A court in Munich has ruled that a patent on the so-called “rubber band” smartphone feature belongs to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). The feature allows iPhone users to scroll past the end of a list and then have the display bounce back as if attached to a rubber band. The patent’s validity was challenged by Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).
Nothing happens immediately as a result of the ruling, but Apple may now request a formal sales ban on the infringing phones. The company may post a bond of €25 million that would enforce a Germany-wide ban on sales of Android-based devices that use the technology. For another €10 million it can force Motorola/Google to destroy infringing devices and another €10 million would initiate a recall of the infringing devices. Google, of course, may — and no doubt will — appeal the court’s decision.
A Motorola/Google filing challenging the validity of Apple’s patent is being considered by the European Patent Office (EPO). If the EPO rules in Google’s favor, the Munich decision will be at least partially revoked, if not tossed out altogether.
For a detailed description of the patent ruling, take a look at this post on the Foss Patents blog.
To celebrate the court ruling, Apple stock posted a new intra-day high of $696.98 earlier today.