updated 01:54 pm EDT, Mon July 29, 2013
Apple forced to appeal rejection
The US Patent and Trademark Office has reportedly moved to finalize its rejection of Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent, which has been asserted in several high-profile lawsuits. Working to gain an advantage in its first of several lawsuits with Apple, Samsung is said to have notified the court of the agency's decision to reject all claims of the patent (No. 7,844,915) that describes APIs for scrolling operations.
As noted by patent blogger Florian Mueller, Apple's attorneys have argued that Samsung's alleged infringement of the pinch-to-zoom patent has been the most damaging violation of its multitouch patents. The first lawsuit also covers other intellectual property, however, with much higher damage claims relating to design patents rather than software.
The USPTO action is reportedly one of several steps toward an actual finalized rejection, leaving Apple several opportunities to appeal the decision and attempt to uphold the validity of various patent claims. Samsung is pushing for a delay in the legal process while the patent office continues its rejection process, however Apple argues that the appeals process could extend into 2017.
The agency previously rejected and subsequently reaffirmed a separate Apple patent, known as the rubber-banding patent, which was also asserted in the infringement suit. The litigation resulted in a billion-dollar judgement against the Korean company, which has asked the court to begin an entirely new trial.