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German court invalidates Apple’s ‘slide to unlock’ patent

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Published : 2013-04-05 20:31
Updated : 2013-04-05 20:31

A German court has invalidated Apple’s patents related to its “slide-to-unlock” user interface.

The German Federal Patent Court said Thursday that it found all claims of Apple’s “slide-to-unlock” interface property invalid.

Apple Insider, an Internet IT news provider in U.S., said “the German court noted that Apple’s patent claim for a swiping gesture, the only new enhancement to prior art, doesn’t meet certain requirements of European patent law.

“This so-called inventive step, which is needed to uphold a patent’s claims, was deemed software as such and not a requisite technical innovation to a technical problem.”

In the end, Apple’s patent is somewhat irrelevant as manufacturers have implemented similar design workarounds that accomplish the same basic slide to unlock functionality, which is used on veritably all smartphones, according to Apple Insider.

The German ruling is a setback for Apple, which has pressed the patent against Google’s Motorola and Samsung in courts across Europe in attempts to secure injunctions preventing the companies’ devices from being sold, another tech news provider CNET reported.

Slide-to-unlock functionality has become a major sticking point across Europe. Apple has charged both Motorola and Samsung with violating patents related to the functionality, which is familiar to all smartphone users, according to CNET.

(From news reports)

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