USPTO Issues Final Rejection Of Apple's Rubberbanding Patent, Which Were Among Those The Jury Said Samsung Infringed

from the oops dept

We've argued repeatedly how silly it is for courts to move forward with cases over patent infringement while the USPTO is reviewing those same patents. Considering just how often patent re-exams lead to changes in the patents (including rejecting key claims), moving forward before the USPTO has ruled is kind of silly. It's guaranteed to lead to bad rulings. The latest is that the USPTO has issued a "final" rejection of Apple's "rubberbanding" patent (US Patent 7,469,381), which was one of the patents at issue in the Samsung Apple patent fight, and which the jury said Samsung infringed. In fact, the specific claim (19) that Samsung was said to have infringed was rejected by the USPTO.

We had noted a non-final rejection last fall, and now the USPTO has reiterated that with a final rejection. Of course, even "final rejection" is a bit of a misnomer, since Apple can (and probably will) still appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Still, given the significant doubt over the quality of the patent, it seems crazy to assume that it was valid as part of the lawsuit.

Also, in the meantime, if we're going to grant massively powerful, technology-landscape-changing patents to companies, is it really so much to ask that the USPTO not get it wrong so damn often? The fact that, on second review, they suddenly realize "oops, that was a mistake!" seems like the kind of thing that we should be worried about, given just how much power there is in a single bad patent.

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  1. icon
    RRivers (profile), 4 Apr 2013 @ 2:01am

    Off Topic

    I guess this may be off topic, but its no wonder so many Apple users of iPhone 4s-5 hate it when someone buys a new Samsung phone. When I told my iPhone friends I had bought a new Android Samsung Galaxy phone, they were so disappointed. A couple even threatened to delete me from their contacts list. Those iPhone users hate it when your phone can do tricks theirs can't. Especially when they are trying to find themselves with the new Apple maps, and Siri keeps saying, "You are the one that is lost, don't blame me."

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