The tide of the patent war seems to be turning against Apple lately - the latest victim is the patent of the rubber band effect when you reach the end of a list while scrolling (most often referred to as overscroll-bounce).
Apple used that patent to force Android makers to remove the feature from their phones. That's also why Google went with the glow at the end of lists. This patent was used in the big Apple vs. Samsung case too.
Anyway, as of recently, the patent was rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on the grounds of lacking novelty and being obvious (that is, it's nothing new and it's an apparent consequence of something that already exists).
It's important to note that this decision isn't final and can be appealed, so it can't be enforced just yet. But it's entirely possible that it will have an effect on the Apple vs. Samsung case (the judge could overrule the parts of the case that relate to that patent).
HTC and Motorola have been under fire over this patent too. In Moto's case, it's over an equivalent patent Apple has registered in the European Patent Office. This one hasn't been overturned yet, but the office is looking into it.
Apple has many more patents in its war chest, so the battle is far from over. Still, this decision is bound to slow its assault on Android and we might even start seeing previously removed features making a comeback.