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Apple's multitouch 'Steve Jobs patent' revalidated in full by USPTO

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 
Some nine months after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a tentative first Office action invalidating an Apple multitouch patent credited in part to cofounder Steve Jobs, the body has reversed its initial determination to confirm all claims as patentable.

Patent Confirmation
Source: USPTO via FOSS Patents


The USPTO's decision wraps up the examination -- and subsequent re-examination -- of Apple's U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949, which received an ex part?, or anonymous, request to review in December 2012. It is thought that Samsung, Google, or both challenged the patent as part of the companies' ongoing legal struggle against Apple.

Citing a Sept. 4 re-examination certificate, FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller notes the plan to challenge appears to have backfired, as the Steve Jobs patent is now stronger than it was prior to the examination. Apple's in-court efforts should also be bolstered by the confirmation, with Android makers leveraging lawsuits against the company now having to contend with another strong utility patent covering now-commonly used technology.

In particular, Samsung faces an uphill battle after being dealt a significant blow from the U.S. International Trade Commission, which issued an import ban against a number of the company's products after they were found to have infringed on Apple patents. Apple recently filed an appeal to broaden the scope of that case to include currently sold Samsung models, and the now-confirmed patent could add to the company's argument.

The Steve Jobs patent is also being asserted against Motorola in a separate lawsuit.

Titled "Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics," the '949 patent is a broad, sweeping property covering functional aspects of multitouch screens like those found in many smart devices, like the iPhone and iPad.

In addition to the current cases Apple is fighting against Android device makers, the property was successfully leveraged against Samsung in the Apple v. Samsung jury trial. Among the inventors credited for creating the patent are Jobs, former iOS chief Scott Forstall, Bas Ording and Imran Chaudrhi, among other Apple innovators.
post #2 of 82

Sounds like Mulit-touch will become a Standard-essential patent. Probably a good revenue stream for Apple.

post #3 of 82
You hear that Samsung? That's the sound of the noose around your neck tightening up even more. Add the possible $16b-$20b fine looming over your head from the EU on top of it makes me such a happy person.

I so hope they drop the hammer on you. Maybe for once you'll realize that making money by stealing other people's work is not a good long-term business goal.

A##h##es.
post #4 of 82

Hey Schmidt, it's now a lot bigger than that ... LMAO

 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

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post #5 of 82

Time for Apple to ramp up and deliver the coup de grâce.

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post #6 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post
 

Sounds like Mulit-touch will become a Standard-essential patent. Probably a good revenue stream for Apple.

 

Why?

 

What is "standards essential" and who will oversee the "standard"?

 

Google can go back to the original Android released in the US without multitouch and start over.

 

Nokia, HTC, Sony and others will be happy, they cross licensed.

 

As Samsung full well knows having contemptuously and illegally obtained the license agreements from Google's douchebag puppet law firm.

 

The "noose" is turning to rusty barbed wire,

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post #7 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post
 

Sounds like Mulit-touch will become a Standard-essential patent. Probably a good revenue stream for Apple.

Bzzzt!  Apple never offered up the patented technology as a standard. In fact, Apple did just the opposite and has been forced to resist and battle in the courts to avoid settling illegal standards-essential lawsuits brought by third parties, like Samsung and Motorola Mobility, who wanted licenses to Apple's non-standards essential patents.


Edited by Cpsro - 10/17/13 at 3:41pm
post #8 of 82
There's always a stylus to use by others.

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post #9 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by unDED View Post

There's always a stylus to use by others.

Multi-stylus pinch-to-zoom! Chopstick interface.

post #10 of 82
Damn, Samsung is taking a left hook, right hook, left hook, right hook in succession with no arms up! What's the KO punch gonna be, I wonder? Tapout, maybe? Steve Jobs did say they patented it. And boy, could you see the seriousness in his face when he said it, too. Apple to Samsung: "Our lawyers are smarter than your lawyers."
post #11 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post
 

Sounds like Mulit-touch will become a Standard-essential patent. Probably a good revenue stream for Apple.

 

 

You probably do not understand the concept of a standard essential patent. A standard essential patent refers to a commonly adopted standard whereby participating parties give patents essential to a standard to a standards body so that their patents will be included in the standard. When a patent is included in a standard anybody can use it without permission in exchange for paying reasonably and nondiscriminatory license rate.   Wi-fi, 3G, LTE are some examples of standards. The benefit to the patent holders are they do not have to develop competing standards and they get a larger pool of parties interested in licensing the patents. Giving patents to a standard body is voluntary. 

 

Apple's multi-touch patent is not part of any standard. It can exclude others from using it or demand higher licensing fees. 

post #12 of 82
In/out in/out. Pay up, thieves.
post #13 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post
 

Sounds like Mulit-touch will become a Standard-essential patent. Probably a good revenue stream for Apple.

 

You know when a patent becomes "standard-essential"?  When a company determined that there was not much value for the patent to stand by itself and offered it to be part of a broad "standard" so it can make more money from selling components that support such "standard"

 

For example, Motorola was on the MPEG standard committee when it was in the semiconductor business that makes MPEG encoders/decoders, and Apple have also contributed patents as it makes QuickTime.

