USPTO Tentatively Declares “The Steve Jobs Patent” Invalid

Another “tentative” blow has been handed to Apple as the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a first Office action rejecting all 20 claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949. This multitouch patent, often referred to as “the Steve Jobs patent,” includes “touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics.”

Apple’s patent crusade has opened the doors for many reexaminations regarding a number of broad patents. In fact, this is the second Apple multitouch patent tentatively declared invalid — the first being Apple’s rubber-banding (overscroll bounce) patent.

Apple has asserted these patents in numerous cases, most notably, against Motorola and Samsung. While these are only first actions and there are many more steps and appeals to follow, one can’t help but imagine how the invalidity of two of Apple’s most spotlighted patents will ultimately affect it’s legal wranglings.

We should almost thank Apple for embarking on its litigation rampage, as it has not only opened up discussion for patent reform, but has opened the door to reexamination of current patents that probably should have never been granted in the first place.