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Taiwan concerned Apple's slide-to-unlock patent could hurt market

post #1 of 120
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Government officials in Taiwan have expressed concern that Apple's recent success in obtaining a patent for the slide-to-unlock gesture on touchscreen devices could hurt competing smartphone makers.

This week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Apple another patent related to the slide-to-unlock gesture found on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. That key patent win for Apple has caused concern among officials in Taiwan, according to Focus Taiwan (via Electronista).

Taiwan Premier Wu Den-yih reportedly asked government agencies this week to assess the possible impact of Apple's patent win on local companies. One of the most noteworthy corporations based out of Taiwan is HTC, which has already seen patent litigation trouble with Apple.

Wu, speaking at a weekly cabinet meeting, is reportedly "very concerned" about the impact Apple's new patent could have on Taiwanese companies, especially those who compete with Apple to sell smartphones and tablets. He directed the country's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Industrial Research Institute to look into the matter.

As a result of his actions, those two agencies could end up collaborating with Taiwanese companies to settle potential patent infringement lawsuits with Apple, if need be. The premier reportedly said that the agencies should "do their best to help defend the legitimate rights and interest of local companies in any patent fights with Apple."

Apple's newly awarded patent has been viewed as a victory for the company, with onlookers speculating that touchscreen products running the Google Android operating system could be found in violation. Apple has been engaged with a number of Android device makers beyond HTC, including Samsung and Motorola.



In the newly released authorized biography of Steve Jobs, the late Apple co-founder lashed out against Google's Android mobile operating system, calling it a "stolen product." Jobs's ire toward Android was made clear in an "expletive-laced rant" that he made to author Walter Isaacson.

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong," he said. "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
post #2 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Government officials in Taiwan have expressed concern that Apple's recent success in obtaining a patent for the slide-to-unlock gesture on touchscreen devices could hurt competing smartphone makers.

Or maybe they could simply come up with their own way to unlock their phones.

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post #3 of 120
I don't get this. Surely there are plenty of other gestures could be used to unlock a touchscreen? This is just a pretext for going after Apple.

The slide gesture for this purpose was definitely something I first saw on Apple.
post #4 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Or maybe they could simply come up with their own way to unlock their phones.


Or license it? Sheesh - all of Taiwan is concerned?
post #5 of 120
There is no doubt Google infringed on apples ideas. They could definitely come up with their own ideas but that would take originality, god forbid its much easier to duplicate someone.
post #6 of 120
Hey Taiwan, make your own!
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post #7 of 120
To kill two birds with one stone, the most efficient method for Android would be Remove and replace battery to unlock. This way you get all your runaway processes out of RAM and it restarts unlocked for you. It's a win-win for Android.
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post #8 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Or license it?

Apple might not want to license it ..

If I were Tim Cook, I wouldn't license it. Pfizer didn't license the Viagra patent. Why should I license my "slide to unlock"?
post #9 of 120
Taiwan may be scared, because HTC is a smaller fish. Samsung would simply go to court and invalidate the patent.
post #10 of 120
As the computer industry's R & D department Apple should be handsomely remunerated for their innovations. How can anybody argue with that?
And if Apple wants to keep its innovations to ensure product differentiation from its competitors they should be able to do that, no?

post #11 of 120
damn, apple versus all of Taiwan?
post #12 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssls6 View Post

damn, apple versus all of Taiwan?

I can think of a couple of gestures (no copyright) the Taiwanese government might be seeing a lot of in the near future.
post #13 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I don't get this. Surely there are plenty of other gestures could be used to unlock a touchscreen? This is just a pretext for going after Apple.

The slide gesture for this purpose was definitely something I first saw on Apple.

Apparently if most people saw it first on Apple device, that means Apple owns it. It's not a novel idea of Apple's, but like all things they 'borrow' and bring to masses they will get credit along with exploitation rights.
post #14 of 120
It seems like these folks don't fully understand this patent.

It isn't just 'slide to unlock'. It is the whole package of a preset by the maker slide at a preset by the maker spot, shown to the user by a UI element that shows what to do and where.

