courtroom gavel

On Friday, a Tokyo court found a number of Samsung’s legacy smartphone models to be guilty of infringing on one of Apple’s patents. More specifically, it’s the infamous ‘rubber banding’ patent, which Apple has used in a number of courtroom battles.

For those unfamiliar with the ‘rubber banding’ property, it covers the software action that triggers the bounce-back animation when a user reaches the end of a scrolling document. And the Japan court feels older Samsung handsets infringe upon it…

Reuters reports:

“A Tokyo court ruled on Friday that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd had infringed on rival Apple Inc’s patent for a “bounce-back” feature on earlier models of its popular smartphones.

Apple claimed that Samsung had copied the “bounce-back”, in which icons on its smartphones and tablets quiver back when users scroll to the end of an electronic document.”

It’s worth pointing out that the ruling only refers to Samsung’s older smartphones—the company has already changed its interface on recent models to show a blue line at the end of documents. But today’s outcome could still have significant ramifications.

For one, we don’t yet know what (if any) damages were awarded. And two, this further solidifies the validity of Apple’s powerful ‘rubber-banding’ patent, which has recently come under heavy fire as it was invalidated and then revalidated by the US Patent Office.

The latter probably means much more to Apple than money, but I’m most interested in the damages amount. If Apple was able to prove Samsung’s infringement made a major impact on its handset sales in the country, it could be awarded some big bucks.

The court says it will release more details on the ruling later today.

Apple and Samsung are currently involved in patent lawsuits in 10 countries. Apple won a major victory against the South Korean tech giant back in August of last year, and Samsung just won a big ITC case against Apple that could see some of its products banned.