Apple won the patent on multi-touch, so called "Steve Jobs patent" challenged by some anonymous competitors last year.
The Apple patent on multi-touch, commonly called “Steve Jobs patent” developed under the paternity of the former CEO, is back in the pool.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has confirmed the registration of the patent, in favor of the Cupertino Calif. based company Apple, without making any amendments. The patent was reexamined on a request by some anonymous individuals or rivals, precisely Samsung and Google.
Now, it will be more difficult for competitors to break down the competitive advantage that Cupertino will receive from the properties of such a patent.
The controversy aroused in December 2012 and the USPTO issued a first Office action declaring “Steve Jobs patent” invalid; when the rivals requested the review of the US 7,479,949 C2 (9,829th), which covers: detecting one or more gestures with the touch screen display, applying one or more heuristics to the one or more gestures to determine the command for the device and processing the command and more.
The complainants claimed that Apple couldn’t proudly promote the multi-touch patent as its own –it’s important for the entire industry – because the implementation of such system would have been put in place with the help of some universities, including the Delaware State University. So that the paternity wouldn’t be Apple solely.
During the launch of original iPhone, Steve jobs said, “We have invented a new technology called Multi-Touch, which is phenomenal. It works like magic. You don’t need a stylus, it is far more accurate than any touch display that’s ever been shipped. It ignores unintended touches; it’s super-smart. You can do multi-finger gestures on it.”
Boy, have we patented it [multi-touch].
– Steve Jobs
It was the same opinion the USPTO office has now, which confirms all 20 points of the 364 pages of the original submission of the Cupertino are valid, and authorities reissue the Ex Parte Reexamination certificate under 35 U.S.C. 307 on September 4, 2013 stating “No Amendments have been made to the patent and as a result of the reexamination, it has been determined that the patentability of claims 1-20 is confirmed.”
However, the names of the petitioners have never been identified, as per rumors Samsung and Google are behind this, although the evidence of their involvement obviously doesn’t exist. But, it will indeed have a direct impact on big G and the South Korean company.
As for Google acquired Motorola, is already facing patent infringement case for their products like Droid, Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq, Backflip, Devour and Charm phones, along with Xoom tablet for using touchscreen technology. Besides that, Samsung is already facing a ban of some smartphones models like Galaxy S2 in the United States because they were found to have infringed on Apple patents, including the multi-touch patent.
The companies have filed several lawsuits against each other around the globe. How it will end and when it will end–we are not sure but according to what is stated by Foss Patent – one of the most reliable sources on the records and legislative frameworks – it will be very complicated time for competitors to compete as Cupertino has wrested this advantage. Whether, they will pay a royalty to Apple like HTC is doing, or they will invent an alternative for multi-touch, the answer lies in the future. And what would happen if Apple decides to claim Android as its own?