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Apple’s Rubber-Band Snaps Back into Samsung’s Eye

The PTO is also re-examining Apple’s “pinch-to-zoom” patent that it disqualified last year

The US Patent and Trademark Office has reinstated Apple's famous so-called rubber-banding patent (US No. 7,469,381) and confirmed four claims, including claim 19 that Apple asserted last summer in the California trial that initially led a jury to dun Samsung $1.05 billion in damages.

Samsung presumably made the anonymous request that the patent be re-examined and the PTO last October threw the whole patent out.

Then the agency changed its mind and disallowed all but three claims, including the crucial claim 19. Now it's changed its mind again and upheld another four claims including claim 19.

Apparently the prior art the PTO was using to invalidate wasn't good enough.

Samsung has tried to get presiding Judge Lucy Koh to find the patent invalid although the jury didn't and she didn't early on. So, if the November retrial scheduled to sort out the damages Samsung owes comes off, the Korean company will be meeting its claim 19 nemesis again.

FOSS Patents calls PTO's decision a "huge win for Apple" and figures it boosts the chances of the retrial coming off as scheduled "considerably."

The PTO is also re-examining Apple's "pinch-to-zoom" patent that it disqualified last year and, according to FOSS, somebody wants two Apple design patents re-examined, including one that the California jury decided had been infringed.

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Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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