Apple's Pinch-to-Zoom Patent May Be Struck Down by Patent Office

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Note -- this news article is more than a year old.

Apple's key "pinch to zoom" patent may be invalid the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has warned following a review of the patent requested by Samsung.

The patent was a key component in Apple's US$1.05 billion damges award against Samsung earlier this year and has caused problems with some Android applications as well.

The US Patent Office sent its initial findings to Apple yesterday and is reported to have said that there was prior-art for the technique on other products, which would not only render Apple's patent invalid - it could theoretically leave Apple liable for patent royalties to those earlier developers.

Samsung has filed papers seeking a retrial in light of the new development.

However, the Patent Office's declaration is still a preliminary one, and the process of appeals and counter-investigations could easily take another couple of years.

The patent in question is U.S. Patent No. 7,844,915.

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