The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has invalidated the highly criticized “pinch to zoom” patent that helped Apple win a hefty $1 billion victory against Samsung. This particular statement covered the use of the “pinching” gesture we’ve all grown used to, to zoom into web pages, maps, even the odd game or two.
The original report came from the Wall Street Journal with the following statement:
The agency declared invalid the entirety of Apple’s patent on Wednesday, according to a document issued by the patent office that was filed by Samsung in federal court in San Jose, Calif. The document lists portions of the patient that were struck down on reexamination, on the basis that prior patents covered the same inventions.
Whether it’ll make any difference or help Samsung with a re-trial is unsure, but hopefully something good comes out of it.
Though it’s been pointed out that Apple holding such patents on things like the aforementioned “pinch to zoom” gesture, the “bounce back” experienced when a user has scrolled to the end of a page, and even the rounded corners of the iPhone may hinder innovation and these sorts of things shouldn’t be “protected” and I have to agree.
The reason I think Apple want to keep hold of such ridiculous patents? So they can be King of the smartphone business. Is that fair? Hell no, but it’s business at the end of the day. Is it not enough that Apple’s iPhone is considered to be the original Smartphone even though there were several “smart phones” around before hand (Windows Mobile anyone?) – again, probably not.
It’s as clear as day that Apple are starting to feel threatened by companies like Samsung and HTC, not to mention the Android platform and that’s probably why they’re suing every Tom, Dick, and Harry, in my opinion anyway.
What are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment below!