One of the hotbeds in Apple’s ongoing patent war with Samsung has been Germany, but a German court just handed Apple a bit of a smackdown. A Munich court has found that Apple does not have the right to ban Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Nexus from Germany. The case came after Apple revoked a licence previously granted to Samsung relating to touchscreen technology.
This is a case of “prior art” as it is often called in the U.S.. According to the judge on the case, Samsung successfully showed that the suit would fail because the technology in question, “was already on the market before the intellectual property had been filed for protection.” This win for Samsung comes on the heels of a case in which Apple successfully argued that the Galaxy Tab looked too much like an iPad, forcing Samsung to redesign the device. It then released the Galaxy Tab 10.1N.
The patent at issue described the bounce effect that gives users a visual clue when they have reached the scrolling limit of a page. The patent is not technically invalidated, but considering the language used in the decision, it is unlikely Apple will strongly assert ownership of this behavior going forward.