Apple wins rubberbanding patent case against Motorola in Germany

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple has won a key patent case against Android in Germany against Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility, following a similar win against Samsung in the U.S.

Apple's '381 patent describes a rubber banding effect that indicates the end of a scrolling list or document has been hit by animating a stretchy, whimsical snap back effect.

In its case against Samsung, Apple's iOS head Scott Forstall testified that Steve Jobs was particularly annoyed to see other companies taking the invention and putting their name on it.

Forstall said the patent was "was just one of the things that Steve said [to Samsung], 'here's something we invented. Don't - don't copy it. Don't steal it.'"

After successfully winning a jury verdict finding infringement of the patent in its U.S. case against Samsung, Apple has now won a similar case against Motorola. Rather than a jury, the determination was made by a panel of German judges, according to a report by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents.

Mueller wrote that Presiding Judge Dr. Peter Guntz of the Munich I Regional Court had, earlier today, announced the determination of his panel that a variety of Motorola Mobility tablets and smartphones had all infringed upon Apple's European patent EP2126678, the equivalent of its US '831 patent.

This allows Apple enforce an injunction against the accused devices after posting a 25 million Euro bond. Apple can also post another 10 million Euro bond to "obligate Motorola to destroy any infringing material," or force Motorola to do a recall if it posts another 10 million Euro bond. Motorola will also have to pay Apple damages for past infringement.

The patent decision does not stop Motorola from building competing devices however, as the company is free to develop original smartphones and tablets that do not infringe Apple's design.

Google's own base version of Android has already introduced a "glow" indicator that serves the same purpose, although as Mueller notes, "the glow does not solve the problem that the rubber-banding patent solves: by the time a user notices the glow, he or she has already instinctively pressed harder because of the impression that the device is not responding."

Mueller has earlier stated that he uses a Samsung Note "phablet" phone that uses the "glow" effect, making him familiar with the difference between the two user interface concepts. He concluded, "this injunction spells further degradation of the Android user experience."

The rubber banding patent is the third infringement injunction Apple has won against Motorola in Germany, following a "slide to unlock" and photo gallery "flip to navigate" rulings.

Mueller points out that the impact of Apple's injunctions against Mototola in German is relatively minimal give Motorola's limited market share in the country.

However, he notes, "outcome of those cases shows that Android has far bigger patent infringement problems than any piece of computer software has ever had in the history of the industry, and this has many of Google's hardware partners profoundly concerned."

Mueller also noted that while patent cases are complex often confusing, "there can be no confusion about the fact that Google is losing the smartphone patent war in the United States and in Europe. That's simply a fact that no reasonable person can deny when looking at the decisions that came down on both sides of the Atlantic."

Google paid an astounding $12.5 billion to acquire the struggling Motorola Mobility this spring, ostensibly to obtain a patent portfolio capable of defending Android licensees across a series of infringement cases worldwide.

However, its new subsidiary has failed to deliver much patent firepower, forcing Google to wage a series of battles claiming infringement of standards essential patents, which offer at most limited damages related to the Fair Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms they have already been committed to as part of the standards process.

It appears Google's expensive acquisition was actually motivated by threats Motorola had made that involved both adopting Microsoft's Windows Phone platform and taking other Android licensees to court over a variety of patent claims.

Google's Android platform would be hurt far worse from patent infighting and the loss of its only significant, exclusive licensee than from cases asserted by Apple to force its various licensees to stop stealing its signature features, patented industrial design and trade dress.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43


    BOOM. 


     


    Another one. Against Google and their $12.5 billion white elephant. 


     


    Just how many infringers *are* in the rest of this sloth-like industry?

  • Reply 2 of 43


    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Against Google and their $12.5 billion white elephant.



     


    "But Google said that Motorola is running as a separate company."


     


    Whatever happened to "innovate, don't litigate", I wonder? image

  • Reply 3 of 43

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



     "the glow does not solve the problem that the rubber-banding patent solves: by the time a user notices the glow, he or she has already instinctively pressed harder because of the impression that the device is not responding."


