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USPTO Declares Apple’s Multitouch “Steve Jobs” Patent Invalid, The Crowd Goes Wild

Hot off the wire is the announcement that the U.S. Patents and Trade Office has found Apple’s ‘949 multi-touch patent, that was a key factor in suits against Samsung and Motorola, to be invalid. After close re-examination, all 20 points of the patent have been ruled invalid, which means we can maybe expect some lengthy appeal processes from many OEM’s that fell victim to Apple’s trolling earlier this year, assuming it stays invalid. 

Given that he has plenty of experience with patents, we’ll assume Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents knows what he’s talking about when he says that this move is preliminary. In other words, this doesn’t mean that Apple’s patent is done, but that this is the first step towards invalidating it.

First Office actions and other non-final Office actions are just preliminary. Many patent claims that are rejected at this stage do ultimately survive. There are many steps inside the USPTO, followed by a potential appeal to the Federal Circuit (and in a few cases even the Supreme Court).

Some people say that first Office actions are partial because they are based only on submissions made by those challenging the patent, and many examiners like to take a tough position early on in order to enable and require the patentee to present the strongest arguments in favor of validity. But it would be a mistake to underestimate the significance of a first Office action.

We shall see what happens next.

Via: FOSS Patents

Cheers Scrub175, Tony, Bensir, and zepfloyd!

  • Harish

    Perfect Person Perfect Mind Perfect Product. Only One Person STEVE

  • JayQ330

    I hope Samsung can use this to get u mm… Let’s say about a billion $ back.
    I bet that Apple knew they wouldn’t be able to keep that patent but used it to buy them exclusivity time & make off with billions of dollars while it lasted. They should be sued by all the android phones that us android users could of have with better & more intuitive gestures sooner than later. Also this stupid patent gave Apple the go ahead for other gesture based patents which they should be stripped of if it’s related to multi touch. I could only imagine that they use this as a tactic just to buy them exclusivity until the patent is found to be bogus. For example that rubberband patent is another one that will be found as never should of been granted, but by that time they’ve already got the time & billions of dollar’s of of it & the only ones that suffered are the people who don’t buy iphones & companies having to water down there u.i. For the sake of not wanting to be troll bait. Regardless the blame is on the patent office for turning there cheek while maybe getting money under the table… Hey America is corrupt is possible. Even the judges…

  • It’d be nice if you reported the whole story… like Android Police does. You forgot one VERY important word: PRELIMINARY

    Here’s how REAL reporters share news.

  • yarrellray

    Can’t help but laugh..

  • Michael Lewis

    I think this might be a blip if Apple manages to get back on track.


    More accurate: Tim-o-Tato again shows that he has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to patents.

    • Roscoe P Coaltrain

      Get a life.

  • Hatyrei

    So if Apple blocks some sale on Android phones and use this patents for suing company’s like Samsung. Does this means …Those this means Apple will compensate for lose for the companies that are affected>? . Enlighten me pls. 🙂

  • Savan Ghetiya

    karma’s one cold hearted bitch !

  • ElixirBlack

    Victory! It’s nice to at least be winning something.

  • MigyWPB

    WOOOOOHOOOOO take that Apple. About time to stop that none sense and be careful Apple you will get some of your on medicine.

  • I’m…okay with this.

  • RaptorOO7

    Its amazing how fast a company can burn cash when it has to, and don’t forget MOST of their cash is offshore and they desperately want a tax holiday to get it in the US at a cheap, and super cheap tax rate. No deal, they ship jobs to china so let the profits be taxed since they saved so much money on those jobs.

  • EC8CH

    When this is all over, how much will have been wasted in legal fees paying lawyers over an absurd patent. The current patent system is so inefficient, too much sent on lawyers and not enough on engineers

    • AE35

      I much prefer the British system where the loser pays the winner’s legal fees.
      The lawyer lobby prevents that in the US.

  • EC8CH

    Wonder if the USPTO has considered if the software on the apple processors can run on any other device’s processor and vise versa… Ya know these things need to be interchangeable.

