Apple’s Iconic “Steve Jobs Patent” Gets Discredited By U.S Patent Office [Report]

Apple’s Iconic “Steve Jobs Patent” Gets Discredited By U.S Patent Office [Report]

Apple is about to lose the most iconic patent in the late Steve Jobs’s 300+ portfolio.

One of Apple’s most prized software patents is commonly referred to as simply “the Steve Jobs patent.” The late CEO himself is listed as one of the key inventors in the patent’s documentation, and it was also referred to as “the iPhone patent” when it was approved back in 2009.

Apple has been using this famous patent in courtrooms to sue the likes of Samsung and Google’s Motorola, but now the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has entirely invalidated the patent until further examination.

Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents reports:

This week, the USPTO issued a first Office action rejecting all 20 claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 on a “touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics”, which has been referred to by many people, including Apple’s own lawyers, as “the Steve Jobs patent”.

Interestingly, the USPTO recently invalidated another one of Apple’s key iPhone software patents that deals with “rubber-banding,” the bouncing effect that happens when you scroll up and down in an iOS app.

While losing the rubber-banding patent is certainly unfortunate for Apple, losing Steve Jobs’s most prominent patent would be even more devastating, according to Mueller.

The USPTO still has to reexamine the patent and make sure Apple doesn’t deserve it. Mueller notes that “a complete rejection of all claims of a given patent is potentially more devastating than one affecting only some claims.”

  • mstrmc

    Obama administration payoff to Schmit and Google for outstanding contributions to Bozo’s re-election campaign.

  • technochick

    Neither decision is final so it’s a bit early to call the game

  • technochick

    Neither decision is final so it’s a bit early to call the game

  • marsk

    This country is so corrupted , plain stupid…

  • hanhothi

    It is about time these absurd patents are revoked. Maybe we will now see an end to the “Thermo-nuclear War” which can only damage things for the consumer in the long run!

  • JeromeKurliak

    What is the use of getting a patent?

    What is the point of the US patent office?

    Which is the actual mistake: the patent office’s original granting of the patent, or its revocation of the patent? (Both?)

  • jahsoul
    I am new here, but this is worth watching:

    Apple didn’t patent the this on January, 2007, with the original iPhone. They patent it many years ago, with their first tablet prototypes.

    The thing is, Apple didn’t patent anything many years before. They bought a company that had a few patents released in 1999 regarding multitouch, but the issue is, multitouch technology began in the early 80s (I believe). so this is just a huge bowl of confusion that is going on right now. Personally, I thought it was ridiculous when they first announced the “Steve Jobs” patent considering I’ve seen multitouch many years before that used by other companies. That’s the USPTO for you.

  • HerbalEd

    Obama administration payoff to Schmit and Google for outstanding contributions to Bozo’s re-election campaign.

    Do you actually believe what you’re saying here? If not, why say it … and if so, you’re very …..

  • ThatsWhatsUp

    It is about time these absurd patents are revoked. Maybe we will now see an end to the “Thermo-nuclear War” which can only damage things for the consumer in the long run!

    These patents help protect the innovation of these new products from being shamelessly copied. If there were no patents the market would become diluted with similar products, innovation would slow way down, and it would damage things for the consumer in the long run. Patented products forces the different companies to think outside the box.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories | Tagged: , , , |