According to a new report from FossPatent, Samsung and other Android vendors are in for some great news. The USPTO have tentatively invalidated Apple’s ‘rubber-banding’ patent – U.S. Patent No, 7,469,381.
Here is what FossPatent had to say about the report:
Claim 19 appears on the “Rejection A” and “Rejection D” lists. Both kinds of rejections are for lack of novelty, not just obviousness (which is what “Rejection B”, which does not relate to Claim 19, is about). This means that Apple would have to convince the patent office (or, possibly, the appeals court) not only that rubber-banding was new despite the earlier existence of those documents (a finding of anticipation is a determination that there was no inventive step at all) but also that its claimed inventive step is sufficient to justify the existence of the rubber-banding patent.
While this non-final decision is not binding, there is a possibility that Judge Koh will be persuaded by this to grant Samsung’s Rule 50 (“overrule-the-jury”) motion to the extent it relates to the ‘381 patent. Even if Judge Koh is hesitant to overrule the jury on this and skeptical of a non-final action, the reexamination process will continue during the Federal Circuit appellate proceedings, so if the non-final findings concerning claim 19 are affirmed in subsequent Office actions, they will have more weight. And even after the appeals process, a subsequent final rejection of the relevant patent claim would make the patent unenforceable going forward.
The invalidation is based prior art based on the following patent: