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USPTO: Apple's '949 patent, aka the "Steve Jobs patent", is invalid

Posted: , by Alan F.

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USPTO: Apple's '949 patent, aka the
The '949 patent, ruled invalid by the USPTO

The '949 patent, ruled invalid by the USPTO

For the second time in the last three months, the USPTO has declared a patent previously awarded to Apple, as being invalid. Back in October, the USPTO ruled that the '381 rubber-banding (overscroll bounce) patent was invalid. Back in August, Hogan's Heroes, aka the jury in the Apple-Samsung patent trial, ruled that Samsung infringed on this patent in reaching its verdict. Now, the USPTO says that the '949 patent, aka the "Steve Jobs patent," is also invalid. That patent is for a "touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics." In late October, the patent was declared valid by an ITC judge who also found that Samsung had infringed on it.

The '949 patent was going to be used by Apple against Motorola except that the judge found part of the patent invalid and said that the minor infringement that Motorola could be found guilty of would not warrant injunctive relief. Even though that trial was canceled, Judge Richard Posner banned the use of the name "Steve Jobs patent" when referring to '949 before tossing the case.

The two rulings against Apple are both preliminary and are not final as Apple can appeal the decisions. Still, this news can only be good for those who have found themselves staring at Apple's legal team on the other side of the courtroom. In fact, considering Judge Lucy Koh's apparent disdain for how Hogan's Heroes computed the $1.05 billion it awarded to Apple, we wouldn't be surprised to see the size of the jury award lowered significantly. Apple had 20 claims on each patent, all 40 of which are now ruled invalid by the USPTO.

"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 one or more heuristics comprise: a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command, a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a two-dimensional screen translation command, and a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items."-Description of the '949 patent, ruled invalid by the USPTO

source: FOSSPatents

58 Comments
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posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:51 31

1. Droiddoes (unregistered)


HAW HAW!

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 18:58 28

15. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Good news! And I think that USPTO should review all Apple patents, I'm pretty sure that they would find even more invalid patents.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 20:13 17

22. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


iTotally disagree!! How is Apple supposed to innovate if all of their patents from stolen ideas are found invalid. I'm looking at the bigger picture of iPhone 15VD and, quite honestly, it would be nice to have Multi Window functionality on a Super Retina 4.2" screen; or, it would be super cool to be able to edit photos with special messages in iNotes; and, I'm really looking forward to being able to FaceTime over 4GS LTE. None of this will be possible if all of their patents are iNvaliDated. Besides, what I don't understand is why haven't they iNvaliDated the black turtle-neck??

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 20:42 5

25. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


+1 from me, That is true, well said, Lmao....!

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 20:56 7

27. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1236; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


Well now it just seems that Apple will have to do real work just like the rest of us honest folks to earn their money. It just looks like if they want to sustain themselves they will have to just start innovating...and this time for real in tech and not lawsuits :)

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 01:43 4

41. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


Yes, rotten patents of rotten Apple must be invalidated...... Time to forget about non innovative and inferior Apple's products...

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 10:10 1

45. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 14170; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Non innovative? So why does Samsung and other companies continue to copy them?

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 11:42 7

47. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


I really don't know why Apple is a copycat with statusbar and almost all the new iOS 5 6 features has copied from Android ;-)

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 12:38 1

50. tedkord (Posts: 12207; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


The answer is simple. They don't. Folks like yourself simply rationalize it that way because you can't accept the truth - that Apple stopped innovating after the first iPhone, and the competition has passed them like they're standing still.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 10:08 1

44. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 14170; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


This is bad for business. They have those patents for a reason.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 11:44 3

48. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


Yes, just to bully innovations......
We have multi user API, photo sphere..... iPhone is still stuck as a icon board..... Enjoy :-)

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 12:27 2

49. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"This is bad for business."

Fo Apple business.

"They have those patents for a reason."

Of course Apple have them for a reason and no one deny it but those patents are invalid.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 12:41

52. tedkord (Posts: 12207; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


A patent is required by law to be for something new, unique, innovative, worth no prior art. These patents (and many more of Apple's) do not meet that standard.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 13:24

53. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Those patents are for running a business of "Extortion" and that's why they are being invalidated at last :)

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:53 27

2. KickRocks (Posts: 168; Member since: 22 Mar 2011)


As this patent and the bounce back patent weren't dumb enough, its time to invalidate slide to unlock and these ridiculous design patents. If the USPTO would stop issuing every single patent apple files for half if not most of these lawsuits and hunded of wasted man hours could be avoided. Long live the bot!!

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 21:33

33. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Rob, that you?

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:56 22

3. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Apple may not see even $300 million, given this invalidity. The trial verdict may end up a Pyrrhic victory.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 00:17 3

38. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Also.... The Apple-HTC settlement may be of no further effect. Too much redaction of the publicly available copy to tell, but.... If so, HTC may be better served to breach the agreement and just move on. I wonder if HTC is considering asking Apple for a refund?

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:56 29

4. pongkie (Posts: 634; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


rectangle patent should be next

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:59 14

6. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I agree 100%.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 21:00 5

28. pradeepkchauhan (Posts: 7; Member since: 08 Nov 2012)


I am agree with you.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:59 17

5. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Ha! This is some news! Glad to see the USPTO is stepping up and invalidating bogus patents.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 10:10

46. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 14170; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


The only thing bogus here is the decision.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 19:16 1

54. tedkord (Posts: 12207; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Awwww. Bad day?

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 17:03 16

7. jroc74 (Posts: 6015; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


And it should have been invalid. I mean cmon.....Apple didnt invent it or innovate it enough to call it their own.

That 1 billion settlement certain fans bragged about....some of us said it isnt over yet....lol. I see that amount getting alot smaller.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 17:09 15

8. techguy22 (Posts: 227; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


about time. start going after every apple stupid patents.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 17:13 13

9. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


Good.... Good news!™®©

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 17:29 8

10. roscuthiii (Posts: 2226; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


I suppose a Reality Distortion Field is similar to any other bubble... they're all subject to popping/deflation eventually.

I envision some groggy clerks at the USPTO waking up, rubbing their eyes, looking down at their paperwork and thinking to themselves, "Ohh, what did I do last night? Hey... Hey who stamped this? I did?! The frig was I thinkin'?!"

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 17:36 4

11. amiaq (Posts: 509; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


"I was too drunk", "It just happened", "It was a mistake", "It's not what you think"....bla bla bla

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 18:11 10

12. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Where's the Apple Attorney by name of myxpytx (or something like that) on this board ?

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