It was used in the $1bn lawsuit against Samsung.

This time, the 'Pinch to zoom' patent is being threatened at the US Trademark and Patent Office, but hasn't been completely invalidated yet...

As you may know The United States Patent and Trademark Office has been rejecting several Apple patents in recent months, and now, a KEY one has been added to the list.

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?

NEWS SOURCE #1: Key Apple iPhone patent used 1bn lawsuit Samsung REJECTED (via) DailyMail
NEWS SOURCE #2: Another Apple patent rejected by US patent office but its not invalid yet (via) TheVerge

Our thanks to 'Gauss' for this news item!