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Dutch judge says Apple's patent on "slide to unlock" is probably invalid

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Dutch judge says Apple's patent on
As we reported, the gallery application on the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Galaxy S and the Galaxy S Ace were found by a Dutch judge to have infringed on a patent relating to the "bouncing" or "flicking" of pictures. And while that was only one out of ten patent that Apple claimed Samsung had used without permission, the judge did issue a preliminary injunction against the sales of those three Samsung smartphones.

One of the patents that Apple claimed that Samsung had infringed upon was U.S. Patent No. 7,657,849 which related to the "slide to unlock" feature used on smartphones. In fact, Apple has legal issues with HTC and Motorola relating to this patent. But Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents says that the European version of this patent has been found to be "obvious" and the same Dutch judge that rules against Samsung yesterday says that the "slide to unlock" patent in Europe is probably not valid.

Australian retailer Myer still plans on launching the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 on September 1st

Australian retailer Myer still plans on launching the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 on September 1st

Samsung showed the court a phone with a European Windows CE handset design, the Neonode N1m, which was manufactured before the December 23rd 2005 date of Apple's patent filing. According to Mueller, the Neonode N1m already had the "slide to unlock" feature before Apple had even asked for a patent on it. The judge was not convinced that Apple earned a patent on the feature even when it was pointed out that there was a difference between the two unlocking mechanisms. Apple's "slide to unlock" features an image on the screen that moves along with the finger, something that the Neonade N1m did not have. Samsung also brought along evidence of other phones that use sliders that move "along a pre-defined path to a particular position in order to have the effect of an on/off switch (as in the slide-to-unlock case)."

According to patent expert Mueller, both Apple and Samsung will have a chance in the near future to have to have this past week's rulings overturned in a main proceeding.

In other related news, today a court in Germany made a similar ruling to one in Australia, which upholds a preliminary ban on sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. A ruling is set to be made on September 9th. Even though the court ruled against Samsung in Australia, photos show that Australian retailer Myer still plans on launching the tablet in that country on September 1st, priced at $579 USD.

source: AppleInsider, UnwiredView

121 Comments
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posted on 25 Aug 2011, 18:31 30

1. wumberpeb (Posts: 445; Member since: 14 Mar 2011)


Dear Apple,

Will you ever stop this ridiculous "I Created the World" mentality?

Sincerely,

The Rest of the World

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 21:33

14. quakan (Posts: 1223; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


They just want the money. A lot of companies would have settled out of court with Apple and that would have been the end of it. Bigger companies like Samsung aren't going to back down that easily. Apple would prefer to slow the competition down while they work on something new.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 07:00 2

78. remixfa (Posts: 14168; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


they dont want "the" money.. they want "all" money. they arent trying to get a piece of samsungs actions, they are trying to get rid of samsung as a competitor all together.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 18:40 5

2. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


even thought the word probably was used .. the fandroids will eat this up... but I wont be available for commments so please leave a message after the beep....

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 19:08 9

10. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)


have a good day isheep!!

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 19:26 7

11. iHateCrapple (Posts: 734; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)


Not available for comments? Your bowing out of this fight rather early homie? No ammunition this time, huh?




Your still the bully.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 22:19 7

28. christianqwerty (Posts: 460; Member since: 05 May 2011)


Wp7 is the future, forget laggy fragmented android

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 15:36

116. iHateCrapple (Posts: 734; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)


I agree, WP7 is the future! I'm very impressed with Mango.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 07:01 1

79. remixfa (Posts: 14168; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


its a typical iphan... like taco, he doesnt even own an iphone.. he just likes to stir crap. :)

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 22:08

23. s (unregistered)


beep.. beep you you beep beep

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 18:41 3

3. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


I guess android devices got away again with another iphone characteristic that they imitated, tsk, tsk, tsk. Oh well, there are still other infringement complaints to come.

