January 2007 iPhone introduction (Steve Jobs, multitouch patented slide)

In a case of good timing, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has reconfirmed a multitouch patent credited to Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs and the original iPhone design.

On the sixth anniversary of the iconic smartphone, the U.S. government reaffirmed the massive patent that was called into question in 2012.

Jobs was among the more than two-dozen people named in the massive 364-page patent filed in 2006.

The USPTO had issed a preliminary invalidation of the patent package, but now believes all 20 patents are valid…

Apple holds numerous patents related to multitouch technology, the iPhone’s user interface and mobile devices in general. What makes this one special is that it covers the important touchscreen heuristics that lends itself to the iPhone’s iconic multitouch performance which continues to wow customers around the world.

FOSS Patents explains:

As we speak, the Steve Jobs patent is even stronger than it was before someone (presumably Samsung and Google) challenged it anonymously.

On September 4, the patent agency “issued a reexamination certificate confirming the patentability of all 20 claims because the prior art neither anticipated this invention nor renders it obvious,” according to patent blogger Florian Müeller who runs FOSS Patents, a blog that covers intellectual property and litigation in the technology industry

Steve Jobs iPhone patent (drawing 001)

Invalidating patents has become a frequent tactic used in lawsuits alleging patent infringement. If a patent is invalidated, it is removed from a company’s quiver. In the case of the never-ending legal battle between Apple and Samsung, invalidating the ‘Steve Jobs Patent’ strikes at the heart of the iPhone maker.

However, over time, Apple has been able to restore the validity of key patents, such as the rubber banding technology. Like the ‘Steve Jobs Patent,’ the rubber banding invention (U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381) was initially invalidated, then revived.

  • Stefano ‘Graziani’ Polo

    Forgive my ignorance but why is this a setback for Android? Do they need to pay some sort or royalty now or am I missing something?

    • dialogueanalog

      Perhaps it is a set back because although anonymous, it is still widely considered that Google has filed for a re-examination of the patent. This will add to the list of patent challenges that have been in vain from Google. Can’t be good for the search giant because as we see in Europe with Samsung, too many frivolous allegations are not welcomed in the court room.

      • Henri Parmentier

        and jobs is only ONE of the patent holders, TPK is also one of them and licences the multitouch to all who buys the panels..so?, this doesn’t mean anything

        this blog becomes more and more about misleading headlines and empty info

      • dialogueanalog

        It still means that Google filed suits which were overturned…again.

        I dont understand people that read blogs when they don’t think they’re good. Read some other ones.

    • Zeebo

      Because Android is using the touch functionality, without permission from Apple, now if this really goes forward, all the android devices ever activated, after this patent, will either have a stylus again (without the finger touch), or they have to pay royalties to Apple for using it 🙂

      • Eddie Leonard

        Which it wont. Apple believe tech like this to be a standard, so at the most, all they will do is ask for royalties (like you said) on every Android/Touch Screen device device sold using their multi-touch tech :L

      • Ankur Chauhan

        Apple was never before royalties, it is all about royal and loyal people… if apple take royalties from cheap android phones… company will suffer a huge loss in its premium fans…apple only want to make its phone unque with extra advanced technologies

      • JT

        It will be a standard fair license

  • Blaqheart

    Well good to see the government shutdown is over………..

  • Danuel Carr

    *issued

  • chumawumba

    Hahahahaha

  • Pitchy

    I remember seeing the multitouch demo on a TED way back around 2006. So people were doing this before Apple and the patent. This is what irks me about the US patent system. Things are granted despite prior art. I mean it’s not like the whole concept was laid out years before the 2006 patent when everyone was in awe over Minority Report.

    • Jonathan

      Still waiting for the cube, lol.

    • CC-Dog

      Apple had been developing touch devices for years before they launched iPhone. Even if they are not the first to invent multi-touch screen, applying such technology on a small screen with incredible software is a first.

    • Sputnik09

      Apple has a major secret patent in the works…. iPrecogs!!!

    • iBanks

      I remember seeing such a demo as well, but correct me if I’m wrong. Didn’t apple hire the inventor of the multitouch technology during this time?

