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U.S. Patent Office Invalidates Apple’s Claim To An iPhone Design Patent

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The Apple vs. Samsung legal dispute over patent infringement has taken a new turn with the U.S. patent office invalidating Apple’s D’677 iPhone design patent. On August 5, the Central Reexamination Division of the United States Patent and Trademark Office made the decision and issued issued a non-final action to reexamine Apple’s iPhone design patent.

The USPTO also clarified that the patent should not have been granted in the first place, since Apple had failed to disclose the patent in two previous applications. Consquently, the office has concluded that Apple “is not entitled to benefit of the filing date”.

The decision was made while referring to previous patent claims by LG and Sharp in a non related case. Apple’s own design patents also formed the basis for the rejection.

The patent in question refers to the design of the iPhone  model launched in 2007. The USPTO ruiling , however, can come into play only if the Supreme Court looks into the matter and upholds the decision.

The new turn in the case puts to question Apple’s desire to run away with $574 million from Samsung’s vault, in the legal dispute that began three years ago, when Apple claimed that Samsung had infringed on D’677 patent with Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S II, among other models, with the jury ruling in Apple’s favor.

Apple had previously won the lawsuit against Samsung in 2014 for the iPhone design patents. Apple’s claim to patent infringement penalties is least likely to be affected by this decision as Samsung was denied a fresh appeal into matter just last week.

The Korean tech giant had managed to bring the amount from $1.05 billion to about $548 million. The firm, was however denied an appeal to further reduce the penalty to $399 million.


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