Keep it going Apple. Don't let those copycats get away with your IP's easily.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 18:53 8

4. readingthissh1t (Posts: 303; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


jesus kid. iPhone wasnt the first to use that. smh

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 21:46

15. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


Which smartphone used slide to unlock before the iphone?

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 21:57 4

18. readingthissh1t (Posts: 303; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


neonode n1m. 2005.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 22:11 1

27. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


There was no graphic that follows your finger on the neonode like it does on the iphone. Also, on neonode, it's for a swiping gesture for commands, not to unlock a phone. Also, Samsung galaxy s2 uses capacitive touch just like the iphone. If they got their inspiration from neonode, then they would've used resistive touch like neonode did. Also, Samsung is only using neonode as an excuse when they know very well that it is the iphone that they are imitating.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 22:43

37. readingthissh1t (Posts: 303; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


you might be right :x, but im not talking about samsung, i simply stated that the iPhone wasnt the first to use slide to unlock

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 22:51

40. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


And again, that swiping gesture on the neonode phone is not to unlock a sleeping device, but to summon screens like the dial pad, or to make and end calls.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 23:51

44. maniak (unregistered)


Just like every 'slide to [insert function here]' is a new 'invention', I have invented a new gesture: 'point finger at object to locate it'

That is a different gesture than: 'point finger at object to indicate which direction it is'

I'll be rich!!!1!1

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 00:23

47. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


Hurry up and get that patented :)

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 00:07 1

45. ngo2dd (Posts: 793; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


I guess you can't read?
http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/08/dutch-judge-considers-apples-slide-to.html
The picture clearly show that is it to unlock the phone

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 00:22

46. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


@ngo2dd. I can read. But i never read that link you provided, so why ask me as if that is the article here on PA. I looked it up on YouTube, and the demo didn't show that neonode used a swipe to unlock gesture. But, evenso, the gesture may be swip to unlock, but there wasn't grapics that came with it. Also, it was on a resistive display, not capacitive like the iphone's. But if the court favors Samsung, I am fine with it. It still doesn't change the fact that Samsung devices got their inspiration from iDevices and not from neonode. They just used neonode as an excuse.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 09:13

81. ngo2dd (Posts: 793; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


So the only different is the type of screen, and a moving picture? So you will not give credit for something that does the same thing. So according to you the SGS2 is not the same as the iphone because it has different graphic, and diferent screen. AMOLED vs. LCD. Tsk, Tsk, the disillusion is strong with this one.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 13:15

93. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


@ngo. Apple was rewarded a patent for that feature, and it is their right to protect it. It also depends on how the patent was written. If the patent is for a capacitive screen, it wouldn't matter if it's lcd or amoled or led. That is for the court to scrutinize. Grow up.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 07:05

80. remixfa (Posts: 14168; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


so your trying to say its a totally different "slide to unlock" because it puts a picture of something on the slide? lol.. or that it used a different screen? the iphone was the first capacitive screen. it was brand new technology. it didnt exist in cells before the iphone.. so that argument is moot..

you ibots need to realize, its not what it looks like that gets patented, its how it works. so if it has a "picture" on it or not, if the underlying functionality is the same.. than its the same.

just like when you whine that an SGS looks like an iphone.. looks dont matter its how it runs. Ford cant sue chevy for using the same color red on their cars.


and no, apple did not invent the capacitive screen, taco.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 13:23

94. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


@remix. All of Apple's arguments are moot for you. So your comment or opinion is moot as well.

None of us here have a copy of Apple's complaints. You do not know exactly what evidences Apple submitted to the court. You are not a lawyer. What you are good at though, is in badmouthing anything Apple, and twists facts against Apple.

What you need to realize is, you are no patent lawyer.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 04:49 3

74. vijaysivakula (Posts: 169; Member since: 17 Aug 2011)


i think you believe that Samsung should not have made phones that are rectangular with a touch screen and a menu button at the bottom. Maybe you want all phones to be circular in shape and a menu button at the back and maybe it should be punched to unlock. When will you grow a brain?

