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USPTO Preliminarily Rejects Apple's 'Pinch-to-Zoom' Patent

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by D.O.A., Dec 22, 2012.

  1. D.O.A.

    D.O.A. Well-Known Member

    samsung will be very interested
    Next move? apple sues the patent office.
    steven s likes this.
  2. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

  3. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

  4. dangonay

    dangonay Active Member

    ^ Perceptive Pixel deals more with hardware (like the large screens/interfaces) regarding multi-touch. Fingerworks deals with software and gesture recognition and they've been around a lot longer than Perceptive (since 1999). MS bought Perceptive and Apple bought Fingerworks. Apple/MS have a cross-licensing agreement (revealed during the Samsung/Apple trial) which I doubt MS would have entered into if they truly thought the technology for Perceptive Pixel (which they own) predates Apple's gesture technology. More likely is they cover different aspects which means one can;t be prior art to the other (although to the casual observer who just sees someone touching a screen it might appear they are the same).

    These recent patents were all ex-parte requests (meaning someone like Samsung asked for the review by submitting evidence to the USPTO). However, since it's ex-parte the original party who complained has no further say. Apple is allowed to present any evidence they wish and whoever complained has no ability to counter Apple by presenting additional evidence. That's the drawback of submitting an ex-parte request. The only benefit is the original party remains anonymous. This makes it seem unlikely Samsung submitted the request since they have no reason to hide. Or maybe they did and just want Apple to wonder who asked for the reexamination.

    As to the reccent patents, this is simply the USPTO saying "we don't have the time, money or expertise to fully investigate the claims, so we'll preliminarily deny the patent and put the onus on Apple to prove why they should be valid." This is actually quite common. Some stats from the USPTO:

    - Only 11% of patents end up being completely invalidated.
    - 22% of patents end up being validated completley intact (no changes made).
    - 67% of patents end up being validated after making modifications to the patent.

    Bascially, Apple has an 89% chance their patents will be validated (re-instated) either whole, or more likely, with some changes made. The USPTO doesn't break down their stats by company type, so it's fair to say these numbers would be different for an individual or small company vs companies like Apple, Samsung. Meaning large companies with departments dedicated to nothing but patents would likely have much better numbers than shown above (fewer patents invalidated and more patents validated with a smaller number of changes).

    These "announcements" are nothing more than "business as usual" for patents, but many tech blogs like to post them up as they generate lots of traffic (as does anything anti-Apple these days).

    In 6 months when we hear news stories about the patents being re-instated people everywhere will be calling foul or saying Apple paid off the USPTO when the bottom line is they just don't know anything at all about patents or the patent system.
  5. James

    James Well-Known Member

    I do wonder if Samsung will go back to trial over the $1bn.
  6. steven s

    steven s Well-Known Member

    I got a Samsung Galaxy S3 before Apple trys to pry it out of my hand.
    The other night at a bar I noticed more people with S3s than iPhones.
  7. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    However isn't Apple patenting the "Pinch to zoom" function overall? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the patent applies to any and all devices.

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