or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple wins German injunction against Motorola over 'slide-to-unlock'
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple wins German injunction against Motorola over 'slide-to-unlock'

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 
A ruling handed down by the Munich I Regional Court on Thursday found that a number of Motorola products had infringed on Apple's slide-to-unlock patent, resulting in a permanent injunction against any offending devices.

Judge Dr. Peter Guntz deemed that Motorola's implementation of a screen unlocking feature used across its smartphone line is a copycat that infringes on Apple's slide-to-unlock patent image, which gives the iPhone maker the option to enforce a German injunction against a bond, reports FOSS Patent's Florian Mueller.

Apple's European patent, EP1964022, was awarded in October 2010 and is titled "Unlocking a Device by Performing Gestures on an Unlock Image." The company was also granted an identical patent a year later by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The German court looked at three different Motorola implementations of gesture-based device unlocking and found that two infringed on Apple's patent, namely those used by the RAZR maker's Android smartphones.

The third example, used by Motorola's in its Xoom tablet, showed enough of a difference from Apple's patent to escape injunction. That particular implementation is similar to that of the Galaxy Note, Mueller says, and requires a user to swipe their finger from inside a circle to outside.

Apple's first win against Motorola could result in a complete reworking of how Motorola devices handle screen unlocking, though it seems that the judgment would only force a firmware modification and not the ban of device sales.

Mueller describes the outcome as possibly creating a "noticeable degradation of the user experience of Motorola's products," as the company will have to extend the "slide-to-unlock circle" found in the Xoom across its entire product line.

Should Apple choose to enforce the injunction, it would have to put up a mandatory bond that would cover damages and legal fees for incurred by Motorola if a future appeal finds that the original ruling was incorrect.


Motorola Xoom screen unlock implementation. | Source: ZDNet


Today's decision is a blow not only to Motorola Mobility, but to Android handset makers in general as Apple can bring similar claims to companies using the Google OS in Germany. For instance, the Cupertino, Calif., company is currently in the midst of asserting the same slide-to-unlock patent against Samsung in Mannheim.

Previously, Motorola was on a winning streak in the fast-acting German court system, with favorable judgments in a GPRS standard patent case as well as one related to push services, however it seems that the tide may be turning.

Apple's win follows an earlier outcome in February in which the Mannheim Regional Court dismissed a proposed 3G-relatedMotorola suit.

There will likely be an appeal to today's court ruling, however no official word has been given as to when that proceeding will take place.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 82
A smashing close to an already exciting day.

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply
post #3 of 82
I wonder when we'll see the Neonode again, the one which leaves out the "on an unlock image" part of Apple's "unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image" patent.
A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this...
Reply
A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this...
Reply
post #4 of 82
...for now.

Though it wouldn't be the least bit surprising to see many of these extremely general/generic patents found invalid in the very near future.

We'll See...
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
Reply
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
Reply
post #5 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Though it wouldn't be the least bit surprising to see many of these extremely general/generic patents found invalid in the very near future.

Ah, you're talking about Motorola's patents, obviously.

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply
post #6 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Ah, you're talking about Motorola's patents, obviously.

All of the above... 'obviously'.

... as in, any company behaving like 'patent trolls' with claims to things that should never have been patented in the first place.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
Reply
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
Reply
post #7 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

... as in, any company behaving like 'patent trolls' with claims to things that should never have been patented in the first place.

From Wikipedia:
Quote:
Patent troll is a pejorative term used for a person or company who buys and enforces patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered by the target or observers as unduly aggressive or opportunistic, often with no intention to further develop, manufacture or market the patented invention.

And why do you think that the slide to unlock implementation that Apple uses, should be freely copied and without patent protection?
post #8 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by andre402 View Post

From Wikipedia:


And why do you think that the slide to unlock implementation that Apple uses, should be freely copied and without patent protection?

Because it's synonymous with turning a door knob? Do you think that "turning a knob to open a door" should be patented?
post #9 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

This, to me, is the important part here. The unlock method on the Xoom is the standard method in both honeycomb and ice cream sandwich, so it looks like going forward, android will not be affected at all.

