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Discussion of all things patent mapping and analytics.
Leading smartphone wars patent analyst Florian Mueller wrote late last year about Apple's so called 'pinch to zoom' patent, which has been tentatively rejected in the first round of a re-examination process. The patent in question, US7844915, has a listed priority date of January 2007. In his blog, Mueller writes:
US 7724242, by the way, discloses a pinch to zoom function for a touch sensitive display, whether using a projector to display an image on the touch sensitive surface as shown in the figure below, or shown using 'thin profile display technologies...such as LCDs....'
But has all the prior art been found? This could be a good test for our new patent searching engine AmberScope.
This time of the year precludes a very elaborate analysis, but we can report from a preliminary evaluation using AmberScope, that the USPTO should add the following patents to the review process:
1) US8086971 Apparatus, Methods and computer program products providing finger-based and hand-based gesture commands for portable electronic device applications to Nokia, which discloses a pinch to zoom gesture (see Figure 8D, discussed in paragraph 46), and has a filing date of June 2006.
2) US2006/026521 Gestures for touch sensitive input devices to Apple, which extensively discloses a pinch to zoom function, and which has a priority date of July 2004.
Unlike the US 7724242 patent discussed by Mueller, both of these other prior art patents disclose touch sensitive displays for pinch to zoom.
In fact, the US patent office is aware of the Nokia patent (it is listed here), but I could find no reference to the 2006 Apple patent application as being listed prior art to the granted Apple "pinch to zoom" patent.
Ambercite and its products including Network Patent Analysis (NPA) and AmberScope analyse patent data using a statistical based approach that is based on available patent citation and ownership data. These outputs are purely mathematical in nature, and do not take into account the personal or professional opinions of any individuals or associates of Ambercite. These outputs are intended to be used as tool to help support further analysis, and should not be used by itself and without professional advice on the relevancy of this data to your unique circumstances. Data should not be relied upon to prove without any further analysis any opinion of the value, patentability, validity, freedom to operate or infringement of any patent, patents or inventions. Users should also be aware that available patent citation data is imperfect, and this will affect the results of this analysis. © Patent Analytics Holding Pty Ltd. Ambercite™, Network Patent Analysis™, NPA™ and Next Generation Patent mapping™ are trade marks of Patent Analytics Holding Pty Ltd. Components of the processes used to perform Network Patent Analysis and AmberScope are the subject of patent applications filed in the United States and elsewhere.