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USPTO reaffirms invalidation of Apple patent in Samsung suit

Patent office issues a Final Office Action on Apple's "bounce-back" patent, a key patent to Apple's case against its rival.

The damages Samsung owes Apple in their landmark patent lawsuit could be reduced even further after a recent U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decision.

The USPTO issued a First Office Action last October that tentatively rejected all claims of Apple's '381 patent after a federal jury had deemed that it was valid and that Samsung had infringed on it. As part of its re-examination of the patent, the USPTO issued a Final Office Action, according to a Samsung filing late today with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (see below).

Apple accused more than 20 Samsung smartphones and two tablets of infringing on this technology, which covers the "bounce-back" that users get when they scroll to the bottom. The patent also includes a host of touch-screen actions, including dragging documents.

The devices found to infringe on the patent include the Captivate, Continuum, Droid Charge, Epic 4G, Exhibit 4G, Fascinate, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Prevail, Galaxy S, Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S II (AT&T), Galaxy S II (i9100), Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Wi-Fi), Gem, Indulge, Infuse 4G, Mesmerize, Nexus S 4G, Replenish, and Vibrant.

The decision, which according to Samsung was published by the patent office "on or after March 29," means that since the USPTO's previous finding in the re-examination process, Apple has not adequately addressed the office's concerns or issues. However, this latest rejection can be appealed to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, a panel that reviews the office's patent decisions.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

The patent infringement trial between Apple and Samsung ended last August after the jury awarded Apple the $1.05 billion in damages. But last month, Judge Lucy Koh, the presiding judge in the lawsuit, reduced the damages award by $450.5 million and ordered a new trial on the damages to recalculate them.

USPTO Final Office Action in Samsung v. Apple by steven_musil