Neonode used the same sliding motion when that company took a look at producing phones some years ago. The Korean based manufacturer successfully used the exact same defense against Apple's patent infringement claims against it in the Netherlands last year. That case dealt with "methods of scrolling". March 15th will be the date of a hearing to determine if the utility model status is still valid or whether or not the court needs to reexamine the ruling. The case against Samsung should be interesting since Google had apparently gone out of its way to make sure that Android 4.0 would be "Apple proof". Google changed features like navigation on the touchscreen, the new unlock method, and other applications.
Apple's case against Samsung has some very interesting sidebars to it. While other claims against Android models were for features and functions that were clearly borrowed from Apple, the Samsung GALAXY Nexus does not have a particular path that a finger has to travel along to unlock the phone. Furthermore, since the GALAXY Nexus is a stock Android model, by specifically mentioning it in the complaint, it reveals that Apple's true beef is with Google, not Samsung.