We learned back in late October that an Apple patent related to rubber banding was facing reexamination from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and now it looks like another of the Cupertino firm's patents is getting the same treatment. FOSS Patents revealed today that the USPTO has put U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949, which relates to multitouch and scrolling, under reexamination and rejected all 20 claims included with the patent. It's worth noting that the agency's decision is far from final, and the patent itself isn't totally invalid yet. Apple was granted the patent back in January 2009.
Apple has used this patent in recent legal battles against competitors like Motorola and Samsung, so if it's eventually invalidated, the company would lose one of the patents it likes to assert in lawsuits. There are still quite a few steps involved in this reexamination process, though, so we'll just have to keep an eye on the matter to see what comes next. Considering Apple's previous use of the patent in its litigation, I'm sure that many other parties will be doing the same thing. Stay tuned.
Via FOSS Patents