It would be ironic if the effect of this case would be to push other android manufacturers to upgrade to ice cream sandwich.

I don't see how that's a degradation as that method works better than the one found in 2.3 and earlier version of android

Absolutely!

- The 'circular unlock' feature on the Xoom, current HTC Sense and ICS devices is not only imune to these claims, but also vastly superior in function to other generic 'slide to unlock' designs... especially as user selectable apps can be added to the circle for quick access.



Anyway...This whole 'slide-to-unlock' along a designated path has become a bit old/tired i.e circa 2007, with Google already having come up with something far more innovative that's pretty much ready for implementation.

"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
Reply
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
Reply
post #10 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

All of the above... 'obviously'.

... as in, any company behaving like 'patent trolls' with claims to things that should never have been patented in the first place.

'Obvious' only because it's been around on Apple devices for 5 years? Intermittent wipers are obvious now, but I'm sure to Robert Kearns in 1963, it was novel and innovative.
post #11 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A ruling handed down by the Munich I Regional Court on Thursday found that a number of Motorola products had infringed on Apple's slide-to-unlock patent, resulting in a permanent injunction against any offending devices. ...

The thing I don't understand is why the Xoom unlock is excluded.

If you read the tech press, most assume this exclusion is due to the "predetermined path" qualifier in the patent, but if you read the patent this qualifier actually doesn't exist. I've read the thing twice now and it would seem that if it's valid at all, the Xoom method with the circle is pretty much *exactly* the kind of unlock method the patent refers to.

I've yet to read anything that justifies the exclusion of the Xoom circle opening thingie given that the other methods are supposedly clear violations.
post #12 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

This, to me, is the important part here. The unlock method on the Xoom is the standard method in both honeycomb and ice cream sandwich, so it looks like going forward, android will not be affected at all.

It would be ironic if the effect of this case would be to push other android manufacturers to upgrade to ice cream sandwich.



I don't see how that's a degradation as that method works better than the one found in 2.3 and earlier version of android

The Galaxy Nexus, Android uses a copy of Apple's patent, with a very similar slide over a padlock image.

There don't seem to be any ICS based tablets yet, perhaps all the manufacturers are waiting on the iPad 3 for their "innovative" inspiration.
A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this...
Reply
A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this...
Reply
post #13 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

Because it's synonymous with turning a door knob? Do you think that "turning a knob to open a door" should be patented?

There weren't always doorknobs.

When the doorknob was first invented, it was indeed an innovation and if the patent system was around at that time, it likely would have been granted a patent and the inventor would have been wildly rich in his or her day and famous ever after, instead of lost to history as is now the case.
post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


There don't seem to be any ICS based tablets yet, perhaps all the manufacturers are waiting on the iPad 3 for their "innovative" inspiration.

You mean their "let's come out with an identical copy in two weeks' time" inspiration!
post #15 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

Because it's synonymous with turning a door knob? Do you think that "turning a knob to open a door" should be patented?

Of course it's nothing like turning a door knob. How many door knobs (virtual or otherwise) were on cell phones before the iPhone?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #16 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

Because it's synonymous with turning a door knob? Do you think that "turning a knob to open a door" should be patented?

Wasn't synonymous with anything UNTIL Apple invented it. Then, and only then, did people relate "Slide to Unlock" with unlocking a phone and it became the standard, as the most popular phone sold is the iphone.
post #17 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

There weren't always doorknobs.

When the doorknob was first invented, it was indeed an innovation and if the patent system was around at that time, it likely would have been granted a patent and the inventor would have been wildly rich in his or her day and famous ever after, instead of lost to history as is now the case.

Ummm......the patent system WAS around at that time. It indeed WAS granted a patent. And the inventor became neither rich nor famous.

"The first documented invention of the doorknob appears in U.S. Patent entries for the year 1878 when a patent for improvements on a door-closing device was issued to a man named Osbourn Dorsey"

http://www.catalogs.com/info/home-de...-doorknob.html


But what does the word "doorknob" really mean?
post #18 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

You mean their "let's come out with an identical copy in two weeks' time" inspiration!

