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Print 29 comment(s) - last by Kiffberet.. on Jun 25 at 7:07 AM


  (Source: Getty Images)
No word on what they said about Apple's "rounded edges" design patent

It's all over again.  Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) has been smacked by a top federal court for violating Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) patent on a bounce animation, according to a report by Reuters.

The "bounce" patent, also known as the "rubber band" patent, has long haunted Samsung.  In the U.S. that patent was used by Apple to slam Samsung with a bombshell $1.05B USD jury verdict and bans on certain products.  

But the win started to unravel with the preliminary invalidation of Apple's bounce patent -- U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381 -- one of three "technology" patents asserted in the case (the pinch to zoom patent has also been since invalidated).  The invalidation did find some individual claims in the bounce patent valid, which Apple is trying to leverage to preserve the patent in some form.

But the U.S. invalidation offered no protection to Samsung in Japan, where Apple holds an identical patent on the animation.  A Tokyo court on Friday ruled that Samsung had infringed on Apple's technology patents, including the infamous bounce patent.

Samsung Japan
Samsung lost a ruling in Tokyo court this week. [Image Source: Bloomberg]

Samsung has already tried to counter by implementing a new user interface feature in Japan.  When a users scrolls to the end of the document, rather than scroll slightly past and bounce, instead a blue bar now flashes on the bottom of the screen.  That may save Samsung's current handsets from bans in Japan.

Previously the Tokyo court circuit had largely refused to buy into Apple and Samsung's patent spat.  Back in Aug. 2012, it shot down Apple's accusations that Samsung infringed on patents pertaining to the syncing of music metadata.  Then in March of this year the court ruled that Apple did not infringe on Samsung's wireless standards patents.  

Apple first sued Samsung in Japan back in April 2011.  Currently Apple is in second place in the Japanese market, while Samsung is several spots back [source].

Source: Reuters



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It's actually valid.
By Scannall on 6/21/2013 3:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
The Patent Office ruled last week, that the bounce back patent was in fact valid. You may want to adjust your headline and article.

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9240054/App...




RE: It's actually valid.
By darkhawk1980 on 6/21/2013 4:49:50 PM , Rating: 3
If you actually read that carefully, their patent should really still not be a patent. It's quite humorous that the USPTO feels it should be....and it will go through this same cycle again in the near future with this exact same patent.

Not having a stop condition when the document edge comes back to the edge of the screen? Really? That's the whole reason the patent is valid over Luigi Lira's patent. That just screams to be violating Luigi's patent still, and it would be interesting to see Luigi sue Apple for infringing on his patent and simply adding a small stop condition.

Quite a stupid claim overall.


RE: It's actually valid.
By retrospooty on 6/21/2013 6:40:35 PM , Rating: 2
"Quite a stupid claim overall."

Not that its news to anyone, but the patent system is broken ;)

In legal terms, we have "innocent until proven guilty". With Patents, it gets a quick review and generally gets granted. It later goes through a more in depth review and can be overturned as happened with 16 of 20 per Jason's mention below. It's kind of like "Patented until proven invalid"... Retarded as it is.


RE: It's actually valid.
By Samus on 6/22/2013 12:44:17 AM , Rating: 5
This ruling makes me want to go stand in front of an Apple store with a bag of rubber bands to shoot at the windows.


RE: It's actually valid.
By Kiffberet on 6/25/2013 7:07:21 AM , Rating: 2
Apple haters - Start your hatin'!


RE: It's actually valid.
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/21/2013 4:51:34 PM , Rating: 4
What are you talking about?? I wrote this clearly in the piece:
quote:
But the win started to unravel with the preliminary invalidation of Apple's bounce patent -- U.S. Patent No. 7,786,975 -- one of three "technology" patents asserted in the case (the pinch to zoom patent has also been since invalidated). The invalidation did find some individual claims in the bounce patent valid, which Apple is trying to leverage to preserve the patent in some form.


