An Apple patent considered to be one of its most famous is coming under fire from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the second time in less than two months. In a preliminary filing, the USPTO has declared the “Steve Jobs” patent, which covers multi-touch technology, to be invalid. The patent in question is one of hundreds of multitouch patents Apple owns.
The key patent in question is for a “touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics.” In English, it’s one of the defining touchscreen technologies that we’ve come to associate with modern Apple products–primarily, of course, the iPhone and the iPad.
FOSS Patents, which first reported the news, notes that it’s important to remember that many patent claims rejected at the preliminary level ultimately survive.