The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL)’s patent on rubber banding, the very patent that clinched its victory against Samsung. Rubber banding or scroll bounce, is the technology that makes the image on a screen bounce when it reaches its top or side limits.
However, this rejection is not unlikely in the least as it has happened before with other companies and the USTPO might take a year before announcing any decision, so in the meantime it will not affect Apple that much. Samsung has already alerted federal Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the patent lawsuit between the 2 companies.
Michael Lasky, patent attorney with Burr & Forman said that in patent reexamination the challenging party needs to raise substantial issues relevant to the patent. The public profile of a case can also play a vital role in influencing the decision of the patent office as now it is aware that it might be a slip on their part to have a patent held invalid by a court at some point. Since the patent has been rejected, Apple will have to fight to defend their position.
Samsung has also requested Judge Koh to declare the jury verdict in Apple’s favor as null and void. The USPTO's decision may strengthen that motion, but it might not be powerful enough to coerce Koh to toss out the complete verdict. However, some tweaks and modifications will be in place for sure and Apple does stand to lose some of its weightage due to those. Moreover, if Samsung can incorporate the overscroll bounce effect in its products sold in the
U.S., Apple will be somewhat
affected as it no longer holds exclusive rights to that technology.