Android Central

Good news for Samsung this morning, as a preliminary U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ruling has declared Apple's "rubber band" scrolling patents invalid. According to reports from TNW and FOSS Patents, the ruling isn't yet set in stone, but it means that, for the moment, 20 patent violation claims against Samsung relating to patent no. 7,469,381 no longer stand. Crucially, FOSS Patents says, this includes one claim involved in Apple's recent courtroom victory against the Korean manufacturer.

The USPTO is reported to have found evidence of prior art in some cases, and in others the inventions were deemed to have been obvious.

The "rubber band" scrolling feature can be found throughout Apple's range of iOS and OSX devices, as well as older Samsung smartphones. However, Samsung has long since pulled the feature from its Android-based phones.

As with everything relating to the on-going litigation between Samsung and Apple, and the wider patent wars, this is not yet finalized. Nevertheless, if things proceed in this direction, it could be helpful to Samsung's appeal in the high-profile California case.

Source: TNW, FOSS Patents

 
There are 31 comments

Rob White says:

So just like the universal search that was removed by software update this can be restored too.

alawn says:

I like the glow effect android has now more.

jameslepable says:

Might just be my eyes but it seems that on my gnex the is a slight bounce back (talking mm) and the blue glow.

camiller says:

On my gs3 the glow is so subtle I often miss it.

rsmiff says:

The USPTO needs an internal review of the dummies that are arbitrarily handing out these patents!

Bears says:

This x a million.

alexanderith says:

We can only hope, unfortunately it might never happen

alexanderith says:

We can only hope, unfortunately it might never happen

Raikon says:

Nice to know this. Sadly, this won't stop Apple from doing what they do best(?).:D

Does this mean the USPTO might actually start checking the validity of patents rather than just handing them out like sweeties (candy)? Which is what appears to have happened in the past.

camiller says:

The USPTO is understaffed and it's budget is solely based on the filing fees it collects. Until those problems are fixed it is unlikely that your problem will be. Of course if they start getting money handed to them by congress, it would likely be easier for congresscritters to meddle in the process.

(As a side note, "congresscritter" passes spellcheck?)

jimijames says:

Hopefully this is just the start of a comprehensive review of questionable patents by the USPTO.

As much as this sounds like good news (and a victory for common sense), I have no faith in the source (Florian Müller / FOSS Patents), he had no credibility, and nobody should be citing his as a trustworthy source. It's been demonstrated on many occasions, he is just a lawyer voice for hire, that will say whatever the highest bidder wants him to say.

alawn says:

He isn't even a lawyer but he has convinced everyone that he is an expert on patents just because he blogs about them a lot. The guy really doesn't know what he is talking about. He has the worst anti android bias and has been paid by oracle and microsoft to be that way.

This is good news though. Hopefully it will end up being invalidated.

mike340t says:

Almost all of the so-called 'patents' have prior art. Even Samsung's Tab more closely resembles it's old digital picture frame that came out prior to the the Ipad than it does the Ipad.. That one should have never even seen trial.. Also, doing things that one has done on a computer, on a smartphone should also never be patentable because smartphones are now actually computers...So this could get interesting. Apple seems to be losing on all fronts now, even at home..

briankariu says:

Can anyone smell that? I think it is the smell of countersues by android OEM's...
Saw this on Engadget and rushed over here to AC to celebrate!!!! Bring out the wine and the bubbly...where's the grill...party up in here

It has BEGAN! More to come. Seems like Google patent search tool is working.

Suntan says:

Glad to hear that a silly patent was thrown out.

That said, I hope this doesn't mean that we start seeing a lot of apps/skins reintroducing the bounce scrolling thing. Personally, I find it annoying.

-Suntan

Unibrow says:

My sentiments exactly, while I like that this was thrown out I DISLIKE the bounce. It I like the blue overscrowl.

Rabbiddog says:

Whoa! Is the patent office actually starting to get some common sense and invalidate a lot of these stupid patents that never shoulda been patents to begin with? Don't stop now USPTO, there's plenty more that need invalidating so we can end many of these stupid lawsuits.

mzanette says:

One invalid patent down, a bunch more to go. Has universal search been shot down yet? That was even more ridiculous than the rubber band scrolling.

tokuzumi says:

Hopefully, this will lead to a reversal of any royalties Apple has received because of this patent.

Caldera says:

This is good news, but Apple will have ample opportunities to appeal.

Mikey47 says:

Assuming this stands, what does do for those companies that caved to Apple's heavy handed tactics of selling licenses for these kinds of things?

Why source FOSSPatents? Not even a decent source imo.

GC736 says:

A nice victory in these Clone Wars.

When using "prior art", does this mean it was used before the iPhone and just not patented, or what?

MERCDROID says:

Good question. This quote is from ipwatchdog.com. " Conceptually we do not want to issue patents for inventions that are not considered new, which seems fair enough. The trouble is defining what is “new.” For now, let’s just say that prior art must be a reference of some type (i.e., a patent or a printed publication) or some type of knowledge or event (i.e., public knowledge, public use or a sale of a product) that demonstrates that the invention in question is not new." In my opinion, I believe that prior art is such a tricky beast because you can take something old, alter it, and if it is perceived to be different enough, patent it.

Mikey47 says:

Wait until this is on http://groklaw.net and you see PJ doing a happy dance before we all get too excited.

appswhat says:

Good, any defeat for the amoral empire is a good thing.

prissysox says:

Now they need to invalidate Universal search AND links. It is a pain in the ass the way Web have to have "app associations" instead of hyperlinks. Apple didn't invent this stuff. They shouldn't be able to force us to miss out on it because we prefer a robot to half eaten fruit.