949 patent

The US Patent and Trade Office has made a preliminary ruling that U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 (AKA the "Steve Jobs" multitouch patent) is invalid on all 20 points. The '949 patent is considered to be the key patent in all claims of multitouch infringement, and is one of the broader patents that some feel should have never been granted,

It's also one of the patents Apple asserted against Motorola in a case thrown out this past June. In that case, a federal judge dismissed the suit, stating that large parts of the patent in question were invalid in his opinion. It appears that at some level,  the USPTO agrees.

Before people get too excited and pop a cork, know that this is just the first step and may very well be overturned higher up the USPTO ladder. Stranger things than the government not listening to the experts they have hired have certainly happened before. 

Via: FOSS Patents

There are 27 comments

Grahaman27 says:

one down, a million to go.

still1 says:

two down. rubber band effect was invalidated as well.

still1 says:

now invalidate slide to unlock. wonder what effect this will have on samsungs 1 bn payout

moises1204 says:

rounded corners and rectangle shape is next one to go after all it is the stupidest one of all.

mwara244 says:

Rounded corners and rectangular shape with a flat screen, how could that have been patented when televisions have been doing it way before apple manufactured the first Iphone. Television manufacturers have never sued eachother over their products, even though they are all relatively the same.

ronf57 says:

the British court tossed apples design sketch patents because of sides perpendicular to the face while samsung tablets devices has tapered backs. And samsung devices were "thinner" than apple designs.

ronf57 says:

sorry, court document link follows....look at #43 drawings.

Gator352 says:


cyanogen-man says:

Wow seems that the rotten apple is finally starting to stink so bad that they are running away lol

Seven2k says:


Small_law says:

Merry Christmas to all, and to all an Android.

iJuan says:


ridie1389 says:

Most companies: Damn, well we still have our other patents.

Apple: F*** that! No way this is happening, time to churn our another 200 patents

Oh yes! Now take down the ugly stepfather known as Apple Inc. Android 1, Apple 0.


I agree that this is good, considering that the patent is way too general in nature. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say that Google should take Apple down. No competition from Apple means no innovation for Android ;)

True. As much as I dislike Apple and their litigation, competition is healthy for the market.

but competiion isn't meant for courts. I can't stand the iphone but as of this point android only has to compete with the name and no longer has to compete with the device itself. I wish apple would start investing in innovation instead of litigation. The first few iphones blew any other smartphones out of the water but now its just a name, a brand. The most innovating thing about the iphone 5 is its ppi in such a small screen which is ironic because this is apple's big screen.

I think Apple would be dangerous if they made a 5-5.5" phablet.

atlas9171 says:

Until Apple returns to innovating there really isn't a ton of competition other than marketing nonsense and convincing the iSheep they invented something 2 years after Google.

TheDonJ77 says:

Design patents along with slide to unlock should be next then apple has my permission to die as a company.

Rob White says:

OK rubber band patent gone. Now multi touch is gone. Slide to unlock has been invalidated almost everywhere else. Oh & a jury foreman who is going to get an entire trial dismissed on appeals. Good work Apple. Looks like Samsung is going to have a very Merry Christmas after all.

smotrs says:

Unfortunately, the very last paragraph has to much truth to it.

"Before people get too excited and pop a cork, know that this is just the first step and may very well be overturned higher up the USPTO ladder. Stranger things than the government not listening to the experts they have hired have certainly happened before."

se1000 says:

who is David England and how do I buy him a beer?

jeff3yan says:

Finally, ever since I switched to Android I've been missing the rubber banding effect. Really wish they'd just copy it, feels a bit jarring reaching the end of a list and having it just stop there.

Just because I don't use Apple doesn't mean I don't want their features.

DWR_31 says:

One bad Apple patent can spoil the bunch.

Max Bell says:

about f'n time. prior art has been known to exist since the patent was issued. now if the uspto would fire the incompetents who grant these obviously invalid patents in the first place...

Gator352 says:

Apple made Samsung (and other manufacturers) to replace the bounce back with something different. Since the light of this, I wonder if Sammy and others will re-implement this effect in a future update?

possibly future devices but seriously doubt they will update current ones. Look how long it takes to get jelly bean 4.1. I'd be shocked if the gs3 gets 4.2