And the battle between Apple and Samsung rages on. The patent war, which began in April of 2011, when Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung in the District Court for the Northern District of California, has most recently been hit by a decision of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The first Office action in this case rejects all 20 claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949. This patent is also known as the “Steve Jobs Patent” and is for the rubber-band effect when users scroll through items and other touch-screen specific inputs.
The ruling will likely affect the ongoing international court battle between the two companies, although it is only a preliminary ruling. The pendulum has already swung back and forth between Apple and Samsung. In August, a jury verdict favored Apple, finding that Samsung had violated many of Apple’s patents, including the “Bounce Back Effect”, “On-screen Navigation”, and “Tap to Zoom” among others. The jury asked Samsung to pay $1.05 billion in damages.
Following this, Apple added more Samsung products to their list of patent violations and Samsung filed an appeal on the jury verdict. Samsung’s reasons for the appeal included claims that the jury verdict was not supported by evidence or testimony, and that the judge imposed limits on testimony time and number of witnesses which, allegedly, prevented Samsung from receiving a fair trial.
In October the pendulum swung towards Samsung when the appeals court agreed with the mobile giant that the Nexus did not infringe on any of Apple’s patents. The prior injunction was removed and Apple was asked to post an apology on its website.
This latest decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office would appear to keep the battle in Samsung’s favor but it’s probably safe to assume that Apple will not go down so easily. This has been a long and expensive battle for both companies and it doesn’t look as though it will end any time soon.
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