USPTO has 'tentatively' invalidated Apple's key rubber-banding patent

The US Patent and Trademark Office may have just thrown a wrench into Apple's recent courtroom triumph over Samsung by invalidating one of the patents at the heart of the victory: rubber-banding. We noted at the time that Apple hit a "home run" with that particular IP, as jurors declared that all 21 disputed Samsung devices infringed it, no doubt resulting in a large part of the $1 billion (and counting) owed by the Korean maker. "Claim 19" of patent 7469381, which covers that feature, was invalidated by the USPTO on two counts, both of which were cases of prior art that allegedly existed before Cupertino claimed them. Either one could be enough reason to throw out that part of the patent, according to FOSS Patents, provided that the USPTO's ruling stands up. Either way, Samsung has already brought the new information to Judge Koh's attention -- which might bring about some new action very soon.