Germany quashes Apple's patent on unlocking iPhones

Apr 05, 2013
A woman uses her mobile phone outside an Apple store in Shanghai on May 7, 2012. Germany's patent court invalidated a patent held by Apple—and contested by rivals Motorola and Samsung—on its "slide to unlock" function for smartphones, but the ruling can still be appealed.

Germany's patent court invalidated Friday a patent held by Apple—and contested by rivals Motorola and Samsung—on its "slide to unlock" function for smartphones, but the ruling can still be appealed.

The federal patent court ruled that the the horizontal swiping gesture was not a in itself and therefore did not meet requirements of European .

The aim of the function was to make it easier for users to unlock their smartphone and not solve a specific technical problem, the court argued.

Apple can still appeal the ruling.

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User comments : 3

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4.5 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2013
Much as I'm on Apple's side, you can't patent basics like that. There are only 2 ways to activate a touch screen, stationary and moving touch and to patent one of them is baloney. If that's patentable then it belongs to the inventor of the touch screen.
5 / 5 (1) Apr 05, 2013
Agreed, if you have a touch screen as an interface, then touching and the way you touch the screen is the input method. The input is interpreted by a program. The possibility to patent simple functions invoked by simple inputs is way to stupid. Completly lacking an inventive component. Maybe l should try to patent a U-guesture to unlock the screen or device.
not rated yet Apr 06, 2013
Patenting a gesture is absurd. There's no tech involved.

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