I see you're using the Android dictionary and thesaurus as a reference.
A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this...
Reply
A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded.A problem occurred with this...
Reply
post #19 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

There weren't always doorknobs.

When the doorknob was first invented, it was indeed an innovation and if the patent system was around at that time, it likely would have been granted a patent and the inventor would have been wildly rich in his or her day and famous ever after, instead of lost to history as is now the case.

See this is what confuses Android idiots. They want to believe Apple patented an action, such as "turning a knob to open a door". Apple uniquely created a mechanism, like the door knob is a mechanism.

As submission #18 shows that there was a patent "for improvements on a door-closing device". But it seems door knobs existed even back into the 18th century. It is likely that the door knob was invented before 1790, when the first U.S. patent was issued. I would guess it would be likely that had the patent office existed then, a door knob patent would have been granted, considering a patent was granted for an improvement.

My main point, though, is that Android supporters are so blindly by their bias that, to them, Apple does not innovate. Even though it took 2 years (?) for even Google to respond with what is essentially a copy. Yeah, not in every detail, but one has to be an idiot to deny that Android is significantly influenced by and similar to the iPhone OS aka iOS.
post #20 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

The Galaxy Nexus, Android uses a copy of Apple's patent, with a very similar slide over a padlock image.

There don't seem to be any ICS based tablets yet, perhaps all the manufacturers are waiting on the iPad 3 for their "innovative" inspiration.

nothing like apple's. apple is a 'slide' to unlock and actually represents a virtual slider using a gesture.
the galaxy has no such 'slider'. you push a circle around and select what you want to do, lock, unlock, use camera, etc.

but for prior versions of Android (2.x and 1.x) the slide to unlock looks almost just like apples so i am not surprised they lost. dumb to not have changed sooner.
post #21 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

Because it's synonymous with turning a door knob? Do you think that "turning a knob to open a door" should be patented?

Prior to Apple, who used a 'doorknob' for what in computing?

Add: Other smart people beat me to it..... ;-D
post #22 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

There weren't always doorknobs.

When the doorknob was first invented, it was indeed an innovation and if the patent system was around at that time, it likely would have been granted a patent and the inventor would have been wildly rich in his or her day and famous ever after, instead of lost to history as is now the case.

You said what I was going to say, almost word for word.
so... +1
post #23 of 82
As demonstrated by the implementation on the Xoom, it is easy to work around. The question is, why didn't they all work around it instead of copying it. It's not as if the patent is vague, it is very specific in the slide to unlock function.

The obvious answer is that Motorola and friends wanted to copy the look and feel of the iphone as much as possible to help sell their devices.
post #24 of 82
Quote:
Apple the once great 'innovators', now more like the ruthless 'litigators'.

These are not mutually exclusive. The engineers innovate, the lawyers protect. Apple employs both. As it should be.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #25 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by repentantfan View Post

See this is what confuses Android idiots. They want to believe Apple patented an action, such as "turning a knob to open a door". Apple uniquely created a mechanism, like the door knob is a mechanism.

As submission #18 shows that there was a patent "for improvements on a door-closing device". But it seems door knobs existed even back into the 18th century. It is likely that the door knob was invented before 1790, when the first U.S. patent was issued. I would guess it would be likely that had the patent office existed then, a door knob patent would have been granted, considering a patent was granted for an improvement.

My main point, though, is that Android supporters are so blindly by their bias that, to them, Apple does not innovate. Even though it took 2 years (?) for even Google to respond with what is essentially a copy. Yeah, not in every detail, but one has to be an idiot to deny that Android is significantly influenced by and similar to the iPhone OS aka iOS.

i use android. had 2.x and now 4.0 and 3.2 (on a tablet). they obviously copied the iphone on 1.x and 2.x. blatant. too bad. the great news is that now they are pushing beyond the somewhat tired icon littered desktop design that apple came out with initially and being forced to rethink some things to avoid lawsuits. its made android a better product than it was.
post #26 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

These are not mutually exclusive. The engineers innovate, the lawyers protect. Apple employs both. As it should be.

they are still innovating. they just announced some new feature in 'Mountain Lion' that Ubuntu already had....
post #27 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post

they are still innovating. they just announced some new feature in 'Mountain Lion' that Ubuntu had for a while now....

