On Oct, 30, 2013 we posted that Apple Inc. did not have a patent on the iPhone until May 28, 2013. That patent number is 8,451,232 and it mainly claims features and gestures of the touch screen display, however Steven Hotelling (Apple Inc. Director) filed a very similar application in Sept. 7, 2006 publication number 20060197753 which has been rejected by the USPTO multiple times. This application was not disclosed or referred to during the prosecution of patent No. 8,451,232.
The USPTO requires applicants of new patents to disclose patents which have been made public prior to the new application (Prior Art) otherwise the new application may be subject to invalidation.
Would this rule from the USPTO invalidate Apple’s patent No. 8,451,232 in view of Steve Hotelling’s patent application No. 20060197753?
Steve Hotelling’s patent application received a final rejection from the USPTO again on Jan 17, 2014.