U.S. Patent Office invalidates “Steve Jobs patent”

One of Apple’s most important patents, commonly referred to as the “Steve Jobs patent” or “the iPhone patent,” has run into some trouble with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Approved back in 2009, Apple has been using this particular patent as grounds to sue every company from Samsung to Motorola, but it seems that this patent-galavanting has landed the Cupertino-based company in hot water. The USPTO has made the decision to invalidate the patent pending further review.

According FOSS Patents,

This week, the USPTO issued a first Office action rejecting all 20 claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 on a “touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics”, which has been referred to by many people, including Apple’s own lawyers, as “the Steve Jobs patent”.

This isn’t the first time the USPTO has overturned an Apple patent – a similar thing happened with Apple’s “rubber-banding” patent, which detailed that little bouncing animation that happens when you scroll to the top or bottom of a list in iOS. The loss of that patent was a big blow to Apple’s legal tactics, and the loss of the Steve Jobs patent could be much worse for the company.

What do you guys think about this? Is it good that Apple loses these legal weapons – will it force the company to focus on products, or just make it devote more time to its legal team in order to combat this loss? Sound off in the comments section below and hit me up on twitter @TiP_Jake.


Via: Cult of Mac, FOSS Patents

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  • Steve

    Yessssss!!! Bravo!!

  • Buddaboy182

    Typical cowardly government response.

  • MittDTwitt

    f’n awesome.  Don’t stop now!

  • MikeVoorhees

    Yes, all these stupid patents need to go.  Not just Apples.

  • PinUpBot

    I think this is great.  I think if you make a phone similar to someone else’s product you shouldn’t get sued because you use the same color or the same shape or a gui that i similar, I think one should only be allowed to sue for this type of thing when their is obvious infringement i.e. the code is a copy and paste type thing and has been changed a little.  Things like that.  But you can’t use a law suit to stop the other guys from kicking your ass.

  • BeanCube

    Apple’s technologies are expensive law firms, not innovations and user communities.
    Expensive law firms take a lot of important positions in the company already, executives don’t have any real idea about what are made up languages and what are real technologies in their products anymore.

  • nomorethanu

    sorry burst your bubble but they havent lost anything  note tjhat this was a “first office acttion.”  aple still has a chance to respond and more often than not the patent owner prevails  better to not write from ignorance next time

  • Amauri14


  • GangstaCode

    not when patents are written so loosely and generic.  the whole idea of a patent is to have something proprietary and specific not generic.
    compE rules the world.

  • MartianMathers

    @Buddaboy182 A cowardly government response to invalidate a ridiculous patent that prevents further innovation in technology?

  • martylk2

    Of Motorola can.jave a paywnt pn Wifi and cell signals, Apple can have a patent on capacitive mobile touchscreen tech. Nobody was using the tech when the iphone came out. And worse, nobody would have been using the tech because the lndustry is lazy. It tool Apple to make them all get off their lazy asses.

  • Buddaboy182

    @MartianMathers @Buddaboy182 Are you kidding? This was a massive advance in smartphone technology. You would still be using a basic $10 phone if it weren’t for companies like Apple pushing the envelope. Grow up.

  • martylk2

    @Buddaboy182  @MartianMathers  @Buddaboy182 
    This is what I’ve been saying for a long time. Apple is the one copany solely responsible for how pleasing the current smartphone technology is and for the current state of the smartphone market.
    That nice and powerful Galaxy S3 or OneX? Thank Apple for it. If it wasn’t for the original iPhone, we would all still be using cheap, crappy resistive display tech in our incredibly unreliable and buggy-as-Hell smartphones. But because Apple put out a world-first fully reliable, high-technology and very simple *real* smartphone, everyone else in the industry could no longer survive dishing out nearly zero cost and POS crap like the industry was force feeding us.
    It’s simple: The ideal that every company except Apple tried to live by was, “get as much money from the consumer while giving as little in return”. If a company can get your money and give nothing in return, that is the “bean counter’s” ideal.
    Apple came along and threw a monkey wrench into that ethic and gave the masses *true* and *real* value and content in the iPhone. And likely enraged every lazy-ass, fat-ass, slob’ish mobile phone company the world over.
    Palm? Dead! Palm was one of the leading smartphone companies of the time. Yet their Treo crap was nothing but what comes out of a cat’s rear end compared to the iPhone. And Palm finally got their just reward for being a shyster company.

  • pseagraves

    I think if this patent becomes completely invalid some of these lawsuits will go away.

  • lean6rtj2

    Losing the patent could be the best thing that could happen to Apple at this point. They’re in the lame category right now, having the fight brought to them so effectively by Samsung, while Apple constantly grips and complaints to the referee. The consumers want to see a REAL fight…Samsung is winning the crowd over.

  • Flying Piggies

    Anyways, losing patents, may be good for Apple in the long run. It may force them to get off their asses and innovate, think and produce. Not just brag and sue all day long. It’s the “I have a gun, you have a gun, who shoots first?” Now, with Apple’s ‘gun’ knocked off, we MAY see a ‘second coming’. Without the Steve Jobs.

  • MartianMathers

    Wow, an Apple zealot who can’t take an opposing view point.  I’m not the one who needs to grow up.

  • Buddaboy182

    Maybe if your view point made any sense @MartianMathers