German court hands Apple victory over Motorola on "slide to unlock" patent

German court hands Apple victory over Motorola on
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, a Munich court has awarded Apple victory over Motorola over the European version of Apple’s “slide to unlock” patent. The ruling is final – though Motorola has already announced they will appeal – so Apple could ask for a permanent injunction today if they wish. Well, if they wish and are willing to put up a large amount of cash to cover damages in case they lose on appeal. Of course Apple has piles of cash, so it will be interesting to see what they choose to do.

The patent in question, EP1964022, is written so broadly that Apple seems to feel it can be applied against any sort of unlock gesture on any screen. The German court didn’t follow Apple down quite that far – they ruled that Apple’s patent doesn’t apply to the unlock circle that was introduced with Honeycomb (and is currently employed on the Galaxy Nexus and several other phones).

It 's curious that Apple got this far on the slide to unlock patent – Apple’s patent is of very questionable veracity since prior art – the slide to unlock gesture of the Neonode N1m (see photo below) preceded Apple’s patent application, and in fact other German courts have indicated doubt about the patents validity.

While Motorola will naturally hope to find an appellate court of a similar mind, the appeal isn’t without risk to Motorola; while they will attempt to find a judge who might pay more attention to prior art, Apple will undoubtedly try to convince an appeals court that the circular Android unlock pattern should also constitute a violation of Apple’s intellectual property. Another Apple patent, one on sliding images in a photo gallery, was scheduled to be adjudicated today as well, but was postponed for a couple weeks.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months.


source: BBC News via FOSS Patents

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60 Comments

1. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

As expected...no new news since Apple has the patent.

2. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

What are you gonna say when Apple gets the patent on oxygen?

7. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Okay, you're a hater.

31. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Whateverman's a hater because he's pointing out how ridiculously overly broad a patent on any slide to unlock gesture is?

5. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Samsung got away on other cases and the patent even got invalidated but this can turn in a different way so its news

53. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

DIE APPLE!!!

3. BioTek

Posts: 53; Member since: Jan 23, 2012

The court officials must be crazy.

57. MEeee

Posts: 425; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

All their families have iPhones, Motorola have no chance.

60. bizwiz

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 18, 2012

Some here are missing the big picture "slide to unlock" is in fact a "drag and drop" feature, so the Apple patent should have been invalidated from the start.

4. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

I thought the EU didn't allow BS software patents. Screw you Germany, and a big FU to apple. And F Microsoft for patenting this BS as well and suing Motorola over it (and of course, only those devices running android). http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/description?CC=EP&NR=1040406B1&KC=B1&FT=D&ND=6&date=20030502&DB=worldwide.espacenet.com&locale=en_EP

8. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

I also got a big kick out of this, in that version 3.0 and thus 4.0 aren't' infringing, but of course, apple redid the patent to be even more vague so as to get android again in the US lawsuit. DIAF apple.

10. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

So why didn't you invent that since you are so damn smart?

6. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Apple has the right slide to unlock was such an an unnatural way of doing things... Wait a minute...http://i.imgur.com/s3Iqm.jpg

18. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Don't be mad at the player (apple) be mad at the game (german court system). Your right its a terrible lawsuit but the court system in germany is letting them get away with it.

22. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

German court has to fail in favor of someone if the lawyer at apple side have a argument they have to fail in favor of them same as a murderer who everyone knows has gone serial yet evidence is not enough. Personally not mad at apple just find the patents to be dumb and selfish , I'm an advocate of IP sharing without IP from rim Nokia Samsung and moto the iPhone won't be the same ,yet their IP is of reach from others even if those others have added their IP on top of it. The IP is so vague it fits anything. But things reach a limit eventually will settle down, just hope the damage done is not big for any of our favorite OS's

26. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Yes. Don't be mad at defense lawyers who get murderers off with lies and faked evidence, be mad at the system that allows it. Don't blame the slave owners in the early days of the US, slavery was legal. Blame the laws. What a tard philosophy. Be mad at the system, and at the unethical creeps who exploit it. They're both worthy of our hatred. While we're at it, I suppose we shouldn't blame the patent trolls in China who are getting ipads banned. They're just playing the game.

27. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the patent trolls in China??? lookout you mean that large tech company in chin that patented the ipad name back in 2001 and when apple infringed on it they tried to make a deal with apple.... to only have apple spit at them and go on using the name without paying a cent. yup.. its definately their fault.... huh?

37. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

The defense lawyers are just doing their jobs. If they knew the evidence was faked that goes against the game and makes them criminals. The game in the scenario the courts should of recognized the evidence was fake and reprimanded them. The lawyers weren't playing within the confines of this game. Apple is playing within the confines of the game and didn't fake any patents. And I don't blame slave owners they didn't do it because their evil they did it because thats how they were raised and didn't know any better. Society was to blame for making them that way. And remix got the third point for me thanks

9. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

@protozeloz Hahaha:D Nice one!

11. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Screw Apple!!! Und zum Teufel mit Apple!!!

12. Jphones

Posts: 256; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Ha are you serious some technological ideas should be unpatentable for instance somebody had a patent on phone calls so every phone in the world should fall under that patent. Apple need to stop suing other companies because they come out with a similar way to do somethin. Should the English sue Apple over the improper use of the letter I in front of phone? Come on dam stop with this stupid patent wars and just make quality products

13. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

That's fine, they can give us all the "Unlock" gesture that's found on the XOOM (Circle unlock). Besides, Googorola combined, will have more patents than krApple and will find a way to obliTerAte the crApp out of them.

14. karas

Posts: 85; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

Motorola/samsung/htc/lg should come up with something like 'LICK TO UNLOCK'.

25. k1ng617

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

I would dread having to borrow your phone then

15. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I'm parenting "dubbstep to unlock." Your asses will all belong to me. BWAH HA HA HA HA HA!

16. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

why the hate.. no one will come and take you phones away... phones wouldn't be banned just manufacturers will pony up money to pay settlement.. money that will come up from you guys pocket.... but hey is a risk when you purchase an Android.. you never know... with Android... but android will never do that right..

20. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

all they have to do is change the lockscreen...against samsung apple failed to use this same patent in the Dutch court as there was no predefined path where as in the moto lockscreen there is a predefined path..as silly as this is it is a easy work around,make the lockscreen like the zooms as the judge agreed the zoom did not infring this patent lockscreen so they will be fine and no need to pay settlement and i dont think apple even would want to settle for payment,apple dont want to share.

24. Mario1017

Posts: 336; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

lol moto wont have to pay anything to apple, a little (VERY LITTLE) system update could change the lock in a matter of days

32. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Gallito, Apple has a track record of asking for outright bans on any product whose parent company they sue. Granted, devices already sold won't be taken away, but Apple is trying to remove choice from the market for future customers.

35. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

tell me of a product that Apple has prived consumer of. as far as I know the galaxy tab 10.1N is back on the shelf...please lets be real no one is banning nothing maybe preventing for a short period of time... but thats it...

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