     


    I think that most users would conclude that they've actually reached the end of the list, just like the scrolling bar on the right indicates. Not that this sort of talk surprises me from this guy.

  • Reply 4 of 43

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Youarewrong View Post


     


    I think that most users would conclude that they've actually reached the end of the list, just like the scrolling bar on the right indicates. Not that this sort of talk surprises me from this guy.



     


    You over-estimate the intelligence of the average Android drone. Not that your sort of talk surprises me.

  • Reply 5 of 43
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,990member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Youarewrong View Post


     


    I think that most users would conclude that they've actually reached the end of the list, just like the scrolling bar on the right indicates. Not that this sort of talk surprises me from this guy.



     


    Who cares about the unsurprising "talk" of "this guy" by which I believe you mean Herr Mueller, what's important is what the judge ruled and that an adverse finding against Google/Motorola/Android was the verdict.


     


    As more and more of these cases are decided, Jobs' view of "Android as a stolen product" is vindicated.

  • Reply 6 of 43


    I wonder how the shoe will feel when the iPhone 5 is banned from import over LTE patents.

  • Reply 7 of 43

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


     


    You over-estimate the intelligence of the average Android drone. Not that your sort of talk surprises me.



     


    I think even the average Android drone is smart enough to understand how a scrolling bar works.

  • Reply 8 of 43
    What I don't understand is that 'rubber banding' is clearly a software patent, and as far as I know (or thought I knew) software patents are not recognised in Europe (indeed virtually anywhere outside the USA), so how can this be ruled on by a German court? Clearly it has been so I guess the software patent situation isn't as black and white as that...

    Really this is the heart of the problem - software patents are the major issue, should they be recognised in the first place? It's one thing to penalise Samsung et al for copying the patented hardware features of Apple's stuff (which inclues the physical design and appearance) but what if the feature they copy isn't hardware at all but a skeumorphic software effect like rubber banding? Is that patentable? Should it be?
  • Reply 9 of 43


    Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

    I wonder how the shoe will feel when the iPhone 5 is banned from import over LTE patents.


     


    I wonder how the trolls will feel when Samsung is metaphorically punched in the face and literally called "idiots" in court for thinking they can double dip on FRAND licensing.






    Originally Posted by dshan View Post

    Really this is the heart of the problem - software patents are the major issue…


     



    How?



    And so if they can't patent, they'll copyright and then sue over said copyright.

  • Reply 10 of 43

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dshan View Post



    What I don't understand is that 'rubber banding' is clearly a software patent, and as far as I know (or thought I knew) software patents are not recognised in Europe (indeed virtually anywhere outside the USA), so how can this be ruled on by a German court? Clearly it has been so I guess the software patent situation isn't as black and white as that...

    Really this is the heart of the problem - software patents are the major issue, should they be recognised in the first place? It's one thing to penalise Samsung et al for copying the patented hardware features of Apple's stuff (which inclues the physical design and appearance) but what if the feature they copy isn't hardware at all but a skeumorphic software effect like rubber banding? Is that patentable? Should it be?


     


    Get over yourself about software patents. It's particularly annoying when your intent is to hope they are shot down so people can freely borrow however they want any UI design paradigm, at will, free from infringement.


     


    You wouldn't give two craps if someone on the Xorg project wrote the banding effect or that Apple licensed it freely under the APSL or BSD, but you are whining since they invested the personal talents to actually develop this idea of banding into their embedded menu scrolling, irrespective of the fact that it represents a forced dampening system in Mechanical Engineering via software, as if all of Mechanical Engineering and thus Physics implies Patent Free.

  • Reply 11 of 43
    I think that most users would conclude that they've actually reached the end of the list, just like the scrolling bar on the right indicates. Not that this sort of talk surprises me from this guy.

    Good for Apple. Motorola probably has a work around ready but you're correct there isn't just a "glow" at the end. The icons also partially lift up but quickly go back down so as not to confuse the user that the device isn't responding.
  • Reply 12 of 43
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    As much of a little feature in iOS, it just proves again that the Android OS is copying.

