Here's a surprising turn of events that we didn't see coming. Apparently, the USPTO office just issued an initial review finding that one of Apple's most important patents in the legal fight against Samsung (and other companies) is invalid. The USPTO found that Apple’s patent (No. 7,469,381), also known as the "rubber-band patent," is invalid. This ruling isn't final and will go through a review process, but if it sticks, this will be a stunning reversal against Apple in many of their cases, including the $1.05 Billion dollar victory against Samsung earlier in the year. Here's a quick quote with a description of the patent,
To make it clear, this was one of the big patents that Apple used to sue Samsung and was included in all 21 of the "infringing" products. The reason the USPTO found this patent to be invalid was because it referenced prior art or was otherwise simply obvious.For those not familiar with the term, the rubber-banding patent refers to the bouncing animation that takes place when a user scrolls past the end of a page. It’s a neat trick that helps make an interface feel more intuitive, but many have argued that it shouldn’t have been patentable in the first place.
Samsung has already brought this information to Judge Koh who is reviewing it. There is the potential that she will amend the ruling against Samsung in light of these events. Wow! Finally, logic and reason is starting to come alive in the world.