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Apple Patents: Germany Court Dismisses Slide to Unlock

By - Source: TUAW | B 13 comments

Apple's Slide to Unlock feature's patent gets pulled in Germany and the Netherlands.

As Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, he was very proud and excited about all of its unique features, adding “and boy have we patented it!” Apple has been up to its neck in patent disputes in the past month, and now another one has been thrown into the ranks. A German court has dismissed the patents for the Slide to Unlock feature.

This was a move in response to a revision of patents law in Europe, where the laws are more stringent and specify that patents can only be technical solutions to technical problems. On top of that, a Swedish phone called the Neonode N1m, which was released in 2005, had the same technology as the iPhone, only months before. As patents are very subjective and can vary by interpretation from judge to judge, it is not surprising to see that at least one court has dismissed this claim by Apple.

Coincidentally, a Dutch court also came to the same conclusion using the same evidence. Apple naturally plans to appeal this decision, but the question remains whether this latest development spells the end or is only the beginning of more Apple patent disputes. Patents laws in the United States are fundamentally different than foreign jurisdiction, although recent discussions have begun in an attempt to make the U.S. system more like their foreign counterparts, which in turn could spell an end to companies trying to patent every whim they have.

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    patrick47018 , April 11, 2013 4:17 AM
    This is good, I don't like Apple. They are worse than EA. They should of gotten Worst Company of the Year. Lulz. Go Germany
  • 15 Hide
    house70 , April 11, 2013 4:11 AM
    At least a couple of judges that think with their brains, not their wallets... Good job.
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    kartu , April 11, 2013 3:56 AM
    "As patents are very subjective and can vary by interpretation from judge to judge, it is not surprising to see that at least one court has dismissed this claim by Apple."

    "At least one" and even that only because judges are subjective, right...
  • 1 Hide
    dark_wizzie , April 11, 2013 4:00 AM
    Lol.
  • 0 Hide
    Memnarchon , April 11, 2013 4:02 AM
    :pt1cable: 
  • 15 Hide
    house70 , April 11, 2013 4:11 AM
    At least a couple of judges that think with their brains, not their wallets... Good job.
  • 16 Hide
    patrick47018 , April 11, 2013 4:17 AM
    This is good, I don't like Apple. They are worse than EA. They should of gotten Worst Company of the Year. Lulz. Go Germany
  • 0 Hide
    ankit0x1 , April 11, 2013 6:18 AM
    hahahA
  • 4 Hide
    wiyosaya , April 11, 2013 6:53 AM
    What's up with the comment system?? Broken, is it? Can't post comments more than a few lines long?
  • 1 Hide
    Blessedman , April 11, 2013 2:02 PM
    Apple is trying to stifle innovation in an attempt to always stay ahead of the curve. This is a fair use item. It would have been like Mercedes Benz patenting not just their lock mechanism for their cars but the concept behind it. We would all still be driving 2/mpg clunkers. They want to slow the progress of tech so they can keep making smaller increments in technology and charge out the nose for it. I really hope the US stops this nonsense within the USA while everywhere else companies can prosper.
  • 2 Hide
    eijiyuki , April 11, 2013 2:40 PM
    So the rest of the world gives Apple the finger besides the United States? Pretty funny
  • 0 Hide
    Camikazi , April 11, 2013 2:52 PM
    Didn't the iPhone get released in 2007? If so that is a lot more than "only months before" like you stated in the article.
  • 0 Hide
    jigawatt , April 11, 2013 3:19 PM
    And to think that Apple was recently awarded the design patent in the US for both swipe to unlock ui and rounded corners... ick. The US Patent system needs a serious overhaul.
  • 0 Hide
    sam buddy , April 11, 2013 9:54 PM
    Hope this goes on, and not just for Apple. There are baskets full of Apples out there.
  • 0 Hide
    techcurious , April 14, 2013 11:21 PM
    Quote:
    Didn't the iPhone get released in 2007? If so that is a lot more than "only months before" like you stated in the article.

    Different time zones? I kid I kid...