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. identicon
    TaCktiX, 4 Apr 2013 @ 7:41am

    Re:

    To be fair, the only thing she did wrong was moving ahead with the trial while review was still ongoing. Assuming the patents were valid was accurate for the time of the trial, because THEY WERE.

    Mike's entire point is that the now-invalidation makes all of the extra care to "do it right" pointless since it's all retroactively not correct.

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