  • Reply 13 of 43
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,328member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shidell View Post


    I wonder how the shoe will feel when the iPhone 5 is banned from import over LTE patents.



     


    You just don't give up hoping, do you? Hopefully Samsung will eventually demonstrate a more Pavlovian response, even if their pain threshold is quite high.

  • Reply 14 of 43
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    I wonder how the trolls will feel when Samsung is metaphorically punched in the face and literally called "idiots" in court for thinking they can double dip on FRAND licensing.


     


    How?



    And so if they can't patent, they'll copyright and then sue over said copyright.



    I am wondering how it Apple infringing on 4G/LTE patents?  They are using a Qualcomm chip, which covers what ever 4G/LTE licensing.  SInce the 4G/LTE patent case has been dealt with yet, that's all speculation.  I highly doubt they will ban the iPhone 5 due to 4G/LTE when they are using a standard chip set designed and mfg by Qualcomm.  

  • Reply 15 of 43
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shidell View Post


    I wonder how the shoe will feel when the iPhone 5 is banned from import over LTE patents.



    First off, has there been a lawsuit filed? If so, what was the verdict?  Apple uses a Qualcomm voice/data chipset, so why should Apple be forced to pay 4G/LTE licensing if it is already covered in the chipset?  Because Apple isn't buying voice/data chips from Samsung?

  • Reply 16 of 43
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,657member


    When I'm using my ultra smooth and speedy iOS devices to browse around the web, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that non Apple users, Fandroids, Apple haters and other questionable people do not have the right to features such as rubberbanding on their devices. 


     


    Come up with your own innovations, you talentless copycats, and whiny jealous people! Apple is not the world's R&D charity center, so that other losers can freely take and use what Apple has invented.


     


    I also believe that most of the people who push the dumb meme "the patent system is broken, booohooo!", are really just mad that Apple is sitting on some really nice and innovative patents which they spent a long time developing, and these jealous losers and Apple haters would like those same features on their own inferior devices. Guess what, you don't deserve it!

  • Reply 17 of 43


    Originally Posted by drblank View Post

    I am wondering how it Apple infringing on 4G/LTE patents?  They are using a Qualcomm chip, which covers what ever 4G/LTE licensing.  SInce the 4G/LTE patent case has been dealt with yet, that's all speculation.  I highly doubt they will ban the iPhone 5 due to 4G/LTE when they are using a standard chip set designed and mfg by Qualcomm.  


     


    I know, you know? I think it's hilarious that Samsung thinks they have any sort of case here.


     


    I remember that Linksys filed a lawsuit against the iPhone the day it was announced. I figured since Samsung had actually previously announced they would sue Apple if the 6th iPhone had LTE that they would have done so already, too. I think it's strange that they haven't, if they're serious about this.

  • Reply 18 of 43
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,328member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    Originally Posted by drblank View Post

    I am wondering how it Apple infringing on 4G/LTE patents?  They are using a Qualcomm chip, which covers what ever 4G/LTE licensing.  SInce the 4G/LTE patent case has been dealt with yet, that's all speculation.  I highly doubt they will ban the iPhone 5 due to 4G/LTE when they are using a standard chip set designed and mfg by Qualcomm.  


     


    I know, you know? I think it's hilarious that Samsung thinks they have any sort of case here.


     


    I remember that Linksys filed a lawsuit against the iPhone the day it was announced. I figured since Samsung had actually previously announced they would sue Apple if the 6th iPhone had LTE that they would have done so already, too. I think it's strange that they haven't, if they're serious about this.



     


    If it was a idle threat then their credibility will suffer even more than it has. If they sue then FRAND patent abuse issues will likely bite them. They really seem to be backing themselves into a corner.

  • Reply 19 of 43

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shidell View Post


    I wonder how the shoe will feel when the iPhone 5 is banned from import over LTE patents.





    I hope you don't hold your breath waiting for that ban to happen. Remember Apple owns some LTE patents (via Nortel) as well and uses chip sets from Qualcomm that are already licensed.

  • Reply 20 of 43
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member


    deleted

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