A user defined gesture, which is typical on non Apple devices, isn't touched by this patent

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post #15 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

Apparently if most people saw it first on Apple device, that means Apple owns it. It's not a novel idea of Apple's, but like all things they 'borrow' and bring to masses they will get credit along with exploitation rights.

Don't be a tool.

Apple *did* invent this idea. Not only is there nothing like it out there, the only implementations that are even vaguely similar were thought up *after* Apple applied for this patent.

What I find interesting is that it's days after the granting of the patent and still I haven't read a single article that can point to anyone violating this patent. I'm not saying they aren't out there, but come on, if I was doing research for this very piece I would want to find out what kind of unlock schemes each of the competitors had, post videos of them in the body of the article and then have a bit of a debate about whether any of them violate Apple's patent.

This is lame, lazy reporting at best.

It's fairly clear that Google's "gesture to unlock" is not covered by this patent, is anything else? Let's get some actual examples and facts for a change.
post #16 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Don't be a tool.

Apple *did* invent this idea. Not only is there nothing like it out there, the only implementations that are even vaguely similar were thought up *after* Apple applied for this patent.

What I find interesting is that it's days after the granting of the patent and still I haven't read a single article that can point to anyone violating this patent. I'm not saying they aren't out there, but come on, if I was doing research for this very piece I would want to find out what kind of unlock schemes each of the competitors had, post videos of them in the body of the article and then have a bit of a debate about whether any of them violate Apple's patent.

This is lame, lazy reporting at best.

It's fairly clear that Google's "gesture to unlock" is not covered by this patent, is anything else? Let's get some actual examples and facts for a change.

A Dutch court ruled an earlier Apple patent on the slide to unlock gesture was invalid because of prior art. The Neonode N1m phone running Windows CE had a similar gesture in 2006, but it didn't display a graphic. Apple added that to the new patent, but it's entirely possible a court will rule that to be "obvious" and unpatentable.
post #17 of 120
Gosh, I wonder what smartphones did before slide-to-unlock? I can't think of any solution!!!!
post #18 of 120
Maybe Taiwan should be alarmed that their companies are stealing rather than innovating.

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post #19 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post

A Dutch court ruled an earlier Apple patent on the slide to unlock gesture was invalid because of prior art. The Neonode N1m phone running Windows CE had a similar gesture in 2006, but it didn't display a graphic. Apple added that to the new patent, but it's entirely possible a court will rule that to be "obvious" and unpatentable.

This is a position I can support. Apple does appear to have the first patent and no "prior art" does what is explained in their patent, but I can see a court invalidating this patent because it's "obvious" as an inevitable way people will unlock a flat surface with a long history of physical doors having a flat slider to un/lock.
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post #20 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Gosh, I wonder what smartphones did before slide-to-unlock? I can't think of any solution!!!!

You hit the large Menu button in the center of the giant keyboard.
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post #21 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Don't be a tool.

Apple *did* invent this idea. Not only is there nothing like it out there, the only implementations that are even vaguely similar were thought up *after* Apple applied for this patent.

What I find interesting is that it's days after the granting of the patent and still I haven't read a single article that can point to anyone violating this patent. I'm not saying they aren't out there, but come on, if I was doing research for this very piece I would want to find out what kind of unlock schemes each of the competitors had, post videos of them in the body of the article and then have a bit of a debate about whether any of them violate Apple's patent.

This is lame, lazy reporting at best.

It's fairly clear that Google's "gesture to unlock" is not covered by this patent, is anything else? Let's get some actual examples and facts for a change.

This has been posted repeatedly, but whatever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj-KS...ature=youtu.be

Slide to unlock is demonstrated around 4:00 mark.

Apple added graphics to the feature and called it their own. Maybe Apple applied for the patent before this phone was developed, but that'd be news to me. Of course the worry is that they'll use this to go on another streak of lawsuits against competition.
post #22 of 120
If they don't copy, they don't need to worry about the patent. Here's a thought - how about they INNOVATE their way out of this ? Clearly it is impossible to change from slide to lock/unlock according to the Taiwanese Govt. They should therefore go to war with the USA to protect their right to copy and steal.
post #23 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Surely there are plenty of other gestures could be used to unlock a touchscreen?

