Key Claim of Apple's 'Rubber Banding' Patent Once Again Found Invalid by U.S. Patent Office

apple_rubber_banding_patent_figureLast October, a court filing in the U.S. lawsuit between Apple and Samsung revealed that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had issued a preliminary decision ruling that all of 20 claims of Apple's "rubber banding" patent were invalid.

The patent, which addresses the ability for content displayed on iOS devices to "bounce back" when the user scrolls to the top or bottom of the page, had been successfully used by Apple in its lawsuit against Samsung that yielded a $1 billion judgment.

At the time, we noted that the decision by the USPTO was merely a preliminary one and that it would be revisited in numerous other reviews and appeals as Apple continued to plead its case. FOSS Patents now notes that Samsung has filed another court document revealing that the agency has followed up with a new decision reviving three claims from Apple's patent but once again rejecting the other 17 claims, including the key one used against Samsung.

The latest decision, which according to Samsung was published by the patent office "on or after March 29", is a final Office action -- which gives it more weight than the first one, but "final" isn't really final in this process as I'll discuss further below. [...]

Apple now has two months (which can be extended) to respond. Again, the word "final" sounds more definitive than this really is. Sometimes the Central Reexamination Unit reconsiders such "final" decisions. Even if it doesn't, this "final" rejection can and certainly will be appealed to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), sort of an appellate division within the USPTO. The PTAB can make a final decision as far as the USPTO is concerned, but frequently remands a matter to the Central Reexamination Unit. And a final-final USPTO decision can then be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. It will take years before a truly final decision on the validity of this patent issues.

The validity of the rubber banding patent is just one of the difficulties facing Apple as the $1 billion verdict against Samsung continues to be challenged. Last month, Judge Lucy Koh voided nearly half of the judgment due to a jury error that made it impossible for corrected damages to be calculated for the affected devices and patents. As a result, Koh ruled that a new trial must be held to establish correct damages for those devices, with the result potentially including either a smaller or larger award for Apple. Samsung is of course also seeking to appeal the judgment in its entirety, with Apple and Samsung arguing over whether the appeal or the new trial addressing corrected damages should proceed first.

Top Rated Comments

Schmitty11 Avatar
102 months ago
Time for Apple to sue the United States Patent Office....
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
102 months ago

So who made a product even close to an iPhone before Apple? Who implemented and used rubber-banding before Apple? Apple invented the competition when it invented iPhone. Samsung, Motorola, Nokia would all still be pushing their stupid flip phones and Palm would be on another useless iteration of its Treo if it weren't for Apple.

Ah how quickly we forget that the things you take for granted today in your smartphone were mostly invented, and implemented, by Apple. But today you say it's normal and everywhere, but that wasn't the case just five years ago. Credit the Apple. They took the risks, they made the investments, and they deserve to block anyone who has stolen their concepts.


Rubber banding was done on AOL and Amiga Computers.

Those manufacturers already had touch screen phones on their roadmap. Apple was one of the first and had a great UI despite the phone lacking in several other areas.

Most of the things you credit Apple for, Apple stood on the hard work of the industry. You want to thank Apple for it? Ok - But in the very same sentence and breath - thank the Samsungs, Motorolas, Nokias, Palms, etc for all of their $$, R&D, patents, etc which made the iPhone possible.

The iPhone wasn't created out of thin air and without using technologies that weren't already established. Companies that spent years taking risks, invested, collaborated, etc.

You'd think some forum members were born in 2007.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bwillwall Avatar
102 months ago
********, they had it first. I had never seen it until I saw it on the first iPhone.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Oletros Avatar
102 months ago

I thought the Patent Office was there to protect US companies not sell then out to the Asians?


Then you have thought wrong.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nightarchaon Avatar
102 months ago
And apples stock falls again as another of its "key patents" fails to stick.

Time for apple to sue the Patent office ? :rolleyes: or perhaps time for apple to stop Patent Trolling to get its competitors products out of the way and get back to innovating its products so they sell on their own merits.

i remember a time when apples products stood out from the competitors, and they released new, fresh improvements that were one step ahead of the competition, now it seems everyone else is 10 steps ahead and apple are stuck in the corner eating paste with glitter on it.

Less of Sir Ives -"lets make it thinner and shiny-er", more technical enhancements and disruptive new features, please apple (including a little door that gives the magical ability to swap out the memory and HDD on your products again, THAT would be a disruptive change)
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nightarchaon Avatar
102 months ago

clearly touchscreen and multitouch concept was conceive before the iPhone launch. but the rubber band thingy, that is definitely Apple.


the rubber band thing used to happen in Amiga OS 3.1 (maybe even earlier) when you scrolled to the bottom of a window in some software, its been around for years
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...