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Motorola found violating Apple slide-to-unlock patent

updated 11:35 am EST, Thu February 16, 2012

Motorola permanently banned on unlock motion

Apple won a crucial win against Motorola in a Munich court after it won a permanent ban against most Motorola uses of its slide-to-unlock patent. Motorola's current smartphones, though not its tablets, allegedly copy two techniques first seen in 2007 on the iPhone. A third representation leveled against the Xoom (and likely Xyboard) was exempted and likely points to Android 3 and 4 devices not being covered by the victory.

In keeping with German law, Apple as the winner has to enforce the ban against a bond. The company may have to sue or otherwise block individual store chains, although it could face countersuits much as HTC sued IPCom to try and stop it from enforcing its own patent trial win.

Motorola hasn't commented, but it's expected to appeal the case.

The Droid designer at first had early wins against Apple in Germany but now appears to be struggling to avoid legal setbacks. It was denied a 3G lawsuit less than one week ago and has so far had a call for a preliminary ban temporarily mitigated. Apple now has a standing victory of its own in Germany and will be forcing Motorola to either change the lock screen behavior on many phones or else push upgrades to those phones that would support Android 4.0. [via Florian Mueller]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Prior art?

    Given that there are literally billions of slide switches in existence and that there have been probably since the nineteenth century, it's seem that a literal, physical slide switch would be prior art for this software slide-to-unlock switch.

    About all you can do with a touch screen is tap, tap-and-hold, or tap-and-slide. Give four cardinal directions, that gives six moves a user can make. Apple has grabbed oen. If five other companies grab the rest, no one else can make touch screen devices. That seems a bit ridiculous.

  1. appleuzr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple did it first and patented it... enough said.

    There was no touch screen "slide to unlock" PDA, smartphone, computer, feature in existence before the iPhone. Apple created it and received a patent for their creation. There is really nothing to complain about here. Motorola has no right to copy something just because apple made it mainstream.

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