Remember that $1 billion decision that Samsung violated Apple’s patents? One of the patents in question, the famous “rubber banding” or “physical inertia” patent, has been completely nullified by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Samsung informed Judge Koh earlier this week. The patent describes how when scrolling on a touch screen, and you reach the end of a passage, how the screen bounces back up. The request to reexamine the patent was filed during the spring, but the non-final office action nullifying its claims wasn’t filed until earlier this week. The process isn’t final, though: the new declaration is a “first-glance” verdict that could be overturned in the future.
The patent in question, “List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display,” is a key patent that Apple has used to defend what it claims is its intellectual property. It’s a core Apple patent, so expect a lengthy period of reexaminations and appeals. If Apple still isn’t happy after the USPTO makes its final decision, they could appeal the decision conceivably all the way to the Supreme Court.
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