Apple's Rubber Band Patent Invalidated

Apple’s ‘Rubber Band’ Patent Denied, For Now

Apple’s “rubber band” patent has been denied by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), ruling that all 20 claims associated with the patent are “invalid.”

Foss Patents’ Florian Mueller discovered the rejection, which Samsung immediately notified Judge Lucy Koch about, reports CNet.

The rubber banding patent is known on the USPTO website as “list scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display.” The patent is broad in its scope, describing a “rubber band” effect in which a page bounces back to the top when someone scrolls to the bottom.

The patent also included a mass of touch screen actions, like dragging documents. Apple currently has an infringement claim against rival Samsung pegged to the rejected patent. The claim was also included in Apple’s massive victory against the rival in San Jose, California in late August.

At the time, a jury found that Samsung did violate Apple’s rubber band patent in a host of its products. ArsTechnica notes that the patent office’s decision is not final, but it is interesting, because of Apple’s claims related to it.

The patent office rejected the rubber band patent by Apple, because of two pieces of prior art. One is a patent by AOL and the other is one by the exact same Apple employee responsible for the rubber band patent.

The ruling by the USPTO may help Samsung in its battle against Apple, but the company will still have to contend with many other utility and design patents from Apple that the trial found it infringed upon. The rubber band patent does have significance in the company’s defense, as well as beyond the fight with Samsung, as Apple has used the same patent in a win against Motorola Mobility.