 

Apple will gain nothing by contributing this multi-touch patent to a standard, if there is one.

post #14 of 82

Boom!!!! Don't even offer to cross-license to Android and Samsung. Just tell them to figure out another way to do touchscreen on their phones. Maybe they'll go back to flip phones or a trackball. They should call it Steve Job's Thermonuclear patent

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post #15 of 82
But Android is more advanced than iOS's multi touch. Android has multiple touch.
post #16 of 82
Phase 3. Though I might be losing count here.
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post #17 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Bzzzt!  Apple never offered up the patented technology as a standard. In fact, Apple did just the opposite and has been forced to resist and battle in the courts to avoid settling illegal standards-essential lawsuits brought by third parties, like Samsung and Motorola Mobility, who wanted licenses to Apple's non-standards essential patents.

Note that he suggested it will become, not that it ever was.
post #18 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by cpsro

Multi-stylus pinch-to-zoom! Chopstick interface.

This! Best comment of the day...
post #19 of 82
Samsung is already pushing its stylus on the Galaxy Note, maybe they'll go stylus-only so they can avoid agreeing to the anti-cloning terms Apple asks for.
post #20 of 82

So what features does multi touch cover?

Pinch to zoom, swipe to turn the page, swipe down for menu? 

post #21 of 82

Could Apple realistically require Samsung et al to remove capacitive multi-touch from existing and future devices?

post #22 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

Samsung is already pushing its stylus on the Galaxy Note, maybe they'll go stylus-only so they can avoid agreeing to the anti-cloning terms Apple asks for.

How does stylus replace multi-touch - Except as the other gentleman suggested chopsticks (Korean version), but it will still be multi-touch pinch. Oh! Maybe Samsung will do the air-waving pinch!

post #23 of 82
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post
Could Apple realistically require Samsung et al to remove capacitive multi-touch from existing and future devices?

 

That would be glorious, but no.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post

Note that he suggested it will become, not that it ever was.

Noted. But how would that happen or make sense (economically and technically)?

post #25 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post

Sounds like Mulit-touch will become a Standard-essential patent. Probably a good revenue stream for Apple.

That's one option, but that's up to Apple. They can choose not to license this patent, and to my knowledge, they did not license it to other manufacturers. This clears the deck for them to issue cease and desist letters, if that is their choice.

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post #26 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

That's one option, but that's up to Apple. They can choose not to license this patent, and to my knowledge, they did not license it to other manufacturers. This clears the deck for them to issue cease and desist letters, if that is their choice.

I'm quite certain Apple has licensed the technology to some third parties--e.g., to Microsoft and Nokia for Windoze Phone--but that doesn't mean Apple is interested in submitting the technology for standardization that then requires Apple to license the technology on the same (nondiscriminatory) terms to all comers. The license with Microsoft quite likely was a technology sharing agreement and/or an agreement that Microsoft would continue developing Office for Mac, as the two companies have had such agreements for many years.

 

Part of a separate controversy involving Samsung is that their lawyers apparently divulged Apple's confidential licensing terms to Samsung employees, in direct violation of a judge's orders to keep the information sealed. Confidentiality is essential to Apple getting whatever it deems worthwhile from third parties in exchange for licenses.

post #27 of 82

Hopefully Apple follows Steve Jobs wishes and goes thermonuclear with this patent rather than just licensing it.

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post #28 of 82
Quite frankly, every time something like this happens, some people on technology sites get so happy thinking every competitor will be banned out of existence while cheering for their favorite brand. However, in the end the impact always ends up been far less than expected.
post #29 of 82
Question, The patent is how the OS handles the gesture not the gesture itself right?
post #30 of 82
I read that Samsung has announced they are building a new circular shaped campus building.
post #31 of 82
Originally Posted by Robert Mark View Post
I read that Samsung has announced they are building a new circular shaped campus building.

 

It’s a rounded rectangle.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #32 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbia View Post
 

Hey Schmidt, it's now a lot bigger than that ... LMAO

 

And how come Eric doesn't use a pair of Google Glasses?    Does he not eat his own dog food?

post #33 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

It’s a rounded rectangle.

But instead of glass, they will use poly carbonate windows.

post #34 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by JD MBA View Post

Quite frankly, every time something like this happens, some people on technology sites get so happy thinking every competitor will be banned out of existence while cheering for their favorite brand. However, in the end the impact always ends up been far less than expected.

I have to agree with you on that.  I can't seem to come up with an example where the patent holder took over a market and the others faded away.

post #35 of 82
Aww yeah!! Now it's on like Donkey Kong!
post #36 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

Could Apple realistically require Samsung et al to remove capacitive multi-touch from existing and future devices?

That's very possible. Apple's patent only covers capacitive screens.
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post #37 of 82
One word: BAM!
post #38 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post
 

Sounds like Mulit-touch will become a Standard-essential patent. Probably a good revenue stream for Apple.

 

Um, yeah... That's not how it works. Only if Apple allowed it to become a standard, open to everyone. I guarantee that won't happen. LOL! They are under absolutely no obligation to offer anyone a licensing agreement for any of their patents.

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post #39 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by radster360 View Post
 

How does stylus replace multi-touch - Except as the other gentleman suggested chopsticks (Korean version), but it will still be multi-touch pinch. Oh! Maybe Samsung will do the air-waving pinch!

 

They'll call it "no-touch multi-touch".

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post #40 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceek74 View Post

Aww yeah!! Now it's on like Donkey Kong!

 

Yes. Jump you little fat man! Jump!

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