USPTO tentatively – and likely temporarily – declares Apple’s ‘pinch-to-zoom’ patent invalid

“A couple of hours ago Samsung proudly informed Judge Koh of the fact that the United States Patent and Trademark Office USPTO has tentatively rejected, in a first Office action dated December 29 (mailing date), all 21 claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,844,915, which I consider to be essential to the pinch-to-zoom feature,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.

“Since the spring of 2011 I have been saying till I was blue in the face that first Office actions are non-final,” Mueller explains. “These are ex parte reexaminations (triggered by a request, which can be and in each of these cases was filed anonymously (by a law firm not disclosing any client), for which the hurdle is (even after last year’s patent reform bill) that the request must raise a substantial new questoin for patentability.”

Mueller writes, “Of the three Apple multitouch software patents that have given rise to tentative rejections in the form of first Office action, I believe the ’915 patent is most likely to have some surviving claims when all is said and done… Depending on how long this process goes, we will at some point also hear about procedural steps (including reconsiderations, appeals etc.) in which some of the tentative rejections are retracted. It will take time, but it will happen. There will be some back-and-forth and some roller coaster rides, and in the meantime, tentative rejections don’t affect the enforceability of a patent claim.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Standard procedure. Expect a FUD blitz and mis/disinformation campaign preying on the low information ignoranti who do not understand the facts of the matter.