by Emma Woollacott - October 24, 2012
The US Patent and Trademark Office has reviewed one of the Apple patents that led to a $1.05 billion ruling against Samsung - and decided that it isn't valid after all.
The so-called 'rubber-banding' patent, which makes the page 'bounce' back when a finger's finished scrolling down the screen, was one of a half-dozen at issue during the case.
But, through a long-standing system for re-examining granted patents, the USPTO has decided to rescind it on the grounds that the feature lacked novelty. The decision - if it's not successfully challenged by Apple - could possibly force a review of the $1.05 billion Samsung's been ordered to pay.
It's the right decision, says patent expert Florian Mueller, who first spotted the USPTO notice.
"It's not surprising that the '381 patent faces a serious challenge to its validity. I've said in a report on a Munich trial that it's a great achievement in the realm of use interface psychology, but in a strictly technological sense it has extremely little merit, if any," he says.
"It doesn't take rocket science to make it work. Technically it's just about drawing rectangles