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December 20, 2012

USPTO invalidates Apple’s pinch to zoom patent in Samsung case

All 21 claims of the patent were rejected, including one from the US and one from Japan

By CBR Staff Writer

The US Patent & Trademark Office has preliminarily rejected 20 claims associated with Apple’s ‘pinch to zoom’ patent in its case against Samsung.

The South Korean firm has indicated in a filing to US District Court Judge Lucy Koh that it was relevant given the firm’s effort for a retrial, as well as Apple’s effort at an injunction against several Samsung devices for infringing on this very patent.

According to the USPTO’s re-examination, all 21 claims of the patent were rejected, including one from the US and one from Japan.

The patent covers the technology that can differentiate whether a user is scrolling through content on a display with single finger or is using several points of contact to develop a pinch-to-zoom action.

The decision comes after invalidation of Apple software patents including the rubber-banding effect found on its new iOS by the Patent Office in October 2012.

Samsung has been battling for a retrial in recent weeks, after Apple received $1.05bn in damages.

Both firms have been involved in patent battles in at least 10 countries for the last 18 months, when Apple filed cases against Samsung alleging that the South Korean firm infringed its iPhone and iPad designs in its Galaxy devices.

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Recently, Samsung withdrew its bid to ban sales of Apple’s devices in Europe.

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