In the Samsung vs. Apple case, the Korean giant is out to prove that the technology that Apple is claiming they pioneered with the first iPhone, was actually in fact, copied from other companies. With Apple’s case completed, Samsung has stepped into the aggressor role. Samsung is stating that Apple stole the “bounce-back” feature – or the way the screens bounce back into place if you’ve scrolled past a certain threshold. This patented feature has been attributed to programs Diamond Touch and LiveTile.
Diamond Touch was a projection-based touchscreen surface developed in 2001 by Mitsubishi. It was a massive, immovable piece of technology that was more prototype than anything else. But it allowed users to pull an image down in a window, while letting go caused the image to snap back to its original position, similar to Apple’s bounce-back feature. Samsung proved that DiamondTouch was accessible in the Mitsubishi lobby and even revealed that the company had given a presentation to Apple.
However, during Apple’s cross-examination, it was later revealed that Diamond Touch didn’t have the bounce-back feature when it was originally shown to Apple. This has proven to be a strike against Samsung’s argument, yet it’s still possible that at some point prior to Apple’s implementation of the tech that they could have seen or even touched the display at another Mitsubishi HQ location.
In addition, Samsumg’s statement claims that the bounce-back feature was also utilized in the LaunchTile system. LaunchTile is a tile-based UI for mobile devices that was created in 2004. This innovate system, allowed users to swipe back and forth and zoom up a level to provide a birds-eye view of all the tiles (the tiles are more akin to Android Home Screens of today). During their testimony, Samsung showed that when swiping from screen to screen, the last point where the user scrolled to would bounce back to its initial state if the user didn’t go past a certain threshold. Samsung continued to show how Apple’s bounce-back reacted in a similar but inverse method to LaunchTile.
Despite these two examples that showcase evidence of a “bounce-back” feature evident in products prior to the development of the iPhone, these two presentations don’t completely replicate Apple’s version. Samsung is hoping by showing this evidence to the Jury, however, that it can prove Apple is not always an innovator but rather borrows ideas from other companies as well.