Again, only 4 out of 20 claims were found valid. While it is true this includes the claim on the overscroll animation (Claim 19):
quote:
...instructions for displaying an area beyond an edge of the electronic document and displaying a third portion of the electronic document, wherein the third portion is smaller than the first portion, in response to the edge of the electronic document being reached while translating the electronic document in the first direction while the object is still detected on or near the touch screen display;...

However, other claims (1-13,15,16, and 20) were cancelled:

Source:
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/713632-usp...

As these claims are referenced in the abstract and summary, it's possible that the entire patent is still invalid, even if some of the claims are valid, as the patent is incorrectly constructed.

See Lochner Technologies LLC v. Apple, Inc. et al.

... for a similar example of this form of invalidation.

In either case, the U.S. patent has no bearing on the Japanese patent, which is also being challenged.


RE: It's actually valid.
By MikhailT on 6/22/2013 1:14:41 AM , Rating: 1
I'm not fan of both companies in this stupid war, they're both are guilty of abusing this. Software patents need to be outlawed and Samsung needs to respect the FRAND rules.

quote:
the U.S. patent has no bearing on the Japanese patent


Then why focus on it at all in this article?

quote:
preliminary invalidation of Apple's bounce patent


preliminary is the keyword. Until USPTO issue a final ruling, again, why is it relevant in this article? I swear to god, the journalism has gone down the hill on DT. I'm just sadden to see Anand's name connected to this site. I only saw this article somewhere not knowing it was DT, need to blacklist it in my home and work networks.


RE: It's actually valid.
By mchart on 6/22/2013 4:28:46 AM , Rating: 1
To be fair, the entire article was written by Reuters. Dailytech is largely a run of the mill blog/repost website. So you can't blame the reposter/blogger for the content of the repost. Although one could point out that if you are reposting material you should at least repost material of quality.

Not sure why Anandtech has anything to do with dailytech anymore either TBH.


RE: It's actually valid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/22/2013 11:13:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Software patents need to be outlawed and Samsung needs to respect the FRAND rules.


Uhhh Samsung did. They tried to negotiate with Apple for a fair and equitable licensing agreement, as stipulated by FRAND rules.

Apple then decided to refuse negotiating, and just steal the use of Samsung's FRAND technology anyway. And continue doing so for years!

Now please show me which "FRAND rules" say that you can just indefinitely use FRAND patented technology without ever paying anyone ONE red cent?


RE: It's actually valid.
By testerguy on 6/23/2013 1:49:43 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
They tried to negotiate with Apple for a fair and equitable licensing agreement, as stipulated by FRAND rules


No, the FRAND license means that Samsung has to offer Apple fair and reasonable rates. Samsung claims they did, Apple claims they did not.

quote:
Apple then decided to refuse negotiating, and just steal the use of Samsung's FRAND technology anyway


Consider the case that the reality was the latter - that Samsung was asking Apple for a price 2x more expensive than any other company, and unwilling to reduce the value. Should Apple now halt production of all of their devices, because Samsung made an unreasonable offer - or pay way over the odds for a FRAND patent? Clearly not. It's also debatable whether you can ever 'steal' use of a FRAND patent anyway - if you use it you incur liabilities but that isn't the same thing as stealing.

quote:
Now please show me which "FRAND rules" say that you can just indefinitely use FRAND patented technology without ever paying anyone ONE red cent?


Nobody, even Apple, is claiming that Samsung aren't entitled to fair and reasonable rates. The disagreement is over what constitutes 'fair' and 'reasonable'. But more importantly, when we refer to the abuse of FRAND patents in Samsung's case it's their choice to seek permanent bans (injunctions) on Apple's products over the FRAND patents, whereas they should really just seek the license fees they are due.

This can amount to anti-competitive behaviour and is against the spirit of FRAND patents.

If this behaviour was allowed, Samsung could deliberately offer Apple an unreasonable license fee for all of their products (claiming that it was reasonable) and then seek bans for all of their products. I highly doubt the injunction they sought will stand and I think it's becoming more and more likely that they will find themselves under investigation for FRAND abuse.


RE: It's actually valid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/23/2013 9:32:01 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Samsung claims they did, Apple claims they did not.


