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Friday, June 21, 2013, 01:57 am PT (04:57 am ET)

Tokyo court finds Samsung infringed on Apple's 'rubber-banding' patent

A Tokyo court on Friday ruled a number of Samsung's legacy smartphone models infringe on Apple's so-called "rubber-banding" or "bounce-back" patent, a hotly-contested property in the companies' ongoing worldwide patent struggle.

Rubber Banding Patent

Illustration of Apple's "rubber-banding" patent. | Source: USPTO


The Japan court found older versions of Samsung's smartphone user interface, which have since been modified to avoid litigation, mimicked a unique scrolling behavior patented by Apple, reports Reuters.

Specifically, Samsung infringed on Apple's "rubber-banding" feature that triggers a "bounce-back" animation when a user scrolls to the end of a digital document. The property is designed to give feedback when navigating a web page other digital asset, adding to the carefully crafted user experience offered by iOS.

As noted previously, Samsung has changed the offending action in its latest products, adding a blue line to demarcate the end of a document.

The patent is still a bone of contention in the Apple v. Samsung post-trial proceedings, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in April found the property invalid. More recently, however, the USPTO validated a few key claims in the patent, including "Claim 19," which Apple successfully leveraged against a number of Samsung products in last year's high-profile jury trial.

Further details regarding the Tokyo court's decision will be announced when the final ruling is handed down later today.