U.S. Patent Office Preliminarily Invalidates Apple's 'Steve Jobs Patent' on the iPhone

FOSS Patents reports that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice preliminarily ruling that Apple's massive iPhone patent popularly referred to as "the Steve Jobs patent" invalid in its entirety upon reexamination.

jobs iphone patent and figure
The patent, issued as Patent No. 7,479,949, had been granted in January 2009 and incorporated several prior patent applications dating back to September 2006 before the company publicly unveiled the device. Steve Jobs is listed as the first inventor on the patent, and FOSS Patents notes that it is probably the most famous of the over 300 patents credited at least in part to Jobs.

Some people say that first Office actions are partial because they are based only on submissions made by those challenging the patent, and many examiners like to take a tough position early on in order to enable and require the patentee to present the strongest arguments in favor of validity. But it would be a mistake to underestimate the significance of a first Office action. Also, a complete rejection of all claims of a given patent is potentially more devastating than one affecting only some claims.

Apple has asserted the patent against a number of its competitors, including Samsung and Motorola, and an ultimate finding of invalidity in the reexamination process would substantially weaken Apple's cases against those companies, although it is far from the only weapon in Apple's patent arsenal.

Top Rated Comments

coolfactor Avatar
104 months ago

Next on the list should be:

- rounded corners
- flat glass surfaces
- bounce back effect


Why the "bounce back effect" (elastic scrolling)? That is an ingenious part of the iOS user interface. Any app that doesn't implement it feels like it's broken.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WhoDaKat Avatar
104 months ago
I'm so sick of this crap. How can they grant a patent, and then nullify it years later? Whats the point of getting the patent in the first place? No one out there should invent anything because people will just steal it from you. Talk about stifling innovation.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wikus Avatar
104 months ago
Next on the list should be:

- rounded corners
- flat glass surfaces
- bounce back effect
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sazivad Avatar
104 months ago
Now this is something Steve Jobs really wouldn't have allowed.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jarra Avatar
104 months ago
No way!

I find this amazing. How can you retract a patent? The decision process to award it in the first place would be pretty involved, and once awarded that is that! You can't just change your mind as the rest of the world catches up!

Fight this Apple. This is wrong.:mad:
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
slffl Avatar
104 months ago

Next on the list should be:

- rounded corners
- flat glass surfaces
- bounce back effect


And then every other design in any other product. Everyone should be able to copy everyone. Sounds like a great idea! :rolleyes:
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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