Apple’s “Bounce Back” Patent

by Lee Gesmer on August 2, 2012

Apple's "Bounce Back" Patent

It seems that Google’s “bounce back” patent is going to play a big role in the trial between Apple and Samsung, underway in federal district court in Palo Alto.  References to it in Apple’s opening statement highlighted this patent. I wasn’t sure what the “bounce back” was, but I think I’ve tracked it down.

How do you know that you’ve reached the bottom or top of a page on an iPhone or iPad?  The screen “bounces back” in the opposite direction.  Or, as described in patentese in U.S. patent  7,469,381, issued to Apple in December 2008:

In accordance with some embodiments, a computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a device with a touch screen display is disclosed. In the method, a movement of an object on or near the touch screen display is detected. In response to detecting the movement, an electronic document displayed on the touch screen display is translated in a first direction. If an edge of the electronic document is reached while translating the electronic document in the first direction while the object is still detected on or near the touch screen display, an area beyond the edge of the document is displayed. After the object is no longer detected on or near the touch screen display, the document is translated in a second direction until the area beyond the edge of the document is no longer displayed.

The patent is titled, List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display.

“Bounce back” is a far more jury-friendly term than “an area beyond the edge of the document is displayed . . . .”  Whether Apple can withstand Samsung’s challenge to the validity of this and other patents is the real question.

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