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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has tentatively invalidated Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) rubber-banding patent, potentially putting the August jury decision in the company’s high-profile trial against Samsung at some risk. According to a filing made by the Korean company on Monday, the USPTO invalidated all twenty claims of Apple’s patent, including those used in the San Jose trial.
According to Foss Patents’ Florian Mueller, who first discovered the rejection, Samsung has already filed a motion with Judge Lucy Koh to inform her of the USPTO decision. While Samsung has already developed a workaround for the technology, an invalidation of the patent will massively help its appeal of the August ruling that awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages and poses a sales injunction risk for the Korean company’s products. Judge Koh is set to hear further details of the case in December.
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The rubber-banding patent is known officially as “List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display” and describes an effect that sees a page bounces back up when a person scrolls to the very bottom. It was one of the seven infringement claims that Apple made against Samsung, with the jury finding violations in several products, including the Galaxy S2 smartphone and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. Apple has also used the patents in cases against its Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android rival in Germany.
The USPTO’s rejections have been based on prior art considerations and it will now be up to Apple to prove to the patent office or the appeals court that the technology detailed in its application was new.
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