Big Win for Apple as USPTO Confirms Four Claims of Rubber-Banding Patent
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has notified Apple that it will issue a reexamination certificate confirming four claims of its rubber-banding or overscroll bounce patent, reports FOSS Patents.
Apple just informed Judge Lucy Koh of the decision that includes confirmation of claim 19 which Apple asserted at last year's trial against Samsung.
In May 2012, an anonymous request for an ex parte reexamination of the '381 patent became discoverable. In October 2012, a first Office action tentatively rejected all claims of this patent, and about two and a half months ago a "final Office action" upheld only three of them but rejected all others, including claim 19. Samsung was always quick to file notices of these early decisions with the court. But Apple had consistently cautioned against overrating first and "final" (but not final-final) Office actions tentatively rejecting certain claims. It also pointed out that these processes can take years: even if the relevant claims of the rubber-banding patent ultimately had been invalidated, it would have taken until mid-2017 or later. But along the way there can be many reversals of fortune, and Apple now has the upper hand with respect to this patent -- and it may at some point have the upper hand with respect to other key patents it's asserting against Samsung in California and at the ITC.
Apple notes that this is the second time claim 19 of this patent has been confirmed. A previous reexamination request had been made by Nokia on different invalidity contentions. This means that claim 19 will have an enhanced presumption of validity in court.