updated 05:22 am EDT, Tue April 2, 2013
Apple faces new set back in patent wars with Samsung
Apple has been dealt a blow by the US Patent Office, which has reaffirmed its preliminary invalidation of Apple's much publicized 'rubber banding' patent ('381), reports FOSS Patents. The latest ruling has been labeled a 'Final Office Action' by the USPTO and was revealed in a court filing by Samsung's lawyers to Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over the legal battle between the two companies. Although significant, the latest ruling by the USPTO can still be appealed by Apple and the Cupertino-based company will have two months to make its case.
While the initial ruling invalidated all 20 claims made in patent '381, Apple was successful in having claims 14, 17 and 18 reinstated. The remaining 17 were once again rejected including the key 'over scroll bounce' claim. According to Florian Mueller, the latest ruling won't further influence Judge Koh's position on the damages awarded to Apple that have not previously been vacated. However, it is likely that Samsung will be hoping that the latest ruling may influence how the judge proceeds with the next steps in the ongoing patent war between the two companies.
In December, the USPTO also issued a preliminary invalidation of Apple's patent '915 and all of its 21 associated claims including 'pinch to zoom.' With both patents playing a key role in Apple's massive damages win against Samsung, the stakes are high for both Apple and Samsung in the direction that the USPTO ultimately takes on both patents. The onus is now on Apple to demonstrate the unique nature of the patents that it was previously awarded by the USPTO in the next few months.
Currently, both Apple's and Samsung's legal teams are preparing their legal cases for a retrial of $451 million in damages associated with 14 Samsung devices that a San Jose jury found infringed on Apple's intellectual property. It is likely that the definitive outcome of both patents in question will be determined before the retrial reaches the courts.