  • Anthony_Armando

    FOSS Patents is a terribly bias blog; he is on the take from Microsoft. Never read it for his “opinion.”

    Groklaw is significantly better. Much less bias.

  • tyguy829

    Apple’s patents? FACKWORS!

  • At this point the entire patent system needs to be re-examined thoroughly! Back before everything went to crap with software patents and multi billion dollar corporations, an inventor was NOT allowed to patent an idea! They could only patent THEIR implementation of the idea! This is why there are multiple brands and multiple solutions to everyday issues and problems! Just take the automobile for one, the number of different car, truck and suv designs is hard to even wrap your mind around however no one car manufacturer sues the other for the idea of having 4 wheels and a propulsion system to move people and objects from point A to point B.

    • Worker7

      Please go read up on the patent process. Any person can get a patent for anything, it is NOT required that something must be unique or your own invention to get a patent.

  • jb

    Apple owns the patent for invalidating patents. They’ll be suing the USPTO soon and seeking damages in the form of “every patent ever filed”.

  • Zenon Tigerpaw

    Take that! Finally. Proper justice.

  • Jonathan


  • jeff3yan

    Finally, ever since I switched to Android I’ve been missing the rubber banding effect. Really wish they’d just copy it, feels a bit jarring reaching the end of a list and having it just stop there.

    Just because I don’t use Apple doesn’t mean I don’t want their features.

  • BPK

    FOSS patents is nothing but a shill for Microsoft and Oracle. Seriously, go to groklaw.com for real (pro-android and pro-open source) legal analysis. Don’t give any page views to FOSS Patents!

    • zepfloyd

      Well, you’re right Mueller is certainly a shill, but FOSS did break the story first. In this case it doesn’t matter really. It’s a black and white filing from the USPTO office, can’t bias that. His commentary after is what you should just ignore.

  • user311

    This changes everything…

    • Justin W


  • A first action rejection? Really? That’s what we’re excited about? This really doesn’t mean anything in the long run. Read between the lines of those last two paragraphs. This sort of thing is very common in re-exam. It’s a bummer because I was excited these things actually got knocked down.

    • FYI For the uninformed–Apple’s lawyers haven’t had their chance to fight this yet in front of the USPTO. They will get that chance in their response.

      • More like Apple’s lawyers haven’t had a chance to put everyone involved in the matter onto their payroll!

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Sorry FLORIAN… I take all my Patent related news from Nilay Patel.

    • Bob G

      LOL that guy…….. ugh

  • Daniel T

    Ok, I would love to see this invalidated and think it is pointless as a patent but this is a long way from that, this is a preliminary invalidation.

    To start with Apple now has the opportunity to come back and explain why the patent is valid and should be re-instated, they have various levels at which to do that and it’s not an open process that allows for all the other SmartPhone manufacturers to come in and say why it should be invalid, it’s between Apple and the USPTO.

    That said. INVALIDATE THAT MoFo

  • Kindroid

    Sanity finally rules.

  • HAHA!

  • TheRealKingOfAllMedia

    “First Office actions and other non-final Office actions are just preliminary. Many patent claims that are rejected at this stage do ultimately survive.”

    Don’t count your apples just yet droid-bros. We have already won in the market demand.

    • AE35

      Why are you here other than to troll?

    • Nickan Fayyazi

      Apple’s worldwide market share: ~15%
      Android’s worldwide market share: ~70%
      Oh you say it’s because there are multiple Android phone manufacturers?
      Samsung’s worldwide market share is over 30%.
      The Galaxy SIII alone outsold the iPhone 4S.
      Sorry, couldn’t help it.

      • Michael Scrip

        “The Galaxy SIII alone outsold the iPhone 4S”

        Don’t get caught up in the headlines.

        Samsung reported that they sold 30 million Galaxy SIII

        The iPhone 4S has been on sale since October 2011… and it’s still being sold today.

        Although Apple doesn’t break down sales of individual models… estimates are that Apple has sold approximately 87 million iPhone 4S since its launch.

