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Apple scores a win against Motorola in Germany on "overscroll bounce" patent

Posted: , by Scott H.

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Apple scores a win against Motorola in Germany on
The German courts have been kind to Apple of late.  While they were forced to disable push email from iCloud and Mobile Me last week, Apple did score a limited victory on their swipe to unlock patent, and won temporary relief from another Motorola patent injunction earlier this week, on concerns that Motorola would get too much leverage in the case, where Motorola was asserting a standards-based patent that is subject to FRAND regulation.

Today, Apple won an injunction against Motorola over the use of the “overscroll bounce” feature in Motorola’s photo album. Overscroll bounce is the inertia-based elastic bounce-back effect Apple pioneered on the iPhone to let a user know when they have reached the end of a list. While the feature has been largely removed from Android phones since version 2.3 (Gingerbread), it remained in some custom UI apps, like Motorola’s picture album.

Whether an imitation of physics (the elastic bounce back) should be patentable probably depends on how inclusive you feel patent law should be (or in some cases, which platform you are a fan of…), but there’s little doubt that Apple used this first in smartphones.

The fix probably won’t be too difficult; in Ice Cream Sandwich Google introduced two new methods of dealing with overscroll, one of them specifically designed for media galleries. Seen in the Galaxy Nexus, the effect involves a panel of images all turning on their vertical axis when you reach the end of the list. It’s similar to the effect seen on the ICS home screen when you get to the last screen, and is an intuitive alternative to Apple’s patent.

We imagine Motorola may choose to implement that solution, as with photos it is probably preferable to the “puff of colored smoke” effect that Android uses at the end of lists. Motorola also pulled out a more limited victory in the case, as Apple was unable to win on the “zoomed out” complaint against the photo album, which we presume refers to the cover-flow like motion that Motorola uses in their version of the photo album.

In short, this is mostly good for Apple, although it’s unlikely to lead to a substantial change in anyone’s market position, and Apple couldn’t score on their coverflow patent. After a while you have to wonder if any of these companies really think they’re getting a return on the money they are investing in litigation, but we suppose that until some sort of cross-licensing agreement can be reached this will go on interminably.

source: FOSS Patents

27 Comments
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posted on 01 Mar 2012, 12:40 3

1. Obviously (Posts: 29; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)


Apple has patented simulated elasticity.....nice

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 12:41 2

2. hepresearch (unregistered)


You know it's bad when they bring out an IP heavy-hitter like Motorola to smoosh Apple up a little, and Apple turns around and smacks 'em a good one. Everyone is getting a bit bloodied, but looks to me like, for whatever reason, it IS favoring Apple pretty clearly, in the end. I'm not too happy about it.

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 12:58 7

3. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


The world today is a heaven for lawyers.

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 13:00 8

4. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Ok germany your court system is messed up

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 21:17 1

26. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


oh apple is winning it must be the court system…
some of the mobile patents are pretty out there, but this one seems fine… its much more design based than functionality-- if they got a patent for showing the end of the list then that would be unfair

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 13:06 1

5. theBankRobber (Posts: 647; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Its strange how most of Apples patents suits are about basic little features nobody really notices until lawyers are evolved. This will be like Apple and Samsung, a never ending lawsuit . This is only a huge problem for the consumer, we are the ones who suffer when patent problems hit the court rooms.

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 13:13 6

6. AbsentbebniM (Posts: 21; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)


As much as people harp on Apple about their patents, it's the patent office that is to blame for allowing it to be filed in the first place. All the clerk had to say was "no".

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 13:41 1

7. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)


They're blaming them for filing the patents. All apple had to think of was "no." I mean, why not? Not much of a reason, but that doesn't mean its not their fault for filing them.

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 13:43 1

8. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)


They're blaming them for filing the patents. All apple had to think of was "no."

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 13:45 1

9. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


To know when these lawsuits will end just make a list of thousand of features that Apple and Android have then you can estimate how many lawsuits are left and done.

