Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/29/uspto_interim_pinch_zoom_decision/

Samsung wins not-so-final 'final' pinch-to-zoom patent decision

USPTO issues ruling but fight is far from over

By Brid-Aine Parnell

Posted in Law, 29th July 2013 11:18 GMT

Samsung has rushed to inform the courts of another "final" decision from the US Patent Office on Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent that is not, in fact, final at all.

In the wake of its recent similar ruling on the bounce-back patent in April, the USPTO has said that it also rejects the claims made in the pinch-to-zoom patent - aka 7,724,242 - including the claims which a jury used to decide that Sammy's devices had infringed on Apple's territory in the two monoliths' ongoing patent infringement war against each other.

But these "final" decisions are clearly only called that to confuse everyone involved, since they are not actually the last ruling on the matter. Indeed, the bounce-back patent has now had a new re-examination cert issued that changes things again.

Nevertheless, Samsung has added the pinch-to-zoom decision to the reams of documents in the court case in California, in which a jury originally awarded Apple a billion dollars after deciding that the Korean firm's mobes and fondleslabs infringed on its patents.

Damages have since been halved in the case, and a partial retrial has been ordered to figure out just how much Apple should get for its troubles.

The patent office generally takes years to ultimately decide whether or not claims will be backed, as appeal after appeal is exhausted on both sides within the office and in the courts.

The pinch-to-zoom and bounce-back decisions could actually drag on until around 2017, with each side alternating its time on top with each ruling. ®