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

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.

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

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121 Comments

1. wumberpeb

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 14, 2011

Dear Apple, Will you ever stop this ridiculous "I Created the World" mentality? Sincerely, The Rest of the World

14. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 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.

78. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

2. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 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....

10. GALAXY-S

Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

have a good day isheep!!

11. iHateCrapple

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

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

28. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

Wp7 is the future, forget laggy fragmented android

116. iHateCrapple

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

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

79. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

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

23. s unregistered

beep.. beep you you beep beep

3. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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.

4. readingthissh1t

Posts: 303; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

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

15. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

Which smartphone used slide to unlock before the iphone?

18. readingthissh1t

Posts: 303; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

neonode n1m. 2005.

27. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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.

37. readingthissh1t

Posts: 303; Member since: Jul 20, 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

40. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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.

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

47. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

Hurry up and get that patented :)

45. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 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

46. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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.

81. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 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.

93. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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.

80. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

94. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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.

74. vijaysivakula

Posts: 229; Member since: Aug 17, 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?

95. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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 :)

77. wassup

Posts: 565; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

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

96. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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.

115. wassup

Posts: 565; Member since: Jun 23, 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.

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