So, the USPTO just rejected US 7,844,915, or 'Pinch to zoom', which allows users to zoom in or out by moving two fingers apart or closer together while touching the display. And yes, it was used in the recent $1bn lawsuit against Samsung!
Now, it looks like it hasn't been completely invalidated (yet)...
The invalidation of the patent would cause considerable consternation for Apple when it comes to its $1.049 billion infringement win over Samsung — so much so that Samsung brought the decision to the attention of Judge Lucy Koh in a court filing today — but that critical step of invalidating the patent hasn't actually happened yet.
It's the same situation that we saw with Apple's bounce-back patent. The whole discussion is part of an ex parte reexamination; that means Apple is the only other party talking to the USPTO about the patent, and it will still have an opportunity to fight for keeping the patent valid or to amend its language so that it will stay relevant in the Samsung case. It's also important to note that while 21 individual claims within the patent were rejected, only one — Claim 8 — was used in the trial, providing Apple a very specific target when working with the Patent Office.
Of course, Samsung immediately filed court papers to notify Judge Koh of the early results. What she will decide?