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Computer Graphics Pioneer Andries van Dam '60 Testifies in Apple-Samsung Patent Case

Andries van Dam '60
Andries van Dam '60

TechRadar: Apple's Patents Come Under Fire

It's been Apple's turn to go on the defensive during the third week of the Cupertino company's raging patent battle with Samsung. ...

In his testimony Wednesday, Samsung witness Andries van Dam ['60], a Brown University faculty member, led the jury through one of the allegedly infringed patents, the '381 patent, and why Samsung can't be called out for copying it. Apple claimed the patent covers its "bounce-back" technology, the feature that brings an image back on screen after a user scrolls to the end and is shown a blank or white screen. When the user's finger is lifted, the image jauntily returns. Samsung has fixated on invalidating Apple touchscreen patents for some time, last week presenting the Tablecloth application on the DiamondTouch Table computer.

Because the Tablecloth application patent was filed before Apple's, van Dam said it invalidates Apple's patent. van Dam also demoed LaunchTile, a user interface that while on the surface doesn't seem to have the bounce-back feature, van Dam said its software meets the patent's requirements. Apple, whether intentional or not, didn't mention the Tablecloth or LaunchTile software when it filed for its patent, van Dam said.

"I examined the prosecution history and there's no mention of these two pieces of prior art," he said. ...


Longtime Brown University computer science professor Andries van Dam's main research interest is in interactive computer graphics. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1960 with honors in engineering sciences and, with Ted Nelson '59, contributed to the first hypertext system. In 1996, the College awarded him an honorary doctor of science degree. Coverage of his testimony also appeared in Bloomberg News and Cult of Mac.

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