Apple "Pinch to Zoom" Patent Ruled Invalid, Samsung Closer to Total War Reset

The USPTO decides that the patent should have never been granted

As if it weren't enough that Apple lost the bounce-back patent in October, the company has lost its second patent, putting yet more pressure on the so-called reparations that Samsung has to pay after the disastrous first ruling in San Jose, California.

For those not up to date on the issue, Apple and Samsung have been deeply involved in one of the ugliest patent wars ever.

Started late last year, the two have been fighting over rights to make and sell tablets and smartphones.

Samsung may have quit its attempts in Europe, but it is still fighting in the US, where Apple won a serious victory a while ago.

Apple didn't get the 26 items banned in the US, but that small relief cannot really compare to the one that the latest decision by the USPTO has likely caused.

The US Patent and Trademark Office has decided that Apple's patent describing “pinch-to-zoom” should have never been awarded.

Next to the bounce-back patent (which pulls scrollable menus back into place when they get pulled higher or lower than the limit), this was one of the patents that earned Apple $1.05 billion in damages.

The name is rather misleading though. It may be known as “pinch to zoom,” but it actually describes how technology distinguishes between single-touch and multitouch gestures on a smartphone or tablet screen.

Samsung made the USPTO decision public in a filing in the Federal District Court in San Jose, California, reports The New York Times.

The company will use the development in its petition to have the whole patent war reset. By accusing the jury foreman, and the jury itself, of misconduct, Samsung is trying to have the previous verdict overturned and the whole mess started from the beginning. If USPTO rejects Apple's appeal to reinstate this patent, Samsung will have solid grounds for its legal maneuvering.

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