According to documents filed by Samsung, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has invalidated Apple's "pinch to zoom" patent, one of the patents at issue in the litigation between the two companies. The USPTO decision is labeled "final," but in reality, Apple still has time to appeal.
ZDNet's Liam Tung reported, "The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has once again rejected Apple's claims over a patent that plays a key role in its infringement suit with rival Samsung. Samsung's legal team on Sunday filed in a US court the USPTO's 'final' decision to reject 20 claims in Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent 7,844,915. Apple now has two months to argue for its validity."
AppleInsider's Kevin Bostic added, "The final office action found that Apple's claims in the patent were both anticipated by prior art references and obvious according to the combination of another two other prior art references."
Computerworld's John Ribeiro noted, "Claim eight of the patent was involved in Apple's lawsuit against Samsung in the court, according to a filing Sunday by Samsung in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division. A jury last August awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages, but the court has ordered a partial retrial to review the damages to be paid to the iPhone maker."
Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents blogged, "One can easily get confused by the terminology in U.S. patent reexaminations.... In this case, the 'final' Office action is merely the second decision in a process that would take years (until mid-2017 or later) unless Apple successfully defends the patent before all appeals have been exhausted."