Tokyo court says Samsung infringed Apple 'bounce-back' patent

TOKYO Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:50pm EDT

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with an Apple Inc logo as they pose with a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, May 17, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with an Apple Inc logo as they pose with a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, May 17, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

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TOKYO (Reuters) - A Tokyo court ruled on Friday that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd had infringed rival Apple Inc's patent for a so-called bounce-back feature on earlier models of its popular smartphones.

Samsung and Apple, the world's top two smartphone makers, are fighting patent disputes across the globe as they compete to dominate the lucrative mobile market and win customers with their latest gadgets.

Apple claimed that Samsung had copied the feature, in which icons on its smartphones and tablets quiver back when users scroll to the end of an electronic document. Samsung has already changed its interface on recent models to show a blue line at the end of documents.

The Japanese court's decision comes after the U.S. Patent and Trademark office judged earlier this year that Apple's bounce-back patent was invalid, allowing older Samsung models that had a similar feature to remain on sale.

However, the U.S. agency subsequently decided that several aspects of the bounce-back feature were actually patentable, according to documents filed by Apple in U.S. court last week.

(Additional reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco; Editing by Richard Chang)

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