Patent may be hit following review request from Samsung.
The US Patent and Trademark Office may be about to invalidate Apple’s ‘pinch-to-zoom’ patent, following a patent review at Samsung’s request.
Earlier this year, the patent played a crucial part in Apple's US$1.05 billion damages award against Samsung.
However, yesterday (Wednesday, December 19th) saw the US Ptent Office send its initial findings to Apple, which are reported to state that there was prior art for the ‘pinch-to-zoom’ feature on other products. This could ultimately lead to Apple’s patent not only being invalidated, but may also render the firm liable for patent royalties to the earlier developers in question.
In light of these new developments, Samsung has filed papers in order to pursue a retrial. However, the process of appeals and investigation is likely to take at least two years, due to the preliminary status of the Patent Office’s declaration.
This is the second time in the past three months that the Patent Office has reviewed one of Apple’s patents, after it came to light in October that the same action had been taken against its ‘rubber band’ user interface.