Los Angeles – Apple scored a huge break this week as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) changed its mind and confirmed the patentability of a sought-after patent now dubbed the “Steve Jobs Patent.” The ruling came almost a year after the PTO initially rejected all twenty of the cited claims. After months of reconsidering, however, it finally stated this week that, “No amendments have been made to the patent. As a result of the re-examination, it has been determined that the patentability of claims 1-20 is confirmed.”
The patent at issue is for the multi-touch technology implemented in Apple’s touch screen devices, such as the iPad and iPhone. It is formally named “Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics.” However, due to the fact that it lists Steve Jobs as its lead inventor, it has come to be known simply as the “Steve Jobs Patent.” The claims, while relatively technical in language, all generally have to do with the scrolling features of Apple touch screen devices.
The recent ruling based on the USPTO’s reconsideration found that the prior inventions and technologies invented before this patent neither anticipated the Steve Jobs Patent’s claims nor rendered them obvious. As such, all twenty claims were given the green light as patentable subject matter. This gives Apple a major boost in its fending off of Samsung and Google, the three of which have been battling over patents for years.
With the patent now confirmed, the Cupertino based company has made it much more difficult for its competitors, who will have to work around the claims in order to avoid infringement. The situation is complicated further by the fact that this is one of two patents that Apple previously accused Samsung of infringing, which led to a US import ban on some Samsung devices. In light of the new finding by the PTO, Samsung will have to make sure to steer even more clear of all of the claims mentioned in the Apple patent. Given the tense war that has sprung up between the tech giants, Apple supporters have begun to theorize that the aptly named “Steve Jobs Patent” is the company’s late founder’s final way of making sure that Apple wins out.