It turns out one of the key patents Apple was using in its case against Samsung might not be valid. In a preliminary ruling yesterday, the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected all 20 claims in Apple's "pinch-to-zoom" patent, saying that other patents already covered the same innovations, the Wall Street Journal reports. Samsung quickly filed the document in court, in an effort to get the judge presiding over the case to grant it a new trial.
Apple still has a chance to appeal the decision and save the patent, one law professor says, but if it fails, the damages it wins in the trial may dry up. During the trial, the jury found that all but two of Samsung's patents had infringed upon the pinch-to-zoom patent, according to Apple Insider. "There may need to be a new phase of the trial to figure out what the damages are," the law professor says. "The facts of whether they infringe or not have been found." (Read more Apple stories.)