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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 19, 2012, 06:27 PM   #10
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Here we go again.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:27 PM   #11
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Thank God. We need to see end to stupid software patents like this.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:32 PM   #12
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Wasn't pinch to zoom demoed in some multi-touch university research back in the 70s?

If it were then there would be a case for prior art.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella View Post
Wasn't pinch to touch demoed in some multi-touch university research back in the 70s?

If it were then there would be a case for prior art.
well, it's not exactly a pinch to zoom patent, apparently. sort of a part of it:

http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/30/32...om-patent-myth

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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:35 PM   #14
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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, 06:35 PM   #15
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Isn't there a back page for all this lawsuit crap? How many threads do we need that turn into arguments about who invented what (aka Apple invented nothing) and why patents suck (aka Apple is a patent troll).
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:38 PM   #16
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There are hundreds of other ways to zoom in and out, but pinch to zoom is by far the best/coolest/most natural, and everyone else wants it. Apple nailed it, and no one else wants to settle for less.

When Apple showed it for the first time, people ooh'd, ahh'd, clapped, whistled, and cheered, because it was THAT good. It had a huge impact, and it took years before anyone else had an OS that could hold a candle to iOS.

Now, everyone who copied the original, and was late to the party, wants what Apple has. But they don't want to work for it. They just want it. They feel entitled to it. They could use sliders UI's, knob UI's, they could swipe, use a magnifying glass like Adobe, etc, but no, it has to be Apple's method, because it's established (by the iPhone) as the best.

Lame. People say they want competition, then bitch because they've got nothing to bring to the table. They want to compete by making iPhones, rebranding them, and then pitting them against the iPhone. There's no argument that justifies anything else. It's all BS.

Go to 33:40, and see it for the first time on any consumer device, ever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s72uTrA5EDY

Last edited by mentholiptus; Dec 19, 2012 at 06:45 PM. Reason: add link
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:39 PM   #17
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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, 06:39 PM   #18
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Guys, remember, none of this means anything. The Media is reporting this incorrectly and going crazy for no reasons.

It is normal to see USPTO to reject all claims on many software patents, they do this to force the patent owners to fight harder to prove the patents should be valid. In many cases, the patents becomes re-validated and it'll become that much difficult to prove it is invalid down the line.

As long as Apple can prove the patents are valid in the next filing, they should be okay.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:41 PM   #19
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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, 06:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
Isn't there a back page for all this lawsuit crap? How many threads do we need that turn into arguments about who invented what (aka Apple invented nothing) and why patents suck (aka Apple is a patent troll).
These threads will stop when Apple stops bully suing with invalid, frivolous patents.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tann View Post
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!
I don't really get the patent system, but I will guess that if Apple deserves a patent and what you say is true, then the patent becomes FRAND, not invalid.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mentholiptus View Post
There are hundreds of other ways to zoom in and out, but pinch to zoom is by far the best/coolest/most natural, and everyone else wants it. Apple nailed it, and no one else wants to settle for less.

When Apple showed it for the first time, people ooh'd, ahh'd, clapped, whistled, and cheered, because it was THAT good. It had a huge impact, and it took years before anyone else had an OS that could hold a candle to iOS.

Now, everyone who copied the original, and was late to the party, wants what Apple has. But they don't want to work for it. They just want it. They feel entitled to it. They could use sliders UI's, knob UI's, they could swipe, use a magnifying glass like Adobe, etc, but no, it has to be Apple's method, because it's established (by the iPhone) as the best.

Lame. People say they want competition, then bitch because they've got nothing to bring to the table. They want to compete by making iPhones, rebranding them, and then pitting them against the iPhone. There's no argument that justifies anything else. It's all BS.
Apple did not invent pinch to zoom. Other companies did, Apple just copied it.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
Isn't there a back page for all this lawsuit crap? How many threads do we need that turn into arguments about who invented what (aka Apple invented nothing) and why patents suck (aka Apple is a patent troll).
Why do you click and comment (aka complain)? Just curious.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mentholiptus View Post
There are hundreds of other ways to zoom in and out, but pinch to zoom is by far the best/coolest/most natural, and everyone else wants it. Apple nailed it, and no one else wants to settle for less.
So cool, yet not invented by Apple in Cupertino California. I've seen pinch to zoom implemented before 2007. It was done with two index fingers, but the gesture itself and idea behind it was exactly the same. Doing it with an index finger and a thumb, the preferred iOS method, is functionally identical.

That's the major point of this thread, not who copied who, but who invented what and owns the rights to it.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeDudeAsking View Post
These threads will stop when Apple stops bully suing with invalid, frivolous patents.
Apple bullying? What are we back in high school. None of these patents have actually been invalidated so...
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