Apple today said that a patent it successfully used against Samsung in its 2011 U.S. lawsuit is not dead yet. That's despite a recent decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decision to render it invalid.
In a filing this afternoon, one of Apple's top attorneys noted that the company still has a chance to fight the decision by filing for an appeal with the USPTO, or -- if that fails -- by taking it to the courts.
"A 'final' office action does not signal the end of reexamination at the USPTO, much less the end of consideration of the patentability of the claims under reexamination," Apple's attorney Michael Jacobs wrote. "Rather, 'finality' is primarily a procedural construct that limits the right to amend claims and introduce evidence as a matter of right in reexamination.
"In short, reexamination of the '381 patent is far from conclusion," Jacobs added.
The patent in question is No. 7,469,381, also known as the "bounce-back" patent. That's the feature that realigns the screen if you scroll beyond the edge of a photo, document, or any other on-screen content.
Apple successfully convinced a California jury that more than 20 Samsung devices infringed on that patent. That list includes 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.
Some of the fallout of that case remains up in the air, following a ruling by district court Judge Lucy Koh. Last month Koh cut Apple's damages award nearly in half and ordered a new trial on some devices, citing what she referred to as an "impermissible legal theory" used by the jury to calculate the $1.05 billion damages tally.