Apple comes out on top in Motorola rubber-banding patent suit

Sep 13, 2012
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Apple comes out on top in Motorola rubber-banding patent suit

While Apple and Samsung were going at it over here in the States, Apple was in the middle of another patent suit with Motorola across the Atlantic. Apple's patent suit against Motorola has been going back and forth for weeks now, but today FOSS Patents is reporting that the iPhone maker can chalk up another win. Multiple Motorola devices have been found to be infringing on the EP2126678 patent, which is the same as Apple's '381 patent in the United States. The patent, as some of you likely already know, is for the "rubber-banding" effect that occurs when users reach the end of a page - instead of having the page just stop scrolling when a user reaches the end, the page bounces back, indicating to users that they can scroll no further.

Most of us are familiar with the effect, but thanks to this decision, it may not be long before Motorola users have to go without. Since Apple has won this case, it can post a €25 million bond to gain an injunction against the infringing devices. You can bet that Apple will put up the money for such an injunction, but if Apple posts another €10 million, it can force Motorola to destroy the infringing devices. It doesn't stop there though, as Apple can force Motorola to recall the infringing devices with another €10 million. This is all on top of the damages that Motorola will be obligated to pay.

Since Apple can be pretty aggressive when it comes to patents, it wouldn't surprise to see the company pay the full €45 million. Then again, since Motorola's market share isn't all that big in Germany, it may choose to go with just the injunction. The injunction is permanent, but Google (Motorola's owner) does have the ability to appeal the decision, something that will definitely happen. Naturally, this decision only applies to Germany, but with Apple recently winning a similar claim against Samsung here in the United States, it could eventually spell bad news for Android and the rubber-banding effect.

This is the third Apple patent that Motorola has been found to be infringing. The first was Apple's slide-to-unlock patent, while the second was its flip-to-navigate photo gallery patent. Luckily, Motorola has something it can fall back on now that it can no longer use the rubber-banding effect in its phones - base versions of Android come with a special glow effect which alerts users that they've scrolled as far as they can possibly scroll. Have a look at our timeline below for the latest on Apple's courtroom battles.


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