Apple's patent ammo is diminishing - does this mean the end?

MOAR PATENTWARZ GOSSIP!

Seriously.. I'm trying not to get into this realm again of these patent disputes, but sometimes the stories are just so crazy that I have to wade in.

This is another one of those cases that makes you go "wut?" and wonder seriously how Apple is even still around.

Today the USPTO reaffirmed that Apple's '381 is invalid.  What does this mean?

One of these days I'll have my lawyer bud come in and really try to explain things to me.  He's good like that - I guess it's his having a law degree and a teacher's certificate.

But let's tell the story first, of one of many Apple v. Samsung love/hate fests.

  • Apple claims that Samsung ripped off their iPhone design and software and demanded restitution
  • eventually Apple awarded $1 Billion in damages for said infringing of patents
  • a bunch of stuff happens (the head jury foreman is kinda implicated in anti-Samsung tactics, bad maths, etc...) and the damages were reduced to just under $600 million
  • they continue to bicker

I have ceased to follow each and every step along the way, as I would do weekly on the previous blog, but there's some serious head scratching going on.  Don't even get me started on how if they had an issue with the software, go after the designers (i.e. Google, not Samsung)

The latest is that one of the key components of the trial of patents was the patent #7469381 (shortened to patent '381).

This is kinda 'vague', but essentially part of the 'bounce back' patent.

Well, that was recently found to be 'invalid as a patent' (makes sense to me) by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trade Office), but Apple fought and tried to get it reinstated, but ...no go.

Where does that leave the battle?  Well, that should mean that the crux of that remaining $600 million should crumble even further (I had predicted originally that that $1 Billion would be reduced to waay less than half, and it's already almost there).  But who knows.  With enough lawyers this could still drag on for a while.


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