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USPTO rejects Apple touch input patent used in Samsung case

The US Patent and Trademark Office has handed Apple a tentative rejection of a touch recognition patent that was part of the company's $1.05 billion court victory against Samsung in August. According to FOSS Patents, all 20 claims of US Patent No. 7,844,915 have been invalidated, but it was claim 8 that the jury in the case found all but two of Samsung's devices in the suit to be in violation of. The patent involves methods for differentiating between one- and two-finger gestures on touch devices.

Samsung brought the USPTO's finding to the court's attention in hopes that it might increase its chances of winning a request for a new trial. On Monday, Judge Lucy Koh had denied a previous retrial request by the company.

The USPTO's rejection is just the first step in a process to permanently invalidate the patent that could last for years. Several pieces of prior art, including two US patents and two Japanese patents, were cited by the office in its decision. The USPTO invalidated Apple's patent covering "rubber-banding" in October.

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