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Apple's 'slide to unlock' patent invalidated by German court

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
As part of an ongoing German patent struggle, Motorola on Thursday won a ruling from the country's Federal Patent Court, which said found all claims of Apple's "slide to unlock" user interface property invalid, though the decision can be appealed.

According to FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, the parties affected by the ruling, Apple, Samsung and Google, all knew the Bundespatentgericht was likely to invalidate European Patent EP1964022 for "unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image."

Slide to Unlock
Source: Espacenet


The ruling came at the end of a day-long court session where Apple attempted to save the patent's validity by presenting 14 proposed claim amendments.

In the end, Apple's patent is somewhat irrelevant as manufacturers have implemented similar design workarounds that accomplish the same basic slide to unlock functionality, which is used on veritably all smartphones. The German court noted that Apple's patent claim for a swiping gesture, the only new enhancement to prior art, doesn't meet certain requirements of European patent law. This so-called inventive step, which is needed to uphold a patent's claims, was deemed "software as such" and not a requisite technical innovation to a technical problem.

Apple's patent has a spotty history with the German court system. The Munich I Regional Court in February of 2012 granted Apple a permanent injunction against Motorola over the improper use of the slide to unlock patent. However, a similar suit leveled against Samsung was tossed by the Mannheim Regional Court just one month later.

It is expected that Apple will appeal Thursday's ruling to the Bundesgerichtshof, or Germany's Federal Court of Justice, though no official documentation of such action has been filed.
post #2 of 15
So I guess Apple should be free to implement any number of new unlocking techniques without worry.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #3 of 15
Damn the Germans.

After the Australians, the English, the Germans, ... why doesn't Apple just stick to the US.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

Damn the Germans.

After the Australians, the English, the Germans, ... why doesn't Apple just stick to the US.

Apple would lose most of their profits
post #5 of 15
I am from Germany and I don't like to read such rassism "damn the Germans" here.

Please stay fair. I don't like this judge as well but we live in a democratic world, thanks God and not in a world where people just damn each other
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

Damn the Germans.

After the Australians, the English, the Germans, ... why doesn't Apple just stick to the US.

 

Now, now. Be civil. 

post #7 of 15
Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post
Apple would lose most of their profits

 

Most?


Originally Posted by MacHarry de View Post
I am from Germany and I don't like to read such rassism "damn the Germans" here.

 

Wilkommen! That's not racism. You're certainly right about the rest, though.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #8 of 15
Seems that all the judges are in the pockets of who has bigger envelope for them a crooked world we live in!
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Most?

 

 

By quite a margin.

 

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1219211-apple-s-revenue-by-region-there-s-more-to-the-company-s-story

post #10 of 15

 

Looks like the margin is only 14%. And that's assuming "all" of 'Retail' is outside the US.

 

But you're right, of course. Thanks for the clarification!

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #11 of 15

All this means is that this patent was (incorrectly) invalidated in Germany. It's still valid in the US. The problem in Germany is that the regional court flipflopped on their ruling saying Motorola violated the patent while Samsung didn't. This is what concerns me the most. I wish this court system would agree on something. Of course that's asking a lot since judges all over the world can't agree on much of anything.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

After the Australians, the English, the Germans, ... why doesn't Apple just stick to the US.

 

Various Apple patents and trademarks have been invalidated in the US as well.

 

If Apple did as you and some others have suggested, they'd run out of places to sell their products.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Looks like the margin is only 14%. And that's assuming "all" of 'Retail' is outside the US.

 

But you're right, of course. Thanks for the clarification!


Equally assuming 'Americas' is just the US - which I doubt somewhat.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

Damn the Germans.

After the Australians, the English, the Germans, ... why doesn't Apple just stick to the US.

Facepalm!

I thought it was an untrue stereotype that there were some Americans that believed that anything outside of America is unimportant.

I'm glad that you aren't running a company and especially glad that the people at Apple aren't as self important and blinkered as you are.

post #15 of 15
To the author of the article: that's not what the word "veritably" means. I suspect you meant to say "virtually."
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