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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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."
«13456

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 119
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    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.



  • Reply 2 of 119
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 119
    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?
  • Reply 4 of 119
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 119
    ivladivlad Posts: 739member
    Hey Taiwan, make your own!
  • Reply 6 of 119
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 119
    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"?
  • Reply 8 of 119
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Taiwan may be scared, because HTC is a smaller fish. Samsung would simply go to court and invalidate the patent.
  • Reply 9 of 119
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    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?



  • Reply 10 of 119
    damn, apple versus all of Taiwan?
  • Reply 11 of 119
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 119
    neo42neo42 Posts: 287member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 119
    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
  • Reply 14 of 119
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 119
    kpomkpom Posts: 616member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 119
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,449member
    Gosh, I wonder what smartphones did before slide-to-unlock? I can't think of any solution!!!!
  • Reply 17 of 119
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    Maybe Taiwan should be alarmed that their companies are stealing rather than innovating.
  • Reply 18 of 119
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 119
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 119
    neo42neo42 Posts: 287member
    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.
Sign In or Register to comment.