The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a first Office action declaring all twenty claims of one of Apple’s key multitouch patents invalid. The decision that was filed Monday isn’t final, but Apple will have its work cut out for it in order to overturn the initial ruling before it’s set in stone.
US Patent #7,479,949, claiming a “[t]ouch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics,” essentially covers iOS’s ability to respond when a user is trying to scroll vertically in a document, or trying to move around within the document in multiple directions. It also covers iOS’s ability to discern the difference between swiping among images in a gallery, or panning or zooming within the image.
The patent is sometimes referred to as the “Steve Jobs patent,” as Jobs’ name is listed first among the many Apple engineers cited as inventors of the patented claims.
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from Ars Technica