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Apple handed Samsung-busting nuke after Steve Jobs patent U-turn

Multitouch interface gets new green light from Patent Office

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Apple has won a crucial victory over its touchy rivals following a decision to confirm its ownership of intellectual property dubbed the "Steve Jobs patent".

The patent relates to the fruity firm's multitouch user interface, which it uses on iPhones and iPads. It was one of the two patents allegedly infringed by Samsung that led to a US import ban on some elderly Sammy devices earlier this year.

US patent number 7,479,949 was filed by "Steve Jobs et al" and is called "touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics".

In December last year the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) knocked back 20 of the claims within the patent.

However, after spending almost a year reconsidering the patent, the USPTO has now said (according to FOSS Patents): "No amendments have been made to the patent. As a result of the re-examination, it has been determined that the patentability of claims 1-20 is confirmed."

Apple has fought a seemingly never-ending patent war against Motorola, which is now owned by Google, and Samsung. This latest win in the ongoing saga means Apple now has a potent stick with which to beat Samsung through the courts. ®

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