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 13:27

95. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


Hmmmm, did Apple sue Samsung for using a rectagular shaped phone? I don't think so. Why do android fanboys love to lie? You obviously do not know what patents mean and what they're for. Go get some education first and then talk to me :)

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 05:57 2

77. wassup (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


u dummass, LG Prada used capacitive touchscreen before the iPhone, so technically, apple is copying.... get your facts straight

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 13:31

96. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


@wassup. I never said that iphone was the first phone to use capacitive technology. What is up with android fanboys? Apple can use capacitive technology because they probably have the right to, or have acquired licence to use it. Otherwise, they've already been sued for it. My goodness.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 15:06

115. wassup (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


well why are you shouting your ass off that apple introduced capacitive touchscreens? if android want's to use the LG prada's design(which co-incidentally, apple stole too) they can, because LG isn't a patent troll that tries to sue companies instead of putting out better products....
Apple iPhone 5- it makes calls now. Magical.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 16:12

118. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


@wassup. I never said that Apple "introduced" capacitive displays. Where did you get that? And, Apple did not steal anything from LG, unless you can site us proof that LG sued Apple and won. You are a big liar :)

Oh well, most android fanboys are good at lying and making up stuff anyways :)

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 09:18

82. ngo2dd (Posts: 793; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


Oh btw it Neonode doesn't use resistive, it use IR screen.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 13:33

97. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


Then Samsung should've used IR technology on their galaxy devices if they got their inspiration from neonode :)

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 18:54 5

5. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


It was legally proven that Another device had this feature so yeah lets go with what you said

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 21:48 1

16. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


Not on a smartphone? And not with a graphic like the iphone's.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 04:24

72. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Then the graphics on Samsung's are different that the on the iPhone

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 13:34

98. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


Then that is up to the court to decide, based on the evidences that will be presented to them by Apple, and based on Samsung's defense. That is all I am saying.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 18:58 10

8. Penny (Posts: 1265; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


Bother to read the article?

Part of Samsung's defense was that the slide to unlock existed in a Windows device in 2005, before Apple even filed for the patent. Therefore, the characteristic does not belong to Apple. It is not an Apple characteristic. The characteristic is not Apple's to claim. Apple did not invent it. Apple did not come up with it. Apple did not engineer it. Don't get it twisted.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 21:54

17. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


@penny. Yes, I've read the article alright, and the article also stated that "Apple's "slide to unlock" features an image on the screen that moves along with the finger, something that the Neonade N1m did not have". Didn't you read that part? And Apple was indeed granted patent for that, so of course they will try to defend it. Also, Samsung should not play innocent in saying that they got the idea from that windows device and not from the iphone. Please. But hey, if ever the court decides to acquit Samsung of that, then so be it.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 02:58

69. Penny (Posts: 1265; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


So you are saying that since Apple introduced an image, albeit for the same slide-to-unlock motion, that constituted a significant enough difference in the process for Apple's method to be considered not a copy of the Windows version.

Following that reasoning, I would argue that Samsung should be found as not copying Apple's method as Samsung introduced a different image, albeit for the same slide-to-unlock motion. In fact, by your standards and the standards of the EU, they should probably be granted a patent for it.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 03:05

71. Penny (Posts: 1265; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


BTW, sorry for coming across as rude in my first reply. I'm just a little tired of the [ridiculous] patent wars. All for reasonable patents, but not for patenting common items just because you feel you were the first to use it in a specific context. For example, rounded rectangles = perfectly common and royalty free outside of the mobile OS world. But I can't use it in a mobile OS because somebody has dibs on it? Seriously? Wtf...

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 13:39

99. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


@Penny. I don't know. I have not seen how extensive Apple's patent was written. Have you?

We can argue here all day long, but we do not make the decisions here. It is up to the court. We can only speculate. But one thing for sure. It is BS for Samsung to say that they got their inspiration from Neonode, and not the iphone. Some copying are just too obvious, but at times, people could get away with it.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 22:06 4

22. dandirk (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Aug 2011)


I guess apple will get away with copying androids notification bar...

