Apple's 'Rubber Banding' Patent Key to Samsung Lawsuit Preliminarily Invalidated

FOSS Patents reports on a new court filing from Samsung revealing that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a preliminary decision ruling that Apple's "rubber banding" patent that was a key part of the $1 billion lawsuit against Samsung has been invalidated. While numerous other reviews and appeals will undoubtedly take place in the coming months, the preliminary ruling is certainly a blow to Apple's cases against Samsung and others.

In a non-final Office action the USPTO has declared all 20 claims of Apple's rubber-banding patent (U.S. Patent No, 7,469,381 invalid, including claim 19, which Apple successfully asserted against Samsung in the summer trial in California. In fact, claim 19 is one of several claims to be deemed invalid for two reasons, either one of which would be sufficient on its own.

uspto rubber banding invalid
The report notes that the rejection could influence Judge Lucy Koh to at least partially rule in favor of Samsung's requests that the jury's verdict be overturned by the court as having been improperly issued.

The patent rejection comes after an anonymous third party challenged the validity of the patent earlier this year, requesting a reexamination by the patent office. The rubber banding patent covers the ability for iOS content to "bounce back" when a user has scrolled to the top or bottom of a given page. The feature provides an aesthetically pleasing means of alerting the user that they have reached the end of the content rather than simply stopping abruptly, but the USPTO has now ruled that the feature does not qualify as novel in light of prior art on the matter. That prior art includes not only a European patent from AOL but also a previous Apple patent.

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Top Rated Comments

Macboy Pro Avatar
153 months ago
Well, you can't infringe on an invalid patent. And now Apple seems to have burned it's bridges with one of its biggest suppliers. The arrogance of the big Apple is incredible.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ouimetnick Avatar
153 months ago
The big question is why were they able to get a patent on it to begin with?

Just goes to show how screwed up the US Patent system actually is.

While I'm at it, I want to get a patent for a patent. That way when ever someone tried to patent something, I can sue them for infringing on the patent that covers applying and getting a patent.

I'll be rich.

Or I would use it to stop stupid people/companies from patenting stupid things.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KnightWRX Avatar
153 months ago
Obvious? If it's so obvious, why no one made it before?

Pretty sure "Prior art" means someone made it before... :rolleyes:

----------

Only obvious in hindsight.

Pretty sure, again, Hindsight doesn't apply to "Prior".
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
153 months ago
For me this isn't about Apple or Samsung (this ruling) - this is validation that the patent system has problems. And that, given time, it IS possible for them to be corrected (albeit slowly).

This invalidation is actually a great win for the consumer in the long run. That's not an Anti-Apple sentiment. Like I said - this is about things that shouldn't have been patented in the first place being re-evaluated.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KnightWRX Avatar
153 months ago
like to know if that person/organization filed for a patent.

Irrelevant.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MH01 Avatar
153 months ago
The big question is why were they able to get a patent on it to begin with?

Just goes to show how screwed up the US Patent system actually is.

Spot on.

Seems patenting the **** of our everything is now part of the development process. No matter how insignificant it might seem. And being a bureaucratic system, requests will get approved to be later rejected cause they were never analysed in the first place.

110% in agreement on how screwed up the patent system is.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)