The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has tentatively invalidated Apple’s “rubber banding” patent, which describes the function in a smartphone that makes a list bounce back when attempting to scroll past the end of it. This animation is something that Samsung has long included in its Android smartphones and was a point of contention in the recent Apple/Samsung debacle. In fact, this potential reversal could have huge ramifications for the $1 billion Samsung was scheduled to pay Apple after the recent ruling in favor of Apple.
The ball is now in Apple’s court to prove that this functionality wasn’t already present in other products before the patent was granted. Good luck with that, Apple.
I just hope that this is a sign of things to come – perhaps a bit more rationale in the US patent office. Maybe it will start looking at other bogus patents, such as one-click shopping (I’m looking at you, Amazon) and rounded edges (Apple … sigh). These patent lawsuits have only worked to stifle innovation, in spite of the fact that the original purpose of the patent was to promote innovation. It will be interesting to see what, if anything else, comes out of this.[Engadget] Thanks, Adam!