        30 million vs 87 million….

        But you just said “The Galaxy SIII alone outsold the iPhone 4S”

        Would you like to revise your statement?

  • Silver Veloz


  • Butters619

    Yeah it’s not over. Usually when a patent becomes invalid in this stage the filing company will go back and make the patent a little more specific, and keep doing so until it is either accepted or rejected final.

    Part of the reason BS patents get through is because a company will keep pushing the patent through with minimal changes to try to side step any opposition and sometime the patent slides through when it shouldn’t because of this repetition .

  • Kevin Niven

    Sick of Apple and the BS!

  • FAL_Fan

    Let’s hope that Apple will get slapped in the face with this…They truly deserve it for dragging everyone through the mud.

    • BubbleSort

      A patent is only valid as long as you defend it. The USPTO should be the ones getting slapped for this huge mess.

  • ChristianJohnson

    Sums it up.

  • renGek

    AAPL stock price apocolypse in 3…2…

    • Capt. Crunch

      This is the first time apple’s profits declined in the past 9 years
      It seems like it’s the beginning of the end for apple as the most profitable tech company

      • Butters619

        Just throwing it out there, but they have a MASSIVE lead in profitability. The may be on their downfall, but it’s going to be a while before another company passes them.

        And I’m a Google fanboy, but I know how to read balance sheets.

        • Capt. Crunch

          Yeah no kidding I’m a finance major and I know it would be a long way down for apple. Btw they won’t go bankrupt or anything but the iPhone will likely go the way of the Mac

          • Butters619

            Yeah windows lost a lot of ground from it’s heyday but it still a healthy company. Apple will probably eventually fall in line with that. But even if Apple somehow became terribly mismanaged they would still be in the game for a long long time. Just look at how long RIM is poking around and all the terrible management decisions from that camp. And Apple has nearly 20 times the assets that RIM ever had.

          • *Microsoft lost a lot of ground from its heyday…


          • Butters619

            Thanks. That’s what I meant. It had been a long day.

          • AE35

            Ha. You don’t have to be a finance major to understand $121 billion in cash and short-term investments. Apple has a thick bankroll to weather a few storms.

            But I’m glad this patent got invalidated. Hopefully it will stick.

          • michael arazan

            The Iphone bubble is about to pop, because of not filling it with R&D and innovation, and filling it with just hot air it will hit the wall. All they have to do is create another type of device, like what they are getting ready to do with apple tv that’ll only be compatible with an apple tv and cable/internet box. How they will get all the licensing for apple tv from every network is gonna be costly, just look at dish and direct when their deals collapsed because of increases. Even if they can get netflix and hulu on board for a fair price, which I doubt. Brian Williams just interviewed Tim Cook for the first time about the negatives and positives of apple this past thurs on nbc Rock Center, Not hard hitting but it sounds like apple is aware of the negativity they are generating and have generated and how they need to get into another field of media technology. Apple is going to “assemble” one apple product in the U.S., not manufacture, which sounds good to bring jobs back to america from an american company that outsourced, but more like a PR stunt.

          • Joseph L Hemrick III

            “Apple is going to “assemble” one apple product in the U.S.,” This is good news if its true. I’m not a huge apple fan but would appreciate them more if everything they made was based in the US.

          • George264

            Thing is though, the Mac is going up as Win 8 is making PCs go down. :/

      • Akashshr

        Thats just Naive in so many ways, to a techky to a geek to a simple fan it is so obvious you know nothing how the industry works or AAPL!!

        AAPL will be the most profitable company in the world! for at least a few generations to come!

        • Now that’s funny. “few generations” is 50 years at the least. You really are delusional if you think Apple can maintain this for 50+ years.

    • Alphonzo Rodriguez

      How is Jobs doing these days?

    • As an Apple shareholder and prouder Android owner, no, I’m not concerned about their profitability ion the near or long term. Investing in them pre-iPhone is helping me through college.

  • Huge!

  • Chris Pinola