Three Apple patents being reexamined by USPTO on anonymous requests

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has decided to comply with anonymous requests to reexamine a total of three Apple patents, all of which pertain to litigation with Samsung, with one also being asserted against Motorola in Florida.

iPhone Patent
Source: USPTO


The first two patents up for reexamination are iPhone design properties, reports FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, one successfully used in the Apple v. Samsung court trial and another from Apple's recent win of an import ban from the U.S. International Trade Commission. The patent asserted to the ITC was unsuccessful, though Apple still has a chance to reassert the property in an appeal.

Apple's two design patents are nearly identical, each showing drawings of the original iPhone. Mueller notes that the new questions of patentability are also similar, with the USPTO citing three Japanese patents as prior art references. The three patents were not taken into consideration when the USPTO first examined Apple's designs, which the anonymous requesting party now claims are obvious.

"Each of the three [Japanese prior art] references include a rectangular front face having a rectangular screen, a border space around the screen, and an oblong shaped speaker opening above the screen," the USPTO notice states.

The anonymous requester is combining the three Japanese patents other references to invalidate Apple's properties. The USPTO has yet to issue a first Office action to reject claims from either Apple patent.

The third Apple patent is currently being asserted in separate cases against Samsung and Motorola. Here too the USPTO did not file a first Office action and has only agreed to take up the ex parte request to reexamine.

There are five prior art contentions being leveled against Apple's U.S. Patent No. 8,014,760 for missed call management.

Mueller points out that while Apple's two design patents are most likely being contested by Samsung, the identity of the anonymous party questioning the missed call utility patent is less clear.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    dgnr8dgnr8 Posts: 196member
    This is crap

    They win litigation and now USPTO re-exam the patent's.

    Just WOW!
  • Reply 2 of 16


    I agree. Who pays for this? We do. 


     


    Can anyone ask for a re-examination? 


     


    This seems so damn wasteful.

  • Reply 3 of 16
    So the Patent Office "has decided to comply with anonymous requests to reexamine a total of three Apple patents". An anonymous request gets the Patent Office to jump through loops? Maybe those reviews should be put on hold until the name of the anonymous person or company is fully disclosed to both the Patient Office and the public.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,267member
    I agree. Who pays for this? We do. 

    Can anyone ask for a re-examination? 

    Yes anyone can ask for a reexamination of a patent's claims for validity. They also must supply detailed reasons why the patent may not be valid as issued.
    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s2210.html
  • Reply 5 of 16

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post



    So the Patent Office "has decided to comply with anonymous requests to reexamine a total of three Apple patents". An anonymous request gets the Patent Office to jump through loops? Maybe those reviews should be put on hold until the name of the anonymous person or company is fully disclosed to both the Patient Office and the public.


     


    Doesn't work like that. If someone files an "anonymous" request then they are finished once they file - they have no further input in the matter nor can they add additional information later on. However, Apple can keep updating information through the entire re-examination process which could go through several iterations before a final decision is made. By filing anonymously you give up the right to have a back-and-forth exchange of information on the matter - you just have to sit back and wait.

  • Reply 6 of 16
    I'm over all these patent wars already but still hope apple gets their way lol
  • Reply 7 of 16
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Yes anyone can ask for a reexamination of a patent's claims for validity. They also must supply detailed reasons why the patent may not be valid as issued.

    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s2210.html


     


    Define 'detailed'.

  • Reply 8 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,267member
    Define 'detailed'.

    It's explained at the link I provided TS
  • Reply 9 of 16
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    It's explained at the link I provided TS


     


    Don't suppose anonymously submitting all of Samsung's patents would get very far, then, huh. image

  • Reply 10 of 16
    Wow. What a ridiculous waste of my taxpayer dollars. I am beginning to side with those (whom I once thought were the fringe) that believe we need a sweeping cut in the many moron government departments that populate Washington, D. C. with my hard-earned money.

    Also, I wish I had made an anonymous request on how silly the one-click patent was, on grounds of sheer inanity and being an assault on reasonableness. Who knew.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    davendaven Posts: 505member


    I smell Samedung here.

  • Reply 12 of 16
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,007member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    Wow. What a ridiculous waste of my taxpayer dollars. I am beginning to side with those (whom I once thought were the fringe) that believe we need a sweeping cut in the many moron government departments that populate Washington, D. C. with my hard-earned money.



    Also, I wish I had made an anonymous request on how silly the one-click patent was, on grounds of sheer inanity and being an assault on reasonableness. Who knew.


    There's nothing stopping you other than the probable filing fee. Just because one-click was approved doesn't mean it can't be reevaluated. That's what's happening with Apple design patents.


     


    I just wish we could challenge all the standards patents stating once they were submitted as a standard, the original owner no longer could claim them. That would take care of a lot of the current lawsuits. 

  • Reply 13 of 16
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Yes anyone can ask for a reexamination of a patent's claims for validity. They also must supply detailed reasons why the patent may not be valid as issued.
    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s2210.html

    Obviously, the obviousness of a "rounded rectangle" would not require such a reexamination.

    It's obvious that Samsung's continuous "rounded rectangle" claims are bullsh*t.

    It's as obvious as the nose on your face.
  • Reply 14 of 16


    Why doesn't all Samsung's 4,000+ patents get reexamined, or even Google's 700+ patents. Apple is the most sued company on the planet, they need to adopt a more aggressive stance. Samsung leverages a mafia style offensives, Apple cannot trust the Patent system. They need to drill deeper.

  • Reply 15 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,267member
    Why doesn't all Samsung's 4,000+ patents get reexamined, or even Google's 700+ patents. Apple is the most sued company on the planet, they need to adopt a more aggressive stance. Samsung leverages a mafia style offensives, Apple cannot trust the Patent system. They need to drill deeper.

    You've way undercounted the number of patents for both companies. Samsung was issued over 5K patents in the US just 2012, while even Google received more patents last year than Apple.

    But to answer your question there's nothing preventing anyone's patents from being reexamined. You could ask for it yourself. You'll need to pay a filing fee and along with that submit evidence of applicable prior art or some other detailed reason the individual patent claims should not have been granted. Do that for each patent you believe was erroneously issued. The USPTO will advise if they believe your concerns warrant a reexamination.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,267member
    or even Google's 700+ patents.

    In an odd little development related to Google patents, the WSJ is reporting that Foxconn sold Google some undisclosed number of display patents very recently, including some that may relate to Google Glass
    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2013/08/23/google-buys-patents-from-apple-ally-hon-hai/
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