-touch patent, the so-called rubber-banding (or, as I like to call it, overscroll bounce) patent. Three claims of the ‘381 patent were confirmed by the USPTO, including the one Apple successfully asserted against Samsung at last year’s California trial and in other jurisdictions around the globe.

Mueller believes that Apple is winning the grand patent battle against Google and Samsung in the United States, and he very well may be right. Though it will take years for the courts to fully resolve the companies various disputes and finally close the book on Apple v. Samsung, it may be that Apple ends up on the receiving end of some hefty royalty checks.

Source: FOSS Patents

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