Really you are going to hang your position in an unlock slider?

I guess I have to repeat myself again... this type of "copying" is normal for all markets.

There is a reason why apple is loosing 90% of their complaints.... because they are not truely patentable.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 00:27

49. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


Apple does not need to get away with something that they already own. Just because android first implemented that pull down notification bar, it does not mean that Apple has no right to that gesture. A lot of iphone apps already utilize that pull down menu. It's just not found on any of iphone native apps.

If these type of copying is normal and acceptable as you said, then I guess you can just ignore Apple's complaints and have nothing to worry about.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 00:39 2

54. heh (unregistered)


C'mon man! I've read a lot of your comments on this article and from what I see, no one can really make you think neutrally or even objectively! Yes, that slide-to-unlock feature might be similar. You have a point there. But c'mon! The notification bar is OBVIOUSLY copied from Android! Anyone with a teeny tiny bit of sense can see that!

You've been totally blinded by the MARKETING powers of Steve Jobs.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 01:10

62. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


@heh. How can you say that the notification bar gesture on android is copied by Apple when 3rd party apps for the iphone have been using that pull down gesture eversince? You have to realize that android is pretty much an iOS knock off. Just because android is the first to implement that pull down notification bar, it does not mean that Apple never had considered that initially. Now, if android has ownership of that notification bar implementation, LET THEM SUE APPLE. If they don't, then I guess they know themselves that Apple has the right to that notification bar implementation just as much as they do.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 09:25

83. ngo2dd (Posts: 793; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


No 3rd party have the pull down unless you Jailbroken your phone.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 13:42

100. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


@ngo. What would you do if I can name you an app from the App Store with such feature? Would you admit defeat?

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 11:29

85. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


so in essence you are saying its all right for apple to copy but not for others to copy apple right lol

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 13:44

101. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


@taz. It's not alright to copy, period. I even said that anyone should sue Apple if they think that Apple copied or stole their patented ideas. That is the only way to prove things. Bring it to court and present your case.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 05:36 1

75. joaolx (Posts: 364; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


If you ever saw the demo of the iOS 5 you could see that the only thing it's similar with the android bar it's the slide. But what you do and what you see on the notification bar on the iOS 5 it's much different.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 10:05

84. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)


Apple does not own the pull down notification bar, Google does. As for the app makers, if they got permission to use the tecnology, or paid for the right, yes they can use it. Patents are paid for use all the time, when someone uses them without permission or a deal for the right to use them is when a lawsuit takes place.
You prove our point in your statement...

A lot of iphone apps already utilize that pull down menu. It's just not found on any of iphone native apps.

App makers got permission just not Apple.

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 13:49

102. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


@darthball. Says who? You? Do you have a full list what Apple owns?

Why do you think courthouses exist?

Sorry, but you are only speculating that google owns that notification bar. You have no hard evidence that Apple cannot use that feature, and that google has exclusive rights to that. If there is no complaint against Apple in implementing that notification bar similar to android's, then they are entitled to use it just as android is. Simple as that.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 22:09 1

24. s (unregistered)


yeah like how apple ripped off the notification system no matter how you fan boys say it apple copies and thats that

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 22:29

32. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


You must like the color red...

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 22:52 1

41. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


No I don't, but android fanboys like to give me a lot of reds :)

posted on 26 Aug 2011, 15:41

117. iHateCrapple (Posts: 734; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)


You'll get a green for that one.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 18:55 8

6. Tmachaveli (Posts: 425; Member since: 01 Apr 2011)


Don't even use the I.P. b.s its a dam unlock screen..apple should worry about other things instead like why android has 60% of the market.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 18:59 2

9. stealthd (Posts: 980; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


It's called dumping, and it's anticompetetive

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 21:59

20. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


Apple knows how android was able to reach that market size. It's because android devices imitated iDevices.

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