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