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iPhone keynote video used to invalidate patent in Germany


The Federal Patent Court of Germany has determined that Apple's patent for a "Portable electronic device for photo management" is invalid due to the fact that Steve Jobs himself showed off the feature months before the patent was filed. The portion of the patent that has become an issue has to deal with the "bounce-back" effect that occurs when photos are dragged around the screen.

According to the German court, the fact that Jobs showed off this feature on stage during the January 2007 iPhone debut event constitutes pre-filing disclosure which, in Europe, makes it impossible to patent. In the United States, the 2007 presentation was protected by the 12-month grace period built into the patent law, but such protection does not exist in Europe. Apple has the choice to appeal the decision if it desires.

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