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Apple earns 'huge win' against Samsung on rubber banding patent

post #1 of 120
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Key aspects of Apple's so-called "rubber banding" patent related to scrolling in iOS have been validated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, marking a major victory for the company in its ongoing patent dispute against Samsung.

Rubber Banding Patent
Illustration of Apple's "rubber-banding" patent. | Source: USPTO


Apple informed U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh on Thursday that the USPTO will issue a reexamination certificate confirming four key claims of the patent in question, according to intellectual property expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. The certificate will validate significant portions of U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381.

Among the portions confirmed by the USPTO is "claim 19," which Apple successfully leveraged against a number of Samsung products in the two companies' high-profile California trial last year. In that case, the jury sided with Apple and found that Samsung had infringed on its patented inventions.

"As a result of this new reexamination certificate, claim 19 will enjoy an enhanced presumption of validity against the invalidity theories the patent office evaluated," Mueller wrote. "Instead of invalidation in mid-2017 or later, this patent has now been confirmed in mid-2013."

The USPTO had previously tentatively rejected all claims in the patent, including claim 19, but Apple cautioned the court to wait for the process to unfold. The latest USPTO decision was portrayed by Mueller as a "huge win" for Apple, potentially giving the iPhone maker "the upper hand with other key patents it's asserting against Samsung" in both California and at the International Trade Commission.

Apple's so-called "rubber-banding" or scroll bounce-back patent deals with the iOS user interface feature that lets users know when they have reached the bottom of a scrollable page. It has been a key user interface element of Apple's mobile operating system since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.
post #2 of 120
I remember discussing how messed up these sorts of patents (at the time, mostly software patents in general) were back in the day on Slashdot (when it was a real site, as opposed to ... 1frown.gif ).

If they are going to enforce these things, which they obviously are, then good for Apple. From my limited understanding of the case, it seems like they should have won.

But the world would be a much easier place if you couldn't patent stuff like this.
post #3 of 120
I don't understand how this can be patentable. It's a virtual imitation of physics that humans discovered, not invented.
post #4 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

If they are going to enforce these things, which they obviously are, then good for Apple. From my limited understanding of the case, it seems like they should have won.

But the world would be a much easier place if you couldn't patent stuff like this.

As far as patents go, this seems pretty innocuous. Apple did this in a particular way, and there are many good alternatives: no one else needs to do it in exactly the same way. If they do, they're just copying Apple's painting and signing their own name.
post #5 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

I don't understand how this can be patentable. It's a virtual imitation of physics that humans discovered, not invented.

You should have just written "What is a patent?" for your post. You'd be saying the same thing.
post #6 of 120

I'm a happy camper knowing Samsung is getting each finger cut off Yakuza style... 

Fandroids take notice.  STEALING others' ideas and justifying it makes you just as sad.  I'm hoping for a sledgehammer to Samsung's skull next.

post #7 of 120
This hurts everyone. Rubber bands (like chewing gum and wax paper) are key cost-saving components in the construction of most Samsung phones.
post #8 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

I don't understand how this can be patentable. It's a virtual imitation of physics that humans discovered, not invented.

Samsung didn't discover anything and Samsung didn't just accidentally stumble upon rubber banding one day, they stole the idea from Apple.

post #9 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


You should have just written "What is a patent?" for your post. You'd be saying the same thing.

 

Quite right. And if you really want a dumpster load of uninformed anti-Apple troll comments, just go to any Apple story on The Verge. Nilay Patel leads the parade of Apple bashers... and he's one of the site's founders!

 

In fact, on Twitter Jim Dalrymple just retweeted a criticism of Patel's article ("'Can't innovate anymore, my ass': Apple's bravado clouds the company's real challenges") by a guy named @HugoKessler, who said "Wow. The Verge is on fire. Like actually on fire--burning away any last remainder of their reputation away."


Edited by SpamSandwich - 6/13/13 at 12:14pm

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post #10 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnbiasedDave View Post

...
So before you berate Android for copying, your precious Apple is doing the same thing.

 

Thought experiments:

 

• iOS 7 today if Android didn't exist. What would it look like? How would it work? How good would it be? How quickly would it have advanced?

 

• And Android today if iOS didn't exist. What would it look like? How would it work? How good would it be? How quickly would it have advanced?

 

• Is all "copying" the same? Is copying a lot the same as copying a little? Is doing something second, the same as illegal patent? Are all patent suits the same?

 

• Control Center. Seems a lot like 1984 Mac OS. Did Android steal it?

 

• Trolling. Does it somehow affect sales? Does it somehow affect users?

post #11 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnbiasedDave View Post

"Fandroids take notice. STEALING others' ideas and justifying it makes you just as sad. I'm hoping for a sledgehammer to Samsung's skull next."