Why use a gesture at all. What's wrong with a good old-fashioned button.
post #24 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post

A Dutch court ruled an earlier Apple patent on the slide to unlock gesture was invalid because of prior art. The Neonode N1m phone running Windows CE had a similar gesture in 2006, but it didn't display a graphic. Apple added that to the new patent, but it's entirely possible a court will rule that to be "obvious" and unpatentable.

Incorrect.

In the first place it was a single judge who threw the request out not a "court decision." Secondly, one judges opinion on pre-trial matters does not set a precedent because nothing was officially decided by the court at all (there was no ruling). Third, what the N1M does, doesn't actually violate this patent because it's so completely different from what this patent actually describes. Fourth, the judge did this *before* Apple was granted the patent and thus couldn't do it again today anyway.

And finally, the patent Apple was granted was applied for *previous* to the design of the N1M meaning even if your poor interpretation of what happened in the Dutch case was correct, the N1M would still lose out to this patent.
post #25 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

This has been posted repeatedly, but whatever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj-KS...ature=youtu.be

Slide to unlock is demonstrated around 4:00 mark.

Apple added graphics to the feature and called it their own. Maybe Apple applied for the patent before this phone was developed, but that'd be news to me.

Incorrect. Please see the reply to "KPOM" on this thread.
post #26 of 120
Meanwhile in a Taiwanese smartphone development department...

Boss: So, what other ideas do we have for unlocking a screen in a smartphone?
Designer: erm... **crickets**
Boss: COME ON!!!! Anything!!!
Designer: **opens Apple website and starts to look at it and sketch stuff on paper** **hands paper to boss**
Boss: Mmm... I like this...

And there we have it...


Seriously though, the fact that they say that a device without "slide to unlock" is not a smartphone is almost a statement of incompetence... Draw a circle, tap numbers in the corners, lick the ffffing thing, but please, stop copying as "the only option"...
post #27 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Taiwan may be scared, because HTC is a smaller fish. Samsung would simply go to court and invalidate the patent.

I guess you must have missed this paragraph:

As a result of his actions, those two agencies could end up collaborating with Taiwanese companies to settle potential patent infringement lawsuits with Apple, if need be. The premier reportedly said that the agencies should "do their best to help defend the legitimate rights and interest of local companies in any patent fights with Apple."

Maybe it's not as easy to do as you make it out to be.
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post #28 of 120
The Chinese and Koreans need to stop copying Apple and create their own products.

Copying is a sign of an immature society.

The Japanese use to copy U.S. products in the 1960s. Those old enough to experience it can laugh at the crappy clones the Japanese companies produced. But the Japanese grew up and now create their own products.

Grow up Taiwan.
post #29 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post

A Dutch court ruled an earlier Apple patent on the slide to unlock gesture was invalid because of prior art. The Neonode N1m phone running Windows CE had a similar gesture in 2006, but it didn't display a graphic. Apple added that to the new patent, but it's entirely possible a court will rule that to be "obvious" and unpatentable.

Let me correct the dates slightly. The first Neonode, using slide-to-unlock, was demoed in 2002, before the iPhone was even conceived.

The last Neononde model, N2, released in February 2007, displays arrows as guides for the gesture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This is a position I can support. Apple does appear to have the first patent and no "prior art" does what is explained in their patent, but I can see a court invalidating this patent because it's "obvious" as an inevitable way people will unlock a flat surface with a long history of physical doors having a flat slider to un/lock.

Which patents are you referring to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Incorrect.

In the first place it was a single judge who threw the request out not a "court decision." Secondly, one judges opinion on pre-trial matters does not set a precedent because nothing was officially decided by the court at all (there was no ruling). Third, what the N1M does, doesn't actually violate this patent because it's so completely different from what this patent actually describes. Fourth, the judge did this *before* Apple was granted the patent and thus couldn't do it again today anyway.

