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The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has declared one of Apple’s most important patents for touchscreen devices invalid. The so-called “Steve Jobs Patent” is for the rubber-band effect when you scroll through items and other touchscreen-specific inputs.
Here’s Foss Patents on the ruling:
This week, the USPTO issued a first Office action rejecting all 20 claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 on a “touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics”, which has been referred to by many people, including Apple’s own lawyers, as “the Steve Jobs patent”.
However, Foss Patents also notes that this is just a preliminary ruling. It’s still possible Apple can keep the patent in the U.S.