The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ruled yesterday that Apple’s “rubber banding” patent, which Samsung was found to infringe upon with several devices during a recent jury trial, invalid. While the ruling has not yet been finalised Samsung has already filed a motion with Judge Lucy Koh informing her of the USPTO’s decision.
The patent describes the way in which a page bounces back when a boundary has been reached, along with other touchscreen-based movement like dragging documents. According to Foss Patents, who first noticed the USPTO’s ruling, several claims in the patent have been rendered invalid – specifically claim 19 which was used against Samsung in the trial. The UPSTO’s ruling states that claim 19 is invalid, as FOSS Patent puts it, “for lack of novelty, not just obviousness.”
The invalidating of the patent is not final however and there is still a lengthy appeals process that Apple can pursue should it be finalised. The current decision on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s part may be enough to get Judge Koh to reconsider part of the jury’s ruling, though this is unlikely unless the invalidation is finalised. In the event that Apple’s rubber banding patent is invalidated it may mean that Samsung’s bill to Apple will shrink a little, assuming the ongoing appeals regarding the jury trial don’t pan out for the Korean company.