This news is likely quite welcome by Samsung and many consumers. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has declared a non-final action invalidating one of the key patents in the Apple vs. Samsung trial that Apple won in August. The reason for this action is a lack of novelty, as FOSS Patents explains.
The patent in question is for the overscroll bounce effect, or rubber banding, that occurs when trying to scroll beyond the length of a document or other item. It is also a patent that the jury in the aforementioned trial found Samsung guilty of infringing. This is a non-final action though, which means that it is possible Apple's claims to the patent will be upheld in the future, and the ruling by the jury would have to be enforced on Samsung. If the USPTO however does invalidate the patent, it would make the ruling unenforceable, as far as it concerns this specific patent.
Samsung has already filed this information with the judge for their recent trial, with the hope that she will consider this when making her own ruling on the trial. The jury has found Samsung guilty of patent infringement and recommended actions against them, but the judge still has to give her decision concerning those actions, which may increase or decrease their severity.