Apple totally loses the patent plot, big time

Apple has been told by the All Seeing Eye of the US Patent Office that it did not invent a key patent which it has been using to see off rivals in some of the most vicious patent trolling known to man.

For those who came in late, Apple has been unable to compete against rivals who have been releasing shedloads of similar, cheaper and often more innovative products. So rather than coming up with new ideas, it set its lawyers on rivals claiming they copied all of its ideas.

According to the International Business Times, one of the key weapons in its armoury had been the infamous "pinch to zoom" patent. The patent, No. 7,844,915, covers usability software that distinguishes between single-touch and multi-touch gestures on a smartphone or tablet screen. This patent was one of six that a jury claimed that Samsung had infringed and ordered the company to pay Apple $1.1 billion.