And finally, the patent Apple was granted was applied for *previous* to the design of the N1M meaning even if your poor interpretation of what happened in the Dutch case was correct, the N1M would still lose out to this patent.

Can you quote any dates or patent numbers?
post #30 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I guess you must have missed this paragraph:

As a result of his actions, those two agencies could end up collaborating with Taiwanese companies to settle potential patent infringement lawsuits with Apple, if need be. The premier reportedly said that the agencies should "do their best to help defend the legitimate rights and interest of local companies in any patent fights with Apple."

Maybe it's not as easy to do as you make it out to be.

Maybe it's just cheaper to settle in advance than go full out on revoking the patent. Rumor has it that Microsoft doesn't really have any strong patents to extort money from HTC for Android, but HTC prefers to pay anyway (for patents that are secret).

Some kids are too scared to stand up to the bullies.
post #31 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Maybe it's just cheaper to settle in advance than go full out on revoking the patent. Rumor has it that Microsoft doesn't really have any strong patents to extort money from HTC for Android, but HTC prefers to pay anyway (for patents that are secret).

Some kids are too scared to stand up to the bullies.

... or the kid knows that the other kid is right.
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #32 of 120
How does WinPhone 7 unlock? I have never actually seen one yet.

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post #33 of 120
Why can't you simply say "Open Sesame" to unlock the thing?
post #34 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

How does WinPhone 7 unlock? I have never actually seen one yet.

you slide up to unlock a wp7 device
post #35 of 120
Apple's patent will never hold up in court. The patent is for any movement of a finger on the screen to unlock not just slide to unlock.
post #36 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sector7G View Post

you slide up to unlock a wp7 device

The original purpose of the unlock slide as a very specific gesture was to prevent it from unlocking in your pocket and accidentally dialing your wife while you are making out with your girlfriend.

Is the WinPhone unlock an equally deliberate sliding action or is it just slide up anywhere on the screen?

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post #37 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Taiwan may be scared, because HTC is a smaller fish. Samsung would simply go to court and invalidate the patent.

You can only try this, but you can not just do it because it does not depend on them but on a legal system (and you cant just throw money on it to make it go away). I have looked at the patent and read the so called pre-art. Personally I dont see how they (Sammy) could win it (with the information available at the time being).

And fuck it there are so many ways of unlocking the screen that it really doesnt matter at all to go after this. But the psycological effect is even worse for those that chose to use it in their phones if they remove it in fear of retaliation. Its just going to look like having a smoking gun in posession
post #38 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by habi View Post

You can only try this, but you can not just do it because it does not depend on them but on a legal system (and you cant just throw money on it to make it go away). I have looked at the patent and read the so called pre-art. Personaly think they (Sammy) wouldnt win it.

And fuck it there are so many ways of unlocking the screen that it really doesnt matter at all to go after this. But the psycological effect is even worse for those that chose to use it in their phones if they remove it in fear of retaliation. Its just going to look like having a smoking gun in posession

Well I think they have a good chance to invalidate the patent but in the end it's not up to us internet lawyers to decide.

As to unlocking, I am only arguing on principle; with a phone the size of mine slide-to-unlock is completely impractical, so I use the pattern unlock, and answer calls by pressing the camera button.

But we've seen that many manufacturers tend to herd in their often flawed implementations. It is not inconceivable that HTC really doesn't see how they can change the unlock around, or that Samsung sees value in crapping over Android with design stolen from iOS.
post #39 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

This has been posted repeatedly, but whatever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj-KS...ature=youtu.be

Slide to unlock is demonstrated around 4:00 mark.

Apple added graphics to the feature and called it their own. Maybe Apple applied for the patent before this phone was developed, but that'd be news to me. Of course the worry is that they'll use this to go on another streak of lawsuits against competition.


Where does this show it was invented before the iPhones unlock. they had been working on the iPhone years before it was released.
post #40 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Or maybe they could simply come up with their own way to unlock their phones.


My thought exactly.
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