New Apple suit claims Galaxy Nexus infringes on 'slide-to-unlock' feature

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


Apple's latest German complaint against Samsung is the first time the company has named the South Korean electronics manufacturer's flagship Android handset in a lawsuit, claiming the device infringes the iPhone maker's "slide-to-unlock" utility model.



Mere hours after serving up a ruling on Friday for a failed Samsung lawsuit against Apple, the Mannheim Regional Court held a hearing about a so-called Gebrauchsmuster ("utility model") complaint the Cupertino, Calif., company is leveling against the Galaxy Nexus, reports FOSS Patents.



In Apple's first suit that directly names Samsung's Android-based smartphone, the company claims the Galaxy Nexus infringes on the "slide-to-unlock" feature first introduced with the original iPhone in 2007 and subsequently patented with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in October 2011. In 2006 the company also obtained a "utility model" registration for the feature in Germany.



FOSS Patent's Florian Mueller describes a "utility model" as a limited fast-track patent that companies are allowed to file for alongside traditional patents, and Apple has done both for the "slide-to-unlock" in Germany.



Examinations of utility model registrations are not as stringent as patent filings and don't carry a presumption of validity which is necessary for a court ruling. Thus the Mannheim court does not foresee an immediate decision in the "slide-to-unlock" suit as it believes the validity or invalidity of the invention is too close to call.



Judge Andreas Voss could opt to stay the case pending the conclusion of an identical suit at the Munich-based Federal Patent court to avoid inconsistent rulings, but Apple wants to obtain a decision as soon as possible. If a stay was instituted, the "slide-to-unlock" model could come dangerously close to its 10-year expiration date, becoming increasingly devalued commercially.





YouTube spot showing Samsung's implementation of gesture unlocking on the Galaxy Nexus (at 0:08) | Source: T3.com







As part of its defense, Samsung is pointing to a relatively unknown Swedish device called the Neonode that persuaded a Dutch judge to doubt the validity of Apple's "slide-to-unlock" filing in 2011. Mueller notes, however, that the standard of availability for a device is much higher in a utility model case than a patent suit.



The Mannheim court is expected to announce either a ruling, a stay or decision to appoint an independent expert to help assess Apple's claims on March 16, 2012.

«13456789

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 171
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    The more rational among us know that there's absolutely no case here, and that'll likely be what the courts determine as well.



    Apple (and a few others) have become little more than patent trolling bullies, and it's time it came to a stop.
  • Reply 2 of 171
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple's newest German complaint against Samsung is the first time the company has named the South Korean electronics manufacturer's flagship Android handset in a lawsuit, claiming the device infringes the iPhone maker's "slide-to-unlock" utility model. ...



    You know what would be far more relevant that a GIANT picture of an iPhone?



    A picture or video of the Samsung copy of it so we can actually make informed comments.



    They have already been granted this patent so it will pretty much be a slam dunk for anyone using a similar looking method, but it's impossible to know how similar the SII is because you neglected to include any information on it.
  • Reply 3 of 171
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    The Galaxy Nexus does use slide-to-unlock but it doesn't look the same as Apple's lock. A certain level of sliding is expected as capacitance touch screens hit the market. I think this makes the action natural and usage natural enough that even if the concept was original when they filed it the market shows that it's common sense now. I think they will lose this one.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


    Apple (and a few others) have become little more than patent trolling bullies, and it's time it came to a stop.



    "little more than"

    "patent trolling"



    Hyperbole much? If only they had products and services on the market and used the patents they create¡
  • Reply 4 of 171
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    You know what would be far more relevant that a GIANT picture of an iPhone?



    A picture or video of the Samsung copy of it so we can actually make informed comments.



    They have already been granted this patent so it will pretty much be a slam dunk for anyone using a similar looking method, but it's impossible to know how similar the SII is because you neglected to include any information on it.



    Galaxy Nexus:





    You slide the lock to the right to unlock it...it isn't along a predetermined path though as long as the end point is the same



    Galaxy SII





    You slide the entire image out the way...in any direction I believe.





    hardly a copy.
  • Reply 5 of 171
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


    The more rational among us know that there's absolutely no case here, and that'll likely be what the courts determine as well.



    Apple (and a few others) have become little more than patent trolling bullies, and it's time it came to a stop.



    It's patented by Apple. You either defend your patents or lose them. Deal with it.
  • Reply 6 of 171
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member




    This is the default slide to unlock for Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
  • Reply 7 of 171
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    You know what would be far more relevant that a GIANT picture of an iPhone?



