Apple's 'overscroll bounce' patent tentatively declared invalid in the US

The tentative decision could help Samsung in court as it seeks to block Apple motions for increased damages and a sales injunction

One of the seven patents at the heart of Apple's US$1.05 billion lawsuit against Samsung Electronics has been tentatively rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), according to documents filed by Samsung with a Californian court late on Monday.

The USPTO made its decision following a request to re-examine the patent, but has yet to make a final ruling on the matter, it said in a letter dated Oct. 15. Samsung told the court the letter was published to the USPTO website Monday.

Apple's "list scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touchscreen display" patent describes a way to indicate the end of a scrollable list on a touch-screen device, and is also known as the "overscroll bounce" or "rubber band" patent.

The company has used this patent in various lawsuits against Samsung and other manufacturers of Android devices. In Germany it won a preliminary sales ban on phones and tablets from Motorola Mobility in September when the regional court of Munich ruled the devices infringed on the European equivalent of the same patent.

Earlier this year, Apple convinced a jury in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, that Samsung devices infringed the overscroll bounce patent, among others. The jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages.

The USPTO's letter is relevant to Samsung's attempts to block Apple's motion for a permanent injunction and damages enhancement, the company said in a court filing on Monday.

The USPTO found the patent tentatively invalid because there were earlier technologies patented that are similar to Apple's overscroll bounce patent. These earlier patented inventions are known as "prior art."

Apple's overscroll bounce patent was anticipated by a patent invented by Luigi Lira that describes how to control content in a display, the USPTO said in the claim rejections.

The Apple patent was also anticipated by another patented invention describing a "continuous scrolling list with acceleration", the USPTO said.

Samsung has already worked around the overscroll bounce infringement last year. Instead of letting pages scroll past their boundaries and snap back, the company now shows a blue glow at the edge of the screen when a user tries to scroll past the end of a list.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileApplelegaliosapplicationstelecommunicationintellectual propertypatentSamsung ElectronicsMobile OSesAndroid OS

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?