Steve Jobs Patent Stands out in Apple Infringement Case against Motorola

Scott Daniels | November 3, 2010

Apple filed two complaints (here and here) in the Western District of Wisconsin last Friday, accusing Motorola of infringing a series of Apple patents.  The accused products are imported “mobile devices and related software,” specifically, “the Droid, Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq, Cliq XT, BackFlip, Devour A555, Devour i1, and Charm.”

One patent in particular stands out – U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949, entitled “Touch Screen Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Determining Commands by Applying Heuristics” – because it has already survived a reexamination request.  In April EMG Technology filed a substantial reexamination request, asserting a long series of potential prior art rejections against each of the ‘949 claims.  In June the PTO refused to grant reexamination, finding that the request had failed to raise even a single substantial new question (SNQ) of patentability with respect to the ‘949 claims.  EMG has not petitioned the PTO to reconsider.  The PTO’s refusal to grant reexamination will certainly enhance the validity of the ‘949 claims.

Apple may also enjoy a certain psychological victory with respect to its other patents-in-suit – presumably Apple’s opponents selected for reexamination the patent most vulnerable to attack.  Accordingly, the failure to obtain a grant of reexamination against the ‘949 patent may make Apple’s other patents seem more formidable.

The ‘949 patent also stands out because it names 25 inventors, among them Steve Jobs.

Earlier this year, Apple sued Nokia and HTC for infringement of a number of patents, including the ‘949 patent.

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