Apple’s ‘Steve Jobs patent’ tentatively ruled invalid

The United States Patent & Trademark Office has ruled an Apple multitouch patent — commonly referred to as “the Steve Jobs patent” — as invalid on a non-final basis. All 20 claims of U.S. Patent 7,479,949 were rejected in a first Office action, a preliminary ruling that suggests a patent can be invalidated in the future, though it is being left in effect pending a final determination. The patent is for a “Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics.” This notably follows an October reexamination of Apple’s “rubber-banding” patent for a bounce back effect when scrolling, which similarly concluded on a preliminary basis that all claims would be invalidated. These patents have been at the heart of Apple lawsuits against rivals, and if found invalid would significantly damage the Cupertino company’s litigation positions. [via FOSS Patents]

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