Apple has claimed it owns the patent that involves the "pinch-to-zoom" method for interacting with touchscreen device, though the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has now ruled that Apple has no such claim on the patent, which came as part of Samsung's appeal of its loss of the August 2012 court decision against Apple.
During that trial, the jury decided that 21 Samsung devices were in violation of Apple's claim 8 of U.S. Patent No. 7,844,915. That claim said that Apple had the patent on the two finger pinch-to-zoom method. However, PCWorld.com reports that the USPTO rejected that Apple claim, stating that the pinch-to-zoom method had already been filed as U.S. Patent No. 7,724,242, which was awarded to Daniel W. Hillis and Bran Ferren. Apple has two months to appeal the decision.
While Samsung was hit with damages that totaled over one billion dollars as a result of the jury's decision in the patent fight with Apple in August, the judge in the case ordered a new trial in March for many, but not all, of the Samsung products involved in the case. The judge said that this was due to and "impermissible legal theory on which the jury based its award" and, as a result, the amount of damages Samsung will have to be could be cut down to as little as $600 million.