Apple Patents Ruled Invalid, Claim Against Samsung Could Fall Apart

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Just when Apple was set to try and go for Samsung’s jugular a Judge has ruled that several Apple patents are invalid, throwing doubt on a landmark trial that awarded huge damages against Samsung.

The US Patent and Trademark Office has ruled that 20 patents relating to scroll technology “lack novelty”, some of the patents were rejected because there was not enough of an inventive step between the prior technology and Apple’s patent.

The rubber-banding patents, are also known as overscroll bounce, refer to the bouncing animation that takes place when a user scrolls past the end of a page.

Samsung has already found a workaround to the overscroll bounce patents however it is tipped that  if Apple’s patents were found to be invalid, it is likely the feature would make a return to handsets sold around the world.

It is one of many ongoing patent disputes between Apple and rival smartphone makers.

It is not known whether Samsung can now sue Apple for damages after the iPad, iPhone maker sought injunctions in several Countries  to stop Samsung products being sold in retail stores.

In August a California court awarded Apple $1.05bn in damages, after ruling Samsung had infringed patents. Samsung has submitted the preliminary ruling from the patent office to judge Lucy Koh, who is considering appeals.

The BCC reports that the preliminary ruling follows an anonymous request in May to re-examine some of Apple’s patents for touch-screen heuristics.

Apple will have the chance to appeal against the decision.

Samsung has been calling for a retrial of the patent dispute case, claiming that the jury foreman had “failed to answer [questions] truthfully” and might have been biased.

Apple had alleged Samsung had infringed its intellectual property in the design of its Galaxy S smartphones.

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