Yeah, just look at iOS 7!

- control centre from Android
- task switching from WebOS
- email from BB10

http://blog.inner-active.com/2013/06/here-are-the-things-apple-totally-ripped-off-from-competitors-for-ios-7/

So before you berate Android for copying, your precious Apple is doing the same thing.

 

Dave, you're biased.

 

Besides, although you were responding to an inaccurate claim neither Apple, nor Samsung can be penalized for "stealing ideas". Samsung is and was infringing on Apple's patents. 

 

To be clear... "IDEAS" ARE NOT PATENTS.

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post #12 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

 

Thought experiments:

 

• iOS 7 today if Android didn't exist. What would it look like? How would it work? How good would it be? How quickly would it have advanced?

 

• And Android today if iOS didn't exist. What would it look like? How would it work? How good would it be? How quickly would it have advanced?

 

• Is all "copying" the same? Is copying a lot the same as copying a little? Is doing something second, the same as illegal patent? Are all patent suits the same?

 

• Control Center. Seems a lot like 1984 Mac OS. Did Android steal it?

 

• Trolling. Does it somehow affect sales? Does it somehow affect users?

 

Android would not even exist if it weren't for the iPhone.

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post #13 of 120

I don't mind the biased accusation, I own an iPhone 5, a Android HTC One, A BB Q10 and a Lumia 920 (benefits of writing software for multiple platforms).

 

They all have good points, and bad points. They have ideas from other platforms, and some are original. 

 

My response was based on the statement that a sizeable set of Apple fans seem to think Samsung/Android have stolen *everything* from iOS. While there's certainly some truth in that accusation, it's also true that in technology everyone's as bad as each other.

 

iOS just shows that Apple aren't above using other ideas and making them better. It's just hypocritical to complain and sue on one side, but also take good ideas and pass them as yours on the other.

post #14 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Dave, you're biased.

Besides, although you were responding to an inaccurate claim neither Apple, nor Samsung can be penalized for "stealing ideas". Samsung is and was infringing on Apple's patents. 

To be clear... "IDEAS" ARE NOT PATENTS.

Apple bought a boatload of PalmOS patents in April. I wonder if they included the task switcher.
post #15 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnbiasedDave View Post

I own...

No one gives a frick.
post #16 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnbiasedDave View Post

I don't mind the biased accusation, I own an iPhone 5, a Android HTC One, A BB Q10 and a Lumia 920 (benefits of writing software for multiple platforms).

 

They all have good points, and bad points. They have ideas from other platforms, and some are original. 

 

My response was based on the statement that a sizeable set of Apple fans seem to think Samsung/Android have stolen *everything* from iOS. While there's certainly some truth in that accusation, it's also true that in technology everyone's as bad as each other.

 

iOS just shows that Apple aren't above using other ideas and making them better. It's just hypocritical to complain and sue on one side, but also take good ideas and pass them as yours on the other.

 

Once more, all together now... "IDEAS" ARE NOT PATENTS.

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post #17 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post


Apple bought a boatload of PalmOS patents in April. I wonder if they included the task switcher.

 

I missed that story! Apparently critics of iOS 7 functionality must've missed it also.

 

http://japandailypress.com/apple-acquires-palm-patents-from-japans-access-co-for-10m-1126778

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post #18 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnbiasedDave View Post

"Fandroids take notice. STEALING others' ideas and justifying it makes you just as sad. I'm hoping for a sledgehammer to Samsung's skull next."

Yeah, just look at iOS 7!

- control centre from Android
- task switching from WebOS
- email from BB10

http://blog.inner-active.com/2013/06/here-are-the-things-apple-totally-ripped-off-from-competitors-for-ios-7/

So before you berate Android for copying, your precious Apple is doing the same thing.

So where are those patents...
post #19 of 120

http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/13/02/25/1747201/lg-acquires-webos-source-code-and-patents-from-hp

 

I would imagine HP held onto them and only recently sold them to LG.


Anyway, the task switching system is the same as Windows Phone 8, just with the additional ability to close apps. What'll be interesting to see is if in iOS 7 apps can still run in the background, or whether or not they'll be tombstoned.

post #20 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I missed that story! Apparently critics of iOS 7 functionality must've missed it also.

http://japandailypress.com/apple-acquires-palm-patents-from-japans-access-co-for-10m-1126778

Appreciate the link. I missed it too. As the article said, no way this would have happened a couple years ago.
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post #21 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Accidental View Post

I don't get it. Apple [not so] discretely rips off dozens of UI elements and features from competitors in their iOS7 refresh. All the while they peruse this frivolous 'rubber banding' feature against Samsung. I love Apple, but they are starting to become hypocritical patent-trolling trash.

