In December 2005, two years before the emergence of the first iPhone, it became known that Apple has filed a patent for “Slide-to-unlock”, which was described as follows: “the Device may be unlocked via gestures on the touch screen. The phone is unlocked, if the touch contact with the display of the phone match the predefined gesture for unlocking. The device displays one or more images, after which, it will be unlocked”. In other words, Apple had in mind has already become a standard way of unlocking smartphones that is currently used not only in the iPhone and many Android smartphones.
Why do we remember about this patent, after almost 10 years that have passed since the filing of the application for registration? By the decision of the Federal patent court of Germany patent American companies to “Slide-to-unlock” by Apple in the fall of 2011, declared invalid. The defendants in the present proceedings was made by Motorola and Samsung.
“Slide-to-unlock” (“Unblock” in the localized version) became the stumbling block for manufacturers of smartphones. Apple accused Motorola and Samsung of copyright infringement associated with this function. California Corporation began to use the patent in the war against the Galaxy Nexus in 2012, however, it appeared that Google filed a patent that describes how you interact with the device with one touch back in 2010.
In 2013, the Federal patent court of Germany decided that Apple’s patent on “Slide to unlock” is invalid. This decision was made by five judges, two of whom are engineers. The iPhone maker has filed an appeal in the Supreme court of the country, providing new data on a controversial feature. But to no avail: two years later the Supreme court rejected an appeal by Apple and invalidated “Slide-to-unlock”, thus confirming the lower court’s ruling. The court considered only one of the options using the “Slide-to-unlock”, alternatives are left unattended.
Apple’s efforts to prove infringement of a patent for “Slide-to-unlock” could not crowned with considerable success: the courts of Germany, the UK and the Netherlands sided with the defendants. In February 2012 in Germany was the preliminary injunction against two Motorola devices. In 2014, the iPhone maker won the case and sued the Korean company for patent infringement $120 million.