Apple’s key ‘rubber banding’ patent validated by US Patent Office


Apple’s ‘rubber banding’ patent has been under heavy scrutiny in recent months, invalidated twice by the US Patent Office. It used the patent, which pertains to a software feature that allows content to ‘bounce back’ during scrolling, in its big $1 billion victory over Samsung.

But good news today for the Cupertino company. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (or USPTO) has said it will issue a re-examination certificate that confirms the formerly invalidated invention, clearing up any doubts of the patent’s weight or validity…

Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents is reporting today that Apple has just informed Judge Lucy Koh of the US District Court that the US Patent Office will be issuing a reexamination certificate, confirming four claims of its ‘rubber banding’ pantet (or U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381).

“Apple’s notice to the court points out that this will already be the second reexamination certificate confirming claim 19 of this patent. A previous one issued on April 26, 2011, presumably in response to a reexamination request filed by Nokia (raising different invalidity contentions). As a result of this new reexamination certificate, claim 19 will enjoy an enhanced presumption of validity against the invalidity theories the patent office evaluated. Instead of invalidation in mid-2017 or later, this patent has now been confirmed in mid-2013.”

Mueller also provides an image of the header of the USPTO’s notice:

USPTO NIRC confirming seven claims of rubber-banding patent-1

Samsung has a number of times tried to have Judge Koh declare Apple’s rubber banding patent invalid, quickly filing notices with the court on both occasions when the US Patent Office invalidated it, and asking Koh to delay their upcoming November trial due to the uncertainty.

But with the new reexamination certificate, it is highly unlikely that Samsung will be able to convince Koh to delay the trial, which will be used to redetermine a portion of the damages that Samsung must pay. Koh threw out a big chunk of the $1 billion settlement earlier this year.