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Apple (AAPL) 'Pinch-To-Zoom' Patent Rejected By US Patent Office

 December 21, 2012 09:52 AM

(By Balaseshan) Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AAPL) "pinch-to-zoom" patent, an issue in its battle against Samsung Electronics Co., has reportedly been rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The agency rejected all claims in Apple's patent on Wednesday, according to a document issued by the patent office that was filed by Samsung in federal court in San Jose, California, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In order for the Apple's claims to be valid, they must be considered patentable despite any "prior art patent and printed publication cited", the patent office said as quoted by the WSJ. Apple's claims were rejected on the grounds that prior patents covered the inventions.

[Related -Apple Inc. (AAPL): How Q1 Earnings Will Fare?]

The "pinch-to-zoom" feature distinguishes between single-touch and multi-touch gestures on a mobile device screen and allows the user to zoom in or out by moving two fingers apart or closer together while touching the display, according to a report from Reuters.

The 'pinch to zoom' feature is one of six patents that Samsung was found to have infringed earlier this year, and formed a key feature of Apple's iPhone as well as all subsequent smartphones, the Telegraph reported.

[Related -Apple Inc. (AAPL): iPhone Trending into Another Carl Icahn Disappointment?]

The feature allows users to zoom in and out of almost anything on a smartphone screen simply by moving two fingers together or apart, The Telegraph reported. However, Apple is likely to appeal the ruling so the patent is still technically in force.

Additionally, a popular Kickstarter project POP, a mobile device charging system which surpassed its funding goal of $50,000 after 1,000 backers raised $139,170 in September, was officially canceled as Apple refused to approve the product as it uses Lightning alongside other interconnects, according to the Apple Insider.

AAPL is trading down 1.85% at $512.09 on Friday. The stock has been trading between $396.10 and $705.07 for the past 52 weeks.



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