Apple Stripped of It’s Key Patent – Pinch to Zoom

Apple (AAPL) Stripped of It’s Key Patent – Pinch to Zoom.

By David Woodburn to Insider Monkey

sexy-pinch-zoomApple’s “pinch to zoom” was patented … until today. As patent wars continue for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), the tech giant has apparently had one weapon removed from its arsenal by a U.S. government entity, What odes this mean in the patent wars, and how will it affect Apple’s current battle with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., which is currently under appeal in the U.S. judicial system? Investors like billionaire Julian Robertson of Tiger Management may keep an eye on this in the coming months, as the patent was a central cog in Apple’s patent-infringement case against Samsung.

As what was deemed a regular re-examination of patents, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Wednesday invalidated all 20 claims of an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) patent that is used in its mobile devices – the so-called “pinch-to-zoom” touch gesture, which was essentially the central patent that Apple defended vigorously against Samsung and won an initial $1 billion award. Samsung certainly waned to act quickly in learning of this move, trying to nullify the initial award. How was this received by the judge who presided over the trial?

As a whole, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has an extensive patent portfolio, so losing the claim to a single patent may not change the game for the company, but for as much as Apple has leaned on that patent in many of its patent fights, this invalidation may be consequential. While the ink on the invalidation was still wet, Samsung took this to the courtroom of U.S. Judge Lucy Koh – who presided over the aforementioned U.S. patent trial – in an attempt to have the initial trial thrown out, while Apple is moving to ban U.S. imports and sales of several Samsung devices that was based on this patent in particular.

Samsung, of course, claimed that this invalidation is “relevant” to is retrial motion, but Koh has shot down both the Samsung and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) at this point. Considering that the jury awarded the $1 billion decision basically on the back of the patent, when the jury ruled that 21 of 24 Samsung devices infringed on this patent. All 20 claims on the patent were invalidated due to claims from other patents, including one from another U.S. firm and one from Japan.

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