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Apple Inc. (AAPL) Key Patent Re-examined: U.S. Patent Office

NOTE: This story contains updated, revised information as of 3 p.m. ET Thursday, which corrects information culled from the original article link that was posted Wednesday afternoon, which stated that an Apple patent was invalidated. We apologize for the confusion.

As patent wars continue for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), the tech giant may have one weapon removed from its arsenal by a U.S. government entity. What does this mean in the patent wars, and how will it affect Apple’s current battle with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., which is currently under appeal in the U.S. judicial system?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Stating it as a regular process of auditing patents, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Wednesday rejected 21 claims of an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) patent that is used in its mobile devices – the so-called “pinch-to-zoom” touch gesture, which was essentially the central patent that Apple defended vigorously against Samsung and won an initial $1 billion award. Samsung certainly wanted to act quickly in learning of this move, trying to nullify the initial award. The USPTO announced that it is re-examining Apple’s rights to the patent. How was this received by the judge who presided over the trial?