It seems that Apple’s patent trolling failed after the American patent office decided that its iconic “pinch to zoom” patent didn’t spring fully formed from the genius of Steve Jobs.
It is known that the patent figured prominently in an infringement lawsuit against Samsung Electronics, or at least that’s what the South Korean company said in a US federal court. As a result, Apple will have to respond within two months, and the experts agree the company will almost certainly appeal and seek a judicial review.
The patent in question was involved in Apple’s lawsuit against Samsung, when a year ago Apple was awarded $1.05 billion in damages. However, at the time the court has ordered a partial retrial in order to review the damages to be paid to the tech giant. Media reports confirm that the patent office believes the “pinch to zoom” idea was anticipated in U.S. Patent No. 7,724,242 awarded to Daniel W. Hillis and Bran Ferren.
For example, Hillis explains distinguishing the number of contact points and determining whether the event object matches a gesture pattern. Thus far, the USPTO has already rejected a number of claims of another patent regarded as an “overscroll bounce” one. Apple claimed that the reexamination wasn’t finished, and the company is entitled to file a response to the action that may lead to a withdrawal of the rejection or certification of the claims under reexamination.
This is what can put the entire Apple versus Samsung case in trouble – although Samsung will clearly have to pay Apple something, it still can argue for much lower damages. In addition, it means that plans of Apple to keep Samsung devices off the shelves will be bogged down for much longer.