A German court has ruled that one of Apple’s patents for the “rubber-banding” feature in iOS is invalid, but not because Samsung and Motorola had valid claims to it before Apple. No, the bullet that killed Apple’s patent was actually fired by El Jobso himself when he unveiled the iPhone at a keynote back in 2007.
Both Samsung and Motorola had injunctions laid against by Apple using its patent in different European jurisdictions, but thanks to the keynote video of Jobs presenting the original iPhone features back in January 2007, the Munich-based Federal Patent Court of Germany ruled that Steve disclosed the “bounce-back-effect” to the public five months before the priority date of the German patent of June 2007:
“The Munich-based Bundespatentgericht (Federal Patent Court of Germany) today sided with Samsung and Google’s Motorola Mobility in declaring an Apple iPhone patent, EP2059868 on a “portable electronic device for photo management”, invalid within the borders of Germany because a video of the original January 2007 iPhone presentation already showed the famous bounce-back effect in the photo gallery, which is what this patent is all about.
The court also rejected various amended claims proposed by Apple, which were an attempt to distinguish the patent from what was shown in the video, because it found them to be, at best, obvious over the Steve Jobs video. “
The Jobs video essentially killed the company’s patent in Germany by showing off the feature before asking the German patent office for protection. In the U.S. that’s not a problem thanks to a law that gives inventors a 12-month grace period to file a patent after making an invention.
Lawyers from Motorola Mobility presented the video as evidence to the court on Friday, but it was only displayed on a laptop close to the bench, according to Foss Patents which was at the hearing, the full version of which can be seen here.