Without a deep reading of the patent application: For possible prior art have a look at Patrick Baudisch's (Microsoft Research) work on drag-and-pop. Drag-and-pop is designed so when a "user starts dragging an icon towards some target icon, drag-and-pop responds by temporarily moving potential target icons towards the user's current cursor location, thereby allowing the user to interact with these icons using comparably small hand movements". There's a bunch of online videos and interactive flash demos where you can play with the technique. Mountaz Hascoët's work on push-and-throw may also be relevant.
I often wonder why the KDE/Gnome/Pick your favourite window manager don't cannibalise CHI research?