Like what? Ubuntu had iMessage support?

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

Goodbyeee jragosta :: http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/160864/jragosta-joseph-michael-ragosta

Reply

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

Goodbyeee jragosta :: http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/160864/jragosta-joseph-michael-ragosta

Reply
post #28 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

As demonstrated by the implementation on the Xoom, it is easy to work around. The question is, why didn't they all work around it instead of copying it. It's not as if the patent is vague, it is very specific in the slide to unlock function.

The obvious answer is that Motorola and friends wanted to copy the look and feel of the iphone as much as possible to help sell their devices.

You said what I was going to say, almost word for word.
so... +1
post #29 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post

they are still innovating. they just announced some new feature in 'Mountain Lion' that Ubuntu already had....

Gah, Linux is fine as a base for Xen or firewalls but as a desktop operating system it's woeful. As someone pointed out once 'its a fine operating system for anyone who has no value for their time'.
post #30 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

But what does the word "doorknob" really mean?

The word, or term, 'doorknob' originates from the turn of the century when door men were more commonplace than now. A 'doorknob' was a door man who was also a real sonofabitch - as in 'that door man is a fucking knob'.
post #31 of 82
It's interesting to me how many of Apple's innovations get dismissed as being "obvious", and how often it gets argued that Apple's designs are the only possible solution to a given problem.

I think it speaks to how Apple builds products that this even comes up. Apple makes things that are simple as possible, and intuitive as possible, and as integrated as possible. When they get it right there's a sense of inevitability about the results, a kind of "Aha!" feeling where once you see it you wonder why no one did it that way before. That's true of all the best design, but it certainly doesn't mean that it's obvious before someone figures it out.

Slide to unlock is like that. It's spare, intuitive, and takes into account how most people hold a phone and what the most natural one handed gesture would be. It could have been tap twice to unlock, or a hardware button, or a quick swirl, or shake, or an upward flicking gesture. But that sweep of the thumb is the easiest, most natural thing to do, which is why Apple chose it. And patented it, because its one of the things that makes the iPhone experience easier and more natural than the competition.

But "easy and natural" isn't some kind of natural phenomena, rightfully held by all. It's the result of hard work, of an intense iterative process that tries a million different things to get at that "obvious" solution. People are arguing that once Apple has done the work to identify the best outcome, that we should pretend like there wasn't really any work at all-- that what is "obvious" once it's been finished was "obvious" all along, and Apple just happened on it a little earlier than everyone else.

Funny how they keep doing that.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #32 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

The thing I don't understand is why the Xoom unlock is excluded.

If you read the tech press, most assume this exclusion is due to the "predetermined path" qualifier in the patent, but if you read the patent this qualifier actually doesn't exist. I've read the thing twice now and it would seem that if it's valid at all, the Xoom method with the circle is pretty much *exactly* the kind of unlock method the patent refers to.

I've yet to read anything that justifies the exclusion of the Xoom circle opening thingie given that the other methods are supposedly clear violations.

Agreed, it seems that the patent covers all implementations of slide-to-unlock. However, it doesn't patent the idea of unlocking a locked screen in itself, since it has been around for many years on dumb phones, etc.

So, I wonder, what method could one use to unlock a locked screen on a device with a touch screen, which doesn't involve performing gestures on the image displayed on said touch screen? Any ideas?
post #33 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Gah, Linux is fine as a base for Xen or firewalls but as a desktop operating system it's woeful. As someone pointed out once 'its a fine operating system for anyone who has no value for their time'.

what's bad about Ubuntu? i use it at home and at work as my main machine and run windows as a VM.
its true, linux distros are for people who know what they are doing, aren't afraid to find out how things actually work, and utilize the power inherent in the OS. anyone who says it isn't extremely capable and useful for many, many things is just a moron.
i am using it now to post this, is that somehow less a 'value' for my time than you posting on this forum with OS X or ipad or whatever you are using? of course not.
post #34 of 82
Does anybody see what happens?