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 13:56

10. skymitch89 (Posts: 1059; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)


I don't see how Apple can keep suing and winning against phone manufacturers like Motorola and Samsung for stuff that is software related when most of it is related to the OS and not what the manufacture is doing. HTC has the "overscroll bounce" and I don't see Apple suing them over it. That "overscroll bounce" is mainly in Android and not in the manufacture UI/Overlay.

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 19:21 1

23. Scott_H (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)


Actually, they are suing for OEM-specific software. Google took overscroll out in 2.3. In most modern Android phones it's only in manufacturer-specific apps (of which HTC has a ton) that overscroll was maintained.

Apple targeted HTC with some other patents, but with their decline the last six months I think Samsung (and to some degree Motorola) are bigger fish to Apple right now.

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 14:12 3

11. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


and the stupidity continues.......ugh. next they will patent cornflower blue.

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 14:15 3

12. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


Well if everyone but Apple would just stop making smart phones this wouldn't be an issue. Don't blame Apple for suing blame everyone else for making good competitive products.

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 14:34 3

13. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


You guys ever heard of Robert Bunsen? The person who developed the widely used bunsen burner that's been instrumental in a lot of scientific breakthroughs? The guy never patented anything for the sake of progressing science. He was more interested in scientific progress than money. If only companies today would collaborate, they would be able to create new products or technologies and innovation would boom. Sadly, money is a really big force. It's business men who own most of the big companies anyway, not scientists. Peace all :p

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 15:14 2

15. Sniggly (Posts: 6998; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Here's a fun question: what alternative do you have to money?

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 16:33 3

21. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Well, I can't think of any. Money really is essential after all. Just hoping we can have a manufacturers community that works the same way as the droid dev community. :)

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 21:33 1

27. frydaexiii (Posts: 1231; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Because apple isn't interested in the progression of mobile technology, all they care about is the money and how to keep the sheep hooked to their products. Hell, the only thing they contributed to the mobile industry was kick starting the trend of smartphones with the first iPhone and iPad, after that they were just spoiling the market and stalling the progression of mobile technology with their second rated products, sueing and whining....

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 15:13 1

14. Sniggly (Posts: 6998; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Eh, let Apple have it. It is an easy fix to implement after all. Then come back and nail Apple to the floor over patents that actually took work to pioneer.

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 16:48 1

22. gallitoking (Posts: 4684; Member since: 17 May 2011)


those belong to Apple too...

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 20:47 1

25. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


All patents are belonging to Apple!

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 15:20 2

16. ENIGMA (Posts: 81; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)


BAD NEWS

GERMANYS LEGISLATION IS COURPTED

APPLE HAS PAID BRIBED THE COURT AND THE JUDGE

WE DONT LIKE THIS

WE DONT LIKE THAT

EUROPEN COURT OV JUSTICE SHALL BE NEXT

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 15:23 2

17. ENIGMA (Posts: 81; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)


ALL THE COMPANYS SHOULD STOP SUPPLYING

APPLE WHAT THEY NEED AND REQUIRE

LETS HOPE AND PRAY FOR THIS

BAD SAD MAD COMPANY IS APPLE

THE FRUIT THE MASTER IN DISGUISE

WE LIKE THAT

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 15:31 2

19. Sniggly (Posts: 6998; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Come on, dude. Seriously. Just...no. no. As in, no. That means never. Which means "not ever." So...no. no, no, no.

No.

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 15:24 1

18. DJ C (Posts: 8; Member since: 07 May 2008)


I shouldn't be surprised at this point, but wow. This is FAR worse than the slide to unlock patent...I didn't even bother reading the rest of the article. I was already like WTF? O_o halfway through the second paragraph. Over some little petty ish.....really??

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 15:51 2

20. solidsnakeduds013 (Posts: 215; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)


OK in the past when apple was filing all these patents I didn't see a big problem. Now apple is has a patent on over scrolling? Such little detail isn't big of a deal. Apple KNOW YOUR LIMITS.

posted on 01 Mar 2012, 20:33 3

24. Mr.Best (Posts: 79; Member since: 17 Jan 2012)


With these court results reported in recent times it's hard not to believe that German courts are somehow in Apple's corner...or corner pocket.

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