Apple's reputation in such areas is to the point that nobody would believe their side of the story except the most fervent fanboi. Like you.

quote:
Should Apple now halt production of all of their devices, because Samsung made an unreasonable offer - or pay way over the odds for a FRAND patent?


That's the point of arbitration. It's not up to Apple to decide "oh well, I don't like the way this is going, I'll just use the technology anyway and pay zero."

Apple has gone years, literally years, without paying one red cent for the technology that Samsung spent billions in R&D to develop. And you're sitting here talking about "FRAND abuse"? There's only one party here that's abusing the system, and everyone knows it.

Also just fyi, but you keep using the term "reasonable" as if there's some concrete legal definition of what is and isn't reasonable. I'm sure from Samsung's point of view, their offer was perfectly reasonable. From Apple's point of view, "reasonable" clearly means "free".


RE: It's actually valid.
By testerguy on 6/24/13, Rating: -1
RE: It's actually valid.
By retrospooty on 6/24/2013 12:28:59 PM , Rating: 1
The obtusely clandestine fanboy has spoken. :P


RE: It's actually valid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2013 4:17:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
What's certain is that Apple will not be under investigation for any kind of FRAND abuse.


On this we agree. It's hard to get in trouble for FRAND patents when you never actually develop any technologies ever.

quote:
That doesn't give Samsung the right to seek complete bans of the products


AHAHA if this isn't the pot calling the kettle man. As if Apple seeking bans for using rectangles is any more legitimate.


RE: It's actually valid.
By testerguy on 6/25/2013 5:45:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's hard to get in trouble for FRAND patents when you never actually develop any technologies ever.


Whether you have FRAND patents or not is not determined by whether you 'develop any technologies'. It's whether or not you want to OBLIGATE yourself to license a patent to the world at reasonable rates because the ALTERNATIVE is that every other company builds a workaround and your patent is worthless. It's a purely financial decision.

quote:
AHAHA if this isn't the pot calling the kettle man. As if Apple seeking bans for using rectangles is any more legitimate.


The Apple patents in question are not FRAND (and nor are any of them for 'rectangles' - so ignorant). Apple did not obligate itself to license them to any other company and is therefore legitimately able to seek bans for any products which infringe their patent. You need to understand that a FRAND obligation LESSENS THE POWER of the patent - the return is widespread adoption. The whole idea of FRAND is that an industry will only adopt a particular method of doing something (a standard) if the companies who developed it agree to never do anything anti-competitive with those patents - which is why they have to license them for fair and reasonable rates.

If Samsung hasn't agreed to the FRAND license, the industry would have picked any of the other several available options.

You need to grasp what FRAND means and why companies do it.


RE: It's actually valid.
By Shadowself on 6/23/2013 2:29:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As these claims are referenced in the abstract and summary, it's possible that the entire patent is still invalid, even if some of the claims are valid, as the patent is incorrectly constructed.


Pure conjecture by you, Jason.

Whether we like it or not, the claim in question WAS validated and stands.

We need to move on.

If you want to get a movement going to revamp the U.S. Patent system (and the worldwide patent system in general) I'm all for it. But until you do, you, me, and everyone else needs to work within the system.

Whether you want to admit it or not, your headline is misleading and inaccurate. The claim in question stands. It was NOT invalidated.


RE: It's actually valid.
By hau101 on 6/24/2013 5:12:51 AM , Rating: 2
Having switched from an iphone to a Note 2, I do miss the bounceback quite a bit. Now everytime I scroll to the top or bottom I hate Apple more and more... And it's not like this feature (if you want to call this a "feature") is a selling point of any phone. Quite a pointless patent to sue over that only frustrates non-Apple users. How I would like Samsung to sue Apple over sliding to show notifications like on iOS7..


RE: It's actually valid.
By testerguy on 6/24/2013 4:15:29 PM , Rating: 2
So you simultaneously state that this feature doesn't matter to people and that it matters a lot to you.

Your experience of your device will determine whether you buy the next, and if Apple legitimately came up with something original and unique which improves your experience, why should anybody else be able to copy it?

Don't think Samsung created the notification centre. Nor did Android, for that matter - there's a whole plethora of prior art.


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