Why the hell Germans do not tell: "get the f... out of here with your lawsuits 'cause we are paying taxes for those courts and they are not for corporate business to make law-trading-market!"
post #35 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post

they are still innovating. they just announced some new feature in 'Mountain Lion' that Ubuntu already had....

It's fine if you like Ubuntu. In reality, Ubuntu now is in transition from poor man Windows to poor man OSX.
Fun and relaxing way to prepare Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) test with Juku Apps
Reply
Fun and relaxing way to prepare Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) test with Juku Apps
Reply
post #36 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuwafuwa View Post

It's fine if you like Ubuntu. In reality, Ubuntu now is in transition from poor man Windows to poor man OSX.

rather a poor man than an rich idiot.
post #37 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

So, I wonder, what method could one use to unlock a locked screen on a device with a touch screen, which doesn't involve performing gestures on the image displayed on said touch screen? Any ideas?

Double tapping? 4 finger taps? One finger in the upper left corner, one in the lower right corner? Holding a finger (or fingers) on the screen for 3 seconds? Shaking the phone a certain way? Turning it upside-down then right-side up? Swiping anywhere (no image)?
There's 7 different ways I took all of 2 minutes to write, and I'm not a highly paid software designer.
Not that any of these are as easy and intuitive as swiping an image to unlock...
post #38 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

It's interesting to me how many of Apple's innovations get dismissed as being "obvious", and how often it gets argued that Apple's designs are the only possible solution to a given problem.

I think it speaks to how Apple builds products that this even comes up. Apple makes things that are simple as possible, and intuitive as possible, and as integrated as possible. When they get it right there's a sense of inevitability about the results, a kind of "Aha!" feeling where once you see it you wonder why no one did it that way before. That's true of all the best design, but it certainly doesn't mean that it's obvious before someone figures it out.

Slide to unlock is like that. It's spare, intuitive, and takes into account how most people hold a phone and what the most natural one handed gesture would be. It could have been tap twice to unlock, or a hardware button, or a quick swirl, or shake, or an upward flicking gesture.

Exactly. Perhaps the only other patent that might interfere with these different unlocking strategies is the multi-touch patent where a user might possibly use more than 1 digit to engage a certain unlock feature (e.g. 2 fingers rotating counter-clockwise, like opening a jar or bottle), but as you noted, there were other options available from the get-go. The fact that nothing else was really even considered just speaks to the outright copying here as well as Apple's attention to detail around design and usability. With that said, I'm guessing Apple may yet improve upon what we have already come to know as the ubiquitous unlocking feature. perhaps one of the words that has stuck with me in light of Jobs' passing and having seen all of the various interviews with him was the use of the term "metaphor" for discussing the Mac OS as well as Windows in terms of how the graphics are used to create and interpret a computing space. These concepts and metaphors do not spring into the world of their own accord like a plant might from the ground. People and minds develop them and refine them, hence the very concept of intellectual property. The slide to unlock feature of the iDevices is just one metaphor for activating a handheld or multimedia device. Any number of alternatives could have been used or developed, but they weren't, they were copied. Even the Motorola option is a variation of the initial concept and could have been much more unique and likely as usable with a little more creativity. I'll take Motorola's designs for my cable modems, but never for a smartphone.
post #39 of 82
I went out and saved a little money by buying a cheap, plasticish, Android phone with all the junky buttons and ugly logos all over it.

I think I will now hang out at AI and try to convince the Apple guys that my phone really isn't a shameless Apple rip off by some guys stabbing their mentor in the back because they had run out of their own ideas.
post #40 of 82
Ruling in favor of this patent should be a no-brainer. Did anyone have "slide to unlock" on a phone or tablet before Apple? No. Did this feature show up in all kinds of phones after Apple introduced it? Yes. Case closed.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple wins German injunction against Motorola over 'slide-to-unlock'