Apple's famous "pinch-to-zoom" patent has been ruled invalid in a preliminary review by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent currently remains valid, though it will be reviewed with the possibility of it being thrown out as an invalid patent. This patent was one of six in the recent battle between Apple and Samsung.
Apple is widely expected to appeal the preliminary ruling, though if the patent is found invalid, the $1bn+ verdict gained by Apple should be lowered by a judge. Back in October, the USPTO also placed the "rubber band" patent under review. The "rubber band" patent was another patent used in the case against Samsung.
The patent has been ruled invalid because the 21 specific methodologies claimed by Apple's filing had been granted to previous applicants, according to the USPTO. Samsung will likely try and use these reviews as a reason to lower the amount owed to Apple, while Apple is currently trying to get the amount increased.