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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the US Patent & Trademark Office has rejected Apple’s Patent No.7,844,915 which was one of the key cornerstones in Apple’s $1.05 billion lawsuit against Samsung. Patent No.7,844,915–also known as “Pinch to Zoom”–was deemed not valid despite prior art that existed. The USPTO cited other cases of prior art including one international property and two Japanese filings. Based on this new development, Samsung has gone ahead and requested a new trial and Apple has filed for an injunction.

From the 7,844,915 Patent:

8. A machine readable storage medium storing executable program instructions which when executed cause a data processing system to perform a method comprising: receiving a user input, the user input is one or more input points applied to a touch-sensitive display that is integrated with the data processing system; creating an event object in response to the user input; determining whether the event object invokes a scroll or gesture operation by distinguishing between a single input point applied to the touch-sensitive display that is interpreted as the scroll operation and two or more input points applied to the touch-sensitive display that are interpreted as the gesture operation; issuing at least one scroll or gesture call based on invoking the scroll or gesture operation; responding to at least one scroll call, if issued, by scrolling a window having a view associated with the event object; and responding to at least one gesture call, if issued, by scaling the view associated with the event object based on receiving the two or more input points in the form of the user input.

Apple can still appal the USPTO’s decision, but if the judgement is final, then it should have an impact on previous and ongoing litigation between Samsung and Apple. The jury ruled that Samsung had infringed on six patents, “Pinch to Zoom” being one of them. The judge rejected Apple’s attempt to ban sales on the infringing devices as they were either no longer available for sale or Samsung had resolved the issue with a software update.

A new trial would have an immediate effect on the damages previously awarded, but it should be noted that most injunctions are rarely ratified and often reversed, or settled out of court.

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