Don't even get me started on the pull-down notification..

Yo, lemme guess.

 

You also own an iPhone and probably a couple of Macs too? Right? lol.gif

post #22 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

So where are those patents...

Doesn't really matter since Google would be highly unlikely to initiate a lawsuit over any of them. They studiously avoid IP lawsuits, having only filed one so far in their 15 years. Apple isn't in any danger of attracting one from treading a little too close to Google IP IMO.
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post #23 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnbiasedDave View Post

"Fandroids take notice. STEALING others' ideas and justifying it makes you just as sad. I'm hoping for a sledgehammer to Samsung's skull next."

Yeah, just look at iOS 7!

- control centre from Android
- task switching from WebOS
- email from BB10

http://blog.inner-active.com/2013/06/here-are-the-things-apple-totally-ripped-off-from-competitors-for-ios-7/

So before you berate Android for copying, your precious Apple is doing the same thing.

Well, if that's the case, then let them litigate and find out, as Apple has done.

 

Your claim (and the silly blog you linked to) is nothing more than some pathetic troll rambling.

 

'Unbiased', my ass.

post #24 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

I don't understand how this can be patentable. It's a virtual imitation of physics that humans discovered, not invented.

 

Funny, I don't recall a letter I received bouncing back when I had reached the end. Ditto for the newspaper article, no matter how hard I tried to see if there was more of it. The rubber-banding might be a virtual representation of physics, but not in the context of the way it is used in iOS.

post #25 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


You should have just written "What is a patent?" for your post. You'd be saying the same thing.

 

I understand patents very well.  Please explain to me how making a virtual copy of a physical phenomenon is patentable.

post #26 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

 

Funny, I don't recall a letter I received bouncing back when I had reached the end. Ditto for the newspaper article, no matter how hard I tried to see if there was more of it. The rubber-banding might be a virtual representation of physics, but not in the context of the way it is used in iOS.

 

Put that letter inside a cardboard box and push it toward the side.  It will rebound slightly when it can't travel anymore.

post #27 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Samsung didn't discover anything and Samsung didn't just accidentally stumble upon rubber banding one day, they stole the idea from Apple.

 

Did I say anything about Samsung?  No, I didn't.  Samsung shouldn't copy Apple's software in blatant ways, but Apple shouldn't patent things that aren't patentable.

post #28 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

I understand patents very well.  Please explain to me how making a virtual copy of a physical phenomenon is patentable.

Here... let me help:

 

 

USPTO Contact Center (UCC)

For general information, mailing addresses, Internet addresses, and contact information for other USPTO services. General Support is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET (except federal holidays). 

Technical Support is available Monday through Friday 5:30 a.m. to midnight ET and Saturday and Sunday 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. (select option # 3). Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. 

800-786-9199 (toll-free) | 571-272-1000 (local) | 800-877-8339 (TTY)

post #29 of 120

Apple ][:  I have a MacBook Pro, but not an iPhone. Thanks.

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post #30 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

I don't understand how this can be patentable. It's a virtual imitation of physics that humans discovered, not invented.

We're enjoying your disbelief. In fact, it's kind of turning us on...

Where is your Flawgic God now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnbiasedDave View Post

iOS just shows that Apple aren't above using other ideas and making them better.

What do you think the iPod was to the MP3 player market? The MacBook Air to the ultraportable market? The iPad to the entire PC industry? Hell, we could go on forever...

Tell me that you're a better developer than you are at recognising the difference between genuine, legal competition and infringement...
Edited by GTR - 6/13/13 at 1:12pm
Android: pitting every phone company in the world against one, getting a higher number, and considering it a major achievement.
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Android: pitting every phone company in the world against one, getting a higher number, and considering it a major achievement.
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post #31 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

 

Put that letter inside a cardboard box and push it toward the side.  It will rebound slightly when it can't travel anymore.

 

Wow, that's a stretch (no pun intended). Now if the thing that was rubber-banding in iOS started to fold or wrinkle, you might have something. Also, why would I be reading a letter in a cardboard box anyway?


Edited by Rob55 - 6/13/13 at 1:07pm
post #32 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

 

Did I say anything about Samsung?  No, I didn't.  Samsung shouldn't copy Apple's software in blatant ways, but Apple shouldn't patent things that aren't patentable.

I'm not a patent lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one. 

