Can Apple really sue Google or Microsoft for using its patented sliding on/off switch?

Does every Android device now infringe this Apple’s “Slide to Unlock” Patent? “Or, for that matter, every Windows 8 device? Well, yes, they probably do,” Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports for ZDNet.

“But does that mean that Apple is really going to be using this patent to sue everyone and anyone who uses the slide metaphor in their design? I asked some prominent intellectual property (IP) lawyers about it and this is what they said, ” Vaughan-Nichols reports. “The consensus seems to be that this particular patent won’t be seen used in anger inside a courtroom any time soon.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Asking uninvolved paries about what Apple’s going to do is a sure recipe for getting iCal’ed.

Related articles:
Apple’s ‘Slide to Unlock’ patent stirs up a hornet’s nest in Taiwan – October 28, 2011
Like Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows 8 looks like it violates Apple’s new ‘Slide to unlock’ patent – October 26, 2011


  1. Apple asks for royalties or to stop.

    Google replies “OK, now you have the patent, “We are moving Android to a Tap To Unlock.” so we don’t infringe.

    No big deal. Writers do not understand the ways you get around patents.

    1. Google can’t just get around this, because there are millions of devices out there that violate the patent. Apple can sue, for damages, which I think are treble. If Apple is able to show that the value of androids violations is on the order of $100, and there are 100,000,000 android devices out there, then google would owe apple $10B. Maybe google can afford that, but it is a big impact.

  2. The slide to unlock is brilliant. Looking back now, it’s on of those “Duh” ideas that you can’t believe even needed invented (whether Apple did or not), but I doubt there is anyone here whose phone never called someone from their pocket. Even clamshell designs were always doing that to me. But “Apple’s” innovation has all but fixed that for me.

    1. Exactly. It is a very useful invention for touch screen pocket devices and Apple thought of it, and had the presence of mind to patent it. Why would they give away that prime distinguishing feature of iPhones? Tap to unlock? That would not be effective as it is easy accident apply an accident touch or tap to a screen in pocket of purse. I am sure there are other methods to be applied by other manufacturers, but it is up to them to develop them. I say, make ’em work around it; don’t give it away. In fact, I believe that they are obligated to protect it if they don’t want it to go into public domain.

  3. In the article, it indicates that prior art likely exists regarding this patent (Neonode N1m). Hence, I seriously doubt you’ll ever see Apple try to litigate using this patent.

    1. Yes they are. But look around you at what troll companies are suing about and winning. Apple did not start this war, but they are stocking up on ammo.

      Just a thought,

    2. No, It’s not absurd. It may seem simple . . . now . . . but a lot of thought went into solving how to easily turn on a touch screen phone without accidentally draining the battery.

      All the competitors have to do is change their software. It’s not hard and there are all kinds of ideas of how to do it without copying Apple.

  4. With patents today, its not just about suing, its about having a patent so some one else, like a patent troll cannot sue you for their just getting some stupid prior art patent and suing you..

    Case in point, Apple is being sued for infringing on a patent just issues to a patent troll ..

    Just a thought,

  5. “Can Apple really sue Google or Microsoft for using its patented sliding on/off switch?”

    Well, someone thought pretty highly of the concept of clicking 1 button to buy something on a web page.

  6. I think a $5 licensing fee for every Android and Microsoft phone sounds about right. Apple’s lawyers did indicate that they would be willing to license some “low level” patents, just not the more important ones.


  7. You guys ar such lame apple fanboyz…
    such a trivial the fact that android is killing apples market share is the only reason they are suing… and that stupid little function takes no genius to code. Read a book get a clue

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.