Listing Brichter as the inventor, the U.S. Patent Application is entitled, 'User Interface Mechanics' and reads:
Methods, computer readable media, and apparatuses for providing enhanced user interface mechanics are presented. In one arrangement, a scrollable list of content items may be displayed. Input associated with a scroll command may be received. Then, based on the scroll command, a scrollable refresh trigger may be displayed. Subsequently, the scrollable list of content items may be refreshed in response to determining, based on the scroll command, that the scrollable refresh trigger has been activated. In at least one instance, it may be determined that the scrollable refresh trigger has been activated in response to determining that the scroll command was completed while the scrollable refresh trigger was fully displayed.
The wide reaching description appears to apply not only to apps like Facebook and Tweetbot but also to apps like Clear which use the action for more than the typical 'refresh' functionality.
ObamaPacman notes that the patent has not been granted yet and could fail based on prior art.
"We're pretty sure many App Store titles had that feature before 2010 so it may fail the prior art portion of the patent examination process."
Read More [via CultofMac]