 

Key aspects of Apple's so-called "rubber banding" patent related to scrolling in iOS have been validated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

 

You should let the US patent office know that you object to their decision, because it seems to me that they have validated Apple's rubber banding patent.

post #33 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Accidental View Post

I don't get it. Apple [not so] discretely rips off dozens of UI elements and features from competitors in their iOS7 refresh. All the while they peruse this frivolous 'rubber banding' feature against Samsung. I love Apple, but they are starting to become hypocritical patent-trolling trash.

Don't even get me started on the pull-down notification..

 

You're right. You don't get it.

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post #34 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

Android would not even exist if it weren't for the iPhone.

Not exactly true - Android started out as a copy of Blackberry, then re-oriented their copiers when the iPhone came. A Blackberry copy would have been their maximum success if not for the iPhone.


Edited by elroth - 6/13/13 at 1:21pm
post #35 of 120

Exactly. Because everyone knows how much credibility the USPTO has had in recent years...  /s

 

Have you seen the copious amounts of news about US patent reform, coming straight from the top? This lawsuit falls in the frivolous category that Obama is trying to stop.

 

Edit, let me help by providing the link:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/04/fact-sheet-white-house-task-force-high-tech-patent-issues

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post #36 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Here... let me help:

 

 

USPTO Contact Center (UCC)

For general information, mailing addresses, Internet addresses, and contact information for other USPTO services. General Support is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET (except federal holidays). 

Technical Support is available Monday through Friday 5:30 a.m. to midnight ET and Saturday and Sunday 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. (select option # 3). Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. 

800-786-9199 (toll-free) | 571-272-1000 (local) | 800-877-8339 (TTY)

 

They're not going to answer my question.  Looks like you don't have an answer either.  It shouldn't be patentable.  Refute me with a real argument.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post


We're enjoying your disbelief. In fact, it's kind of turning us on...

Where is your Flawgic God now!

 

I see what you did there ;)

 

Only logic here.  Give me an answer and I'll consider why the rubber banding action should be patentable.

post #37 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

 

I understand patents very well.  Please explain to me how making a virtual copy of a physical phenomenon is patentable.

 

Obviously you don't understand patents. A representation of a physical phenomena in digital form is completely different. Do real-world physics cause those effects to occur on a screen? Wow... 1eek.gif 1rolleyes.gif

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post #38 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

 

Wow, that's a stretch (no pun intended). Now if the thing that was rubber-banding in iOS started to fold or wrinkle, you might have something.

 

Not a stretch at all.  The UI is a virtual sheet inside a virtual box, reacting to a virtual wall with a virtual rebound.

post #39 of 120

Guys you have to differentiate a bit when it comes to implementing existing ideas, especially when refining them.

 

For one, as correctly stated above: Ideas are not Patents.

 

Secondly, we all have to consider that interaction is kind of limited. Obviously we will have similar functionality with similar behaviour or appearance. Competitors will pick that up, refine it, adjust it to their own need and style and implement it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

 

As such, there is nothing wrong with Apple implementing a view (in this case notifications) which are triggered by a top down gesture. Implementing notifications like this was a good idea and Apple picked that one up, made it look like their own and everyone's happy.

 

The same is true for Google's stock Android pull down or "rubberband" effect. It takes up on Apple's idea of overextending dynamically, depending on the users touches, simulating a feeling of force, however it is styled and implemented differently. Instead of making the view bounce and extend outside the visible screen area, Google's implementation displays a highlight once the scrollable area's end is reached. This highlight grows in size and intensity as the user keeps on pulling, also suggesting a kind of force being applied to the view by the user.

 

Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is obvious Google took this idea from Apple, however they implemented it their own way and that's fine.

 

Now, Samsung is obviously another case, they mostly try to steal one to one and this is what this is all about.

 

It is however stupid to argue that all interface elements have to be completely unique because this is simply impossible. All ideas currently in use obviously date back as far as graphical user interfaces date back. Most of what we see and use nowadays is simply a different implementation. If we were to argue like this, we could go all the way back to XEROX and essentially Apple, since they acquired that GUI and accuse everyone else of stealing buttons. We could even make this more ridiculous by accusing the whole invention of the GUI as one huge theft since text based command line interfaces have been trying to emulate things like GUIs (dialogs, buttons, progress indicators, etc) for quite a while before that.

post #40 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

Obviously you don't understand patents. A representation of a physical phenomena in digital form is completely different. Does real-world physics cause those effects on a screen? Wow... 1eek.gif 1rolleyes.gif

 

I think you're missing the point.  Apple software engineers made code of their own to cause the rebound effect, but the idea was not novel.  The idea was something discovered hundreds of years ago.  Making a virtual copy of something that is a natural phenomenon is not now and never will be novel.

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