Key Apple patent, used against Google and Samsung, declared invalid by USPTO

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has tentatively invalidated a key Apple patent, which was used by the electronics giant in recent patent lawsuits against Samsung and Google.

FOSS Patents reports that the USPTO has tentatively invalidated all 20 claims made in patent 7,479,949, which covers multi-touch user interfaces.

According to the filing, the patent covers:

“A computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a computing device with a touch screen display comprises: Detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display, applying one or more heuristics to the one or more finger contacts to determine a command for the device, and processing the command.”

The patent, dubbed by Apple as the “Steve Jobs patent”, was one of the major patents used in recent court cases against Samsung and Google’s Motorola hardware subsidiary.

An International Trade Commission judge ruled the patent valid in late October, ruling that Samsung had violated it.


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