U.S. Patent Office Says Apple’s Rubber Banding Patent Claim Is Valid
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office returned a power weapon to Apple’s patent arsenal this week, reversing an April ruling that invalidated key claims of the company’s bounce-back or “rubber banding” patent.
The patent, which describes among other things the over-scroll bounce iOS performs when it reaches the bottom of a scrollable element, was successfully asserted against Samsung in Apple’s $1.05 billion lawsuit against the company last summer. But it was subsequently invalidated by the USPTO along with three other claims it included in a “non-final action.”
Now, after further review, the agency determined that the prior art on which it based that decision was not sufficient for invalidation. And it has confirmed the rubber banding claim (#19), as well as three others made in the patent (#14, #17 and #18).
But it’s the rubber banding claim that’s really key here. In handing down its verdict in Apple v. Samsung last August, a San Jose, Calif., jury found that 21 Samsung products infringed that claim, among them the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Droid Charge and the Nexus S 4G.
So the USPTO’s change of heart on its validity bodes well for Apple as it ramps up to do battle with Samsung once again this November in a new trial to determine damages in the case.