USPTO Invalidates One of Apple’s iPhone Design Patents in Apple vs. Samsung Lawsuit

The court battle between Apple and Samsung seems to be headed for a nailbiting finish as it seems that Samsung has managed to draw some revenge on Apple. FOSS Patents has reported that Apple has lost the D’677 patent.

It has reported that the Central Reexamination Division of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) held iPhone design patent pertaining to Application No. 677 invalid on multiple grounds

The USPTO stated that it has reexamined  patent (677) and the same has been issued a non-final rejection:

The problem the D’677 patent faces here is that the USPTO has determined (for now) that this patent “is not entitled to benefit of the filing date” of two previous Apple design patent applications because the design at issue was not disclosed in those earlier applications. As a result, certain prior art is eligible now, and against the background of that additional prior art, the USPTO believes the patent shouldn’t have been granted.

The Apple vs Samsung court battle has had its bits of twists and turns. Apple had filed an lawsuit on Samsung for allegedly stealing its iPhone design to make similar smartphones under Samsung brand. It had won the round one when the court awarded Apple over $1 billion from the original lawsuit. Subsequently the lawyers representing Samsung managed to get the award amount reduced drastically to about $548 million in damages.

Samsung was most recently denied their latest appeal attempt, leaving them with the only option of turning to the U.S. Supreme Court. This invalidation has no direct impact on the current standing of the lawsuit, but may help Samsung in their appeal to the Supreme Court.

It remains to be seen whether the above Patent rejection has some impact on either the upcoming iPhone 6s or the current ones.

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