A filing Wednesday in a high-stakes legal battle between Samsung and
Apple revealed that a "pinch-to-zoom" patent central to the case has
been deemed invalid.
The patent was a centerpiece of a trial that
ended in August with a jury ordering Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion
in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features for its
flagship Galaxy S smartphones.
Samsung provided US District Judge
Lucy Koh a copy of a US Patent and Trademark Office preliminary
determination that, upon review, the Apple pinch-to-zoom technology
wasn't original enough to merit a patent.
Samsung hoped the filing would bolster its argument for a new trial or to have the damages award slashed.
the verdict, US patent officials tentatively invalidated an Apple
patent on technology that gives a "rubber-band" springing effect when a
finger tugs at the edge of a touch-screen smartphone. That patent was
also at issue at trial.
Koh on Monday denied Apple's request to
ban a set of Samsung smartphones from the US market based on the jury's
finding that the South Korean firm was guilty of infringing on six of
the Cupertino, California-company's patents.
Even though Apple was
victorious in the patent case, the iPhone and iPad maker failed to
prove that the technology at issue was the driving factor in people's
buying decisions, Koh reasoned in the ruling.
Samsung the world's top mobile and smartphone maker has appealed the verdict.