  • Brandon Weidema

    title is massive click bait…

    • Dan

      most of his articles are

  • leart za jmi

    I dont think that the only problem is the patent infringement for the touch screen 🙂

    • Joseph

      I think people like you don’t understand what the term ‘progression’ is. If your enemy (new or old) changes tactics, then you have to adapt in order to keep your customers and get new ones.

      • m3nphls

        adapt is very different from copying.

      • leart za jmi

        Adapt to what? to make calls, its a phone model, make your own version

      • Jack Wong

        LOL I like that, adapt VS copy.

      • leart za jmi

        People like me? Tell me what you see in the photo, dont you think that some idea are stolen??

      • Jack Wong

        What about the Samsung-air laptop lol

      • Brian Schweitzer

        Do you mean like Apple “stole” the idea of a small tablet after the entire market already had them and people liked them? They happened to just “invent” an iPad Mini 2 with virtually identical specs to the already-released Nexus? It’s what the market does… it’s adapting, not stealing.

      • Brian Schweitzer

        actually, the fact that the US Patent office grants patents on the progression of technology … they’re the morons. Progression of technology obviously is invented or “used first” by someone… but if it’s the natural progression, no patent should be issued.

      • leart za jmi

        tell me a tablet before ipad, just one that people had and liked

      • Brian Schweitzer

        That wasn’t the content of my comment… Apple “invented” the iPad MINI after other 7″ tabs were already fully deployed in the market. So can we say that Apple “stole” the idea from all the 7″ tab makers who had that idea of a smaller tablet before iPad released theirs?

      • mehrab

        Why not ask permission? Or pay up or make a patent before Samsung brought on touch screen tech on their phones?

      • sanalalemci

        I don’t really see a big “rivalry” between apple and samsung before the iPhone to be honest. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Pitchy

      Why not show the LG Prada that was out before the iPhone which has a very similar shape that by your logic Apple ripped off and copied.

      • leart za jmi

        Ok apple copied lg, happy?

      • JT

        Tell him you are sorry

    • Darryl Barnes

      Looks like before the iPhone they were trying to copy blackberry then after iPhone they decided to copy Apple.

      • leart za jmi

        i think before iphone, everyone copyed Nokia

    • Jynto

      The fact is, the best ideas are used more than once. You really expected no other companies to use the all-touch form factor that Apple popularised. Just look at what happened in the car industry 100 years ago. Everyone copied ford, and we are better off for it.

  • Christian Mejía

    The thing were all missing is in that patent picture. It has a “user created widget” why haven’t we gotten this!?

  • Brandon Miranda

    My favorite thing is when people complain and complain and then when apple gives it to us OMG THEY COPIED ANDROID!!! Why you think they havent put widgets in iOS? Because once the people get what they want. They complain and complain that it was copied and ripped off. Do you want the feature or not?!

  • Brandon Miranda

    Everyone wanted something like sbsettings and when they got it. Outrage.

  • CC-Dog

    Although it is called by others Multi-touch patent, it really consists much more including its application on mobile devices and Apple developed manufacturing technology.
    If you develop a better touch technology, why can’t you patent it because someone did something like it in a lab without cost count and massive field test?

    • Pitchy

      Well don’t sue or expect others to pay for doing the exact same thing. If another company decides to take an idea, make it better, develop it’s own technology for production, shouldn’t they be allowed to do so? It’s stealing an idea and then claiming it as your own. Goes back to Steve Job’s famous quote, “good artists copy, great artists steal.”

      Apple now reminds me of BASF… if you remember the old commercials – we don’t make many of the products you buy, we make many of the products you buy better. They don’t really invent anything, they just take something that is already being done and make it better… and then sue anyone who does the same thing.

      • CC-Dog

        Is making something better any less difficult? If not more difficult because most already limited their thoughts, and refuse to recognize the better ones.

      • CC-Dog

        Most companies don’t make things better, they just do exactly what Apple does, and make it worse with a lot of so-called functions. If you remember the old Android phones, you will understand why Steve is so upset.

  • JT

    Expecting this under frand