“Apple Inc patents covering the ‘slide to unlock’ feature on smartphones are invalid, Germany’s highest appeals court ruled on Tuesday, reaffirming a 2013 decision rejecting the U.S. company’s claims by a lower court,” Eric Auchard and Peter Maushagen report for Reuters.
“In a statement, the appeals court said it confirmed a ruling by the lower Federal Patent Court that canceled Apple’s German patent, based on the technique’s similarity to a phone released by Swedish company Neonode Inc a year before the iPhone’s 2007 launch,” Auchard and Maushagen report. “The Neonode N1 had substantially similar technical features, the patent court had found. It ruled Apple’s easier-to-use interface was not in itself patentable.”
“Neonode sold tens of thousands of phones before declaring bankruptcy in 2008,” Auchard and Maushagen report. “Motorola Mobility, at the time a unit of Google Inc but now owned by China’s Lenovo Group Ltd, filed the original suit in a Munich court against the Apple user interface patent. Apple won that case but the ruling was later overturned by the federal patent court.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: So you can judge for yourself, here’s a video of the Neonode N1m, which launched in Q1 2005, unlocking (starts at 4:14):
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