    A picture or video of the Samsung copy of it so we can actually make informed comments.



    ...



    Absolutely true...



    By the way, there's a plethora of methods to unlock any Android device... I don't see the point in going after one of them. Licensing is clearly too civilized a solution for this late in the fight, and removing it from the stock OS would have zero real world effect...
  • Reply 8 of 171
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


    Galaxy Nexus:





    You slide the lock to the right to unlock it...it isn't along a predetermined path though as long as the end point is the same



    Galaxy SII





    You slide the entire image out the way...in any direction I believe.





    hardly a copy.



    The actual patent isn't about an icon but the interaction of the interface and unlocking the interface via a slide action.
  • Reply 9 of 171
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    It's patented by Apple. You either defend your patents or lose them. Deal with it.



    This is patented by Apple:







    Along with line art that resembles the image.



    The Galaxy Nexus implementation should not be covered by the patent.
  • Reply 10 of 171
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    The actual patent isn't about an icon but the interaction of the interface and unlocking the interface via a slide action.



    oh...so the patent is about the idea of interacting with a touch screen using a slide motion to initiate an action such as unlocking the device?
  • Reply 11 of 171
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    It's patented by Apple. You either defend your patents or lose them. Deal with it.



    No, that is copyright law. You don't automatically lose a patent for not enforcing it.
  • Reply 12 of 171
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member
    Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a pretty nice device. Very smooth. Camera is fast but quality sucks.
  • Reply 13 of 171
    srangersranger Posts: 469member
    Well,



    I have a Galaxy Nexus and I can say with 100% certainty, that it is NOT a slide to unlock feature. When you put you finger on the unlock icon, a floating circle appears. You can then move your finger in any (360 degree) direction and the ball follows. When you move close to an icon on the outer circle (Just two for now, Unlock and Camera) the ball snaps to the icon. If you lift your finger, it performs the action of the icon. For now it unlocks the phone or opens the camera app. In the next Android update, you will be able to put your own app icons on the circle and have it go straight to them......



    I just can't see how Apple is going to win this one....
  • Reply 14 of 171
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sranger View Post


    ... that it is NOT a slide to unlock feature.

    [...]

    When you move close to an icon on the outer circle (Just two for now.



    And how do you move to the other icon? Sliding.
  • Reply 15 of 171
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    It's patented by Apple. You either defend your patents or lose them. Deal with it.



    I think you mean a different form of IP
  • Reply 16 of 171
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    And how do you move to the other icon? Sliding.



    Then the Neonode N1m would be prior art
  • Reply 17 of 171
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    A picture or video of the Samsung copy of it so we can actually make informed comments.



    The nexus is a pure example of google android, samsung has not changed the operating system. Therefore it is not a 'samsung copy'



    Quote:

    They have already been granted this patent so it will pretty much be a slam dunk for anyone using a similar looking method, but it's impossible to know how similar the SII is because you neglected to include any information on it.



    Grated patents means little. Invalidation occurs routinely. Apple has to make it through a lawsuit, and any prior art the patent examiner was not aware of before gaining any benefit.
  • Reply 18 of 171
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


    The more rational among us know that there's absolutely no case here, and that'll likely be what the courts determine as well.



    Apple (and a few others) have become little more than patent trolling bullies, and it's time it came to a stop.



    The more rational among us know that the original intent of the patent laws was to protect patent holders from others' leeching off their work. Using patent law in the original spirit of the law does not make you a patent trolling bully.
  • Reply 19 of 171
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post


    Then the Neonode N1m would be prior art



    No, it wouldn't. The Neonode device does not use slide to unlock. Samsung is pretending that ANY sliding action must be prior art - and that's just not so.



    But then, what would you expect from a company whose attorneys in a trade dress suit can't even tell the difference between the original and their copy?
  • Reply 20 of 171
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    You know what would be far more relevant that a GIANT picture of an iPhone?



    A picture or video of the Samsung copy of it so we can actually make informed comments.



    They have already been granted this patent so it will pretty much be a slam dunk for anyone using a similar looking method, but it's impossible to know how similar the SII is because you neglected to include any information on it.



    I tested a Galaxy Nexus for 30 days with my IP4s. It does not look or feel or imitate the iPhone at all! It is almost 5 inches long and it does not use a slide to unlock like the iPhone...it shows a picture of a lock and you move it in the general direction to the right to unlock. You can also use facial recognition as well. Apple is really stretching with this one.

    I chose to keep the IP4s...it is a better all around device and the battery last so much longer.
Sign In or Register to comment.