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

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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.
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.

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

ouimetnick

macrumors 68030
Aug 28, 2008
2,527
820
Beverly, Massachusetts
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.
 
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kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,186
115
I want to see this prior art out of curiosity.

Unless it is Samsung's head office, and it's an elastic band with a sheet of paper attached to it bouncing about.
 
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samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
41,573
USA
Big blow to Apple's "win."

It will be interesting to see how this plays out and how much or little of that 1B Apple will get - if anything.
 
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inscrewtable

macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2010
1,619
389
Didn't it come out in the official Jobs biog that he saw some wannabe developer show him the rubber band effect working on a laptop and hired him on the spot?
 
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harlequinn

macrumors member
May 6, 2011
53
0
Obvious? If it's so obvious, why no one made it before?
To start with it is an effect that has been animated before - so even though it may or may not have been used in this particular context before, an adaptation of an existing feature is considered obvious.

Additionally, in terms of screen interfaces, there is almost no such thing as a novel interface. There isn't much that hasn't already been thought of in academic literature, tv/movie effects, and the OS industry. More than likely you've been exposed to the last two things I just mentioned but probably not the first. There is a dearth of academic literature covering this field.
 
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Macboy Pro

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2011
730
52
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.
 
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MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
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.
 
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samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
41,573
USA
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.
 
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MH01

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Feb 11, 2008
12,107
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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.
Sad thing is, Samsung make some quality components, and as Apple customers we will suffer due to lower quality components in future apple products. Samsung screens are damn good, I would not take a current Retina MBP with a LG screen.

Launching Maps, cutting Samsung as a supplier..... agree, arrogant decisions.
 
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Shasterball

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2007
874
44
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.
You have no idea what you are talking about. Because you know nothing about the process. But that's ok -- people love to comment on things they are not educated about. I refrain from doing so because it's embarrassing.
 
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devsfan1830

macrumors regular
Aug 26, 2011
153
105
VA
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.
A patent is not issued on the full content of the application, rather only on what is claimed. The claims define the boundaries of the invention. This is something I see a lot of people not understand. Just because the claims were found to be un-patentable doesn't mean the USPTO has ruled the entire rubber-banding feature as not novel. I read the claims, they are a bit broad and really only deal with the aesthetic, something you could easily find prior art for. The Examiner made a mistake, he's only human. It happens. But I wouldn't be surprised if the application is refiled, perhaps claiming more of the stuff going on under the hood to make rubber-banding happen the way it does. Depending on how detailed the specification is on that matter depends on if they can claim that, and that may prove patentable on its own.
 
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MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
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I'd like to see the prior art and like to know if that person/organization filed for a patent.
Would you think they considered that before invalidating the patent? Or would you like them to validate it once again, till you see the prior art and had a chat with the person/organisation involved ? ;)

To be honest I am shocked these organisations/courts do not get approval from the mac-rumours forums before a decision is made. Simple poll would work. We seem to have all the industry experts and legal minds on here.
 
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