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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:14 PM   #1
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USPTO Preliminarily Rejects Apple's 'Pinch-to-Zoom' Patent




Another Apple patent is in the spotlight tonight, after the United States Patent and Trademark Office has preliminarily rejected all 20 claims of Patent No. 7,844,915, or the so-called "pinch to zoom" patent.

Patent '915 deals with technology that discerns whether a user is scrolling with a single finger or accessing several touch points at once, as in a pinch-to-zoom action. Apple successfully used Patent No. '915 against Samsung in its court battle earlier this year, and 21 of 24 Samsung devices in the lawsuit were found to be infringing on the patent.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Samsung brought the invalidation of the key patent to the court's attention in a Wednesday afternoon filing.
Quote:
The agency declared invalid the entirety of Apple's so-called "pinch-to-zoom" patent on Wednesday, according to a court filing from Samsung. The Korean electronics giant said in a statement to the court that the patent had been struck down on re-examination due to previous patents on record.

Samsung said the development supports its request for a new trial.
Samsung has been fighting for a retrial in recent weeks, after Apple was granted more than $1 billion in damages when a jury decided that Samsung had willfully infringed on Apple's patents. Part of Patent No. '915 was an important factor in the calculation of the payment.

On Monday, Judge Lucy Koh, who has been presiding over the Apple vs. Samsung trial denied Samsung's motion for a new trial on the basis of juror misconduct.

As The Verge points out, however, the rejection of Patent No. '915 is preliminary and isn't yet the same as "invalidating" the patent. Apple still has the opportunity to file its counter-arguments:
Quote:
The whole discussion is part of an ex parte reexamination; that means Apple is the only other party talking to the USPTO about the patent, and it will still have an opportunity to fight for keeping the patent valid or to amend its language so that it will stay relevant in the Samsung case. It's also important to note that while 21 individual claims within the patent were rejected, only one -- Claim 8 -- was used in the trial, providing Apple a very specific target when working with the Patent Office.
The decision comes just weeks after the USPTO preliminarily rejected Patent No. 7,479,949 or the "Steve Jobs" patent.

Article Link: USPTO Preliminarily Rejects Apple's 'Pinch-to-Zoom' Patent
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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puts on flamesuit

i don't think this should be a patent
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:16 PM   #3
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Pinch me to wake me up after this boring patent war is over!
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:17 PM   #4
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I pinched her and she liked it.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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No surprise here. You can't patent everything -- it eliminates too much competition.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:20 PM   #6
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Thank you US Patent Office! =)
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:23 PM   #7
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apple is going down...to the wonderland.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:25 PM   #8
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Fair enough, it is an important and necessary component of a smartphones OS (used primarily for zooming in and out) and I don't see a good way around it!
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:26 PM   #9
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They're totally right.... I mean, I was using pinch-to-zoom on everything before 2006. My flip phone, my XP tablet, my mini-xp tablet, my Rio MP3 player. It was getting so old by the time iPhone came out. I hope they burn.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 07:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konrad View Post
I pinched her and she liked it.
Did you zoom in after that?
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:35 PM   #11
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This reminds of

a Slayer song: 'Piece by Piece'.

I do think that some Apple patents are well worth it. Unlink the usual folk, I agree with the novelty of "Slide to Unlock" or the "Bounce back" ideas.

But this was ridiculous. You can't patent a mouse. Apple should definitely be credited as one of the inventors for such a thing, but please this is ridiculous.

But lets not forget, there are thousands of patents by Microsoft and they still file UI and software patents that are so trivial and have absolutely no novelty in them. Pinch-to-zoom is novel but I don't the patent for something like this should be awarded. It's like a patent for touching a touchscreen. Idiotic.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:39 PM   #12
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I would like to point out that all 3 of the patents Apple is suing Samsung for in the US are in various stages of being invalidated.

arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/12/apple-stands-to-lose-another-patent-crucial-to-its-battle-with-samsung/

It truly boggles the mind how the incompetent US jury could think these soon to be struck, frivolous patents could be worth $1 billion.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:44 PM   #13
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To all you people saying that this is natural on every device fail to realize that it was only obvious AFTER Apple implemented it on the iPhone. Hindsight is always clear after someone else has done it and I dare you to come up with something better.

I'm not defending Apple here but just pointing out something before it's said.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imiket View Post
to all you people saying that this is natural on every device fail to realize that it was only obvious after apple implemented it on the iphone. Hindsight is always clear after someone else has done it and i dare you to come up with something better.

I'm not defending apple here but just pointing out something before it's said.
exactly.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeDudeAsking View Post
Apple copying pinch to zoom from other companies doesn't give it a God given right to a patent for it.
You've got nothing but an opinion. Apple did something. They made something of value, and the lazy and entitled want it for nothing. Proof that it's the best solution out there.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:49 PM   #15
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Sounds like someone's getting paid off...
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:52 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 4God View Post
Sounds like someone's getting paid off...
hahaha let's all get out our tinfoil hats
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 07:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 4God View Post
Sounds like someone's getting paid off...
Agreed, I'm just not sure if it's Judge Koh, the jury, or both...
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 07:38 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 4God View Post
Sounds like someone's getting paid off...
When a company proves itself as patent troll, USPTO tend to pay close attention to its patent applications.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mentholiptus View Post
exactly.

You've got nothing but an opinion. Apple did something. They made something of value, and the lazy and entitled want it for nothing. Proof that it's the best solution out there.
They don't want it for nothing, and they're not stealing it from Apple after they supposedly spent billions of dollars in research figuring out the intricacies of pinch to zoom.

The gesture had been displayed long before Apple first showed it on the iPhone. The whole concept of multitouch and all the amazing things you could do with it has a long, storied history stretching back to at least the early 80's. The biggest problem here isn't other companies stealing from Apple, rather Apple getting credit for something they didn't invent themselves.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 12:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
The whole concept of multitouch and all the amazing things you could do with it has a long, storied history stretching back to at least the early 80's..
It seems you have watched to many SCI-FI movies. I like them too.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 07:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mentholiptus View Post

You've got nothing but an opinion. Apple did something. They made something of value, and the lazy and entitled want it for nothing. Proof that it's the best solution out there.
Ah, the irony...
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 07:12 PM   #22
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Taking ownership of pinch-to-zoom or singing Happy Birthday publically is as ridiculous as patenting sit-to-poop.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:41 PM   #23
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Apple MAY have had to patent it defensively (so someone else didn’t copy them, patent it themselves, and sue Apple or whatever).

But Apple didn’t invent the gesture. Maybe some behind-the-scenes specifics about it, at most, but not the general principle of using a touchscreen in that way. If the patent is too broad, then it should be canned. If that’s the case, I won’t root for Apple to win this one. (But patents are often less broad/more specific than they sound at first.)
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 11:53 PM   #24
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If MacRumors didn't run stories about Patents and Samsung what would be left?
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 08:58 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertMartens View Post
If MacRumors didn't run stories about Patents and Samsung what would be left?
Stories about people's near death experience using Apple maps?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stridder44 View Post
When did this become such an Android fanboy forum?
Good question.
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