Patents: Apple wins over Motorola in 'slide-to-unlock' ruling
Published: 16th Feb 2012 18:13:17
Apple has won a patent dispute against Motorola Mobility regarding a "slide-to-unlock" feature on smartphones.
The judgement marks Apple's first patent victory over Motorola in any part of the world.
Patent consultant Florian Mueller said the ruling could affect patent disputes involving Android device makers worldwide.
Motorola said it planned to appeal and the judgement would have "no impact" on supply or future sales.
A spokeswoman for the Motorola said: "Today's ruling in the patent litigation brought by Apple in Munich, Germany, concerns a software feature related to phone unlocking in select Motorola devices sold in Germany.
"Motorola has implemented a new design for the feature. Therefore, we expect no impact on current supply or future sales."
Apple said it would not be commenting on the decision.
Motorola Mobility is in the process of being acquired by Google, and most of its handsets run on the search firm's mobile operating system, Android.
The Android system is Apple's closest rival in the mobile market.
Mr Mueller, a patent expert who has in the past consulted for Microsoft, described the ruling as a "very significant win for Apple against Android".
"After Google closes the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the Apple-Motorola Mobility dispute will soon gain importance transcending that of the global battle with Samsung," he said.
While this decision relates solely to activity in the German market, the decision could potentially help Apple with other patent disputes in other parts of the world, Mr Mueller added.
"Apple is already asserting the slide-to-unlock patent in different jurisdictions against all three leading Android device makers and might use it against even more of them going forward."
The patent in question - EP1964022 - relates to the process of unlocking a smartphone by simply swiping a finger from one area of the screen to another.
A second patent ruling, which covers a method of scrolling through pictures in a photo gallery on mobile device, was also due on Thursday but was postponed by the court.
Producer designer Geoff McCormick strips down an iPhone to explain patents
At 22:39:30 in SportThe Premiership game between Crusaders and Irish League champions Cliftonville on Saturday has been switched from Seaview to Solitude.
At 22:39:22 in BusinessTechnology giant Apple reported profits of $10.2bn (£6.1bn) after selling 43.7 million iPhones during the three-month period ending 29 March.
At 22:33:12 in EntertainmentUS actress Jodie Foster has married her girlfriend, Alexandra Hedison, the actress' representative confirms.
At 22:29:03 in BusinessTroubled online game-maker Zynga reported a first-quarter loss of $61m (£36m).
At 22:26:07 in SportGreat Britain's hopes of World Championship promotion were ended by a 2-1 defeat to Lithuania in Vilnius.
At 22:17:12 in EnglandA robot has been used in a children's ward to allow patients to communicate with each other and with staff.
At 22:03:05 in SportNorthern Ireland's Mark Allen progressed to the second round of the World Championship thanks to a comfortable 10-4 win over Michael Holt.
At 21:43:34 in BusinessSocial networking giant Facebook reported profits of $642m (£383m) during the first quarter of 2014, beating analyst expectations.
At 21:25:17 in Northern IrelandThe Irish education minister has proposed a radical shake-up of the further education sector.
At 21:24:30 in SportAndy Murray says he has whittled down his list of potential new coaches to "seven or eight" candidates.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Patents: Apple wins over Motorola in 'slide-to-unlock' ruling [Online] (Updated 16th Feb 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/225851/Patents-Apple-wins-over-Motorola-in-slide-to-unlock-ruling [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
The cost of drugs is in the headlines following the decision by NHS watchdog NICE that a new cancer treatment should not be funded.
Private parking firms paid more than £6m to the DVLA for the names and addresses of drivers in the past year - an increase of 28%, figures suggest.
Griff Rhys Jones has withdrawn from becoming Cardiff University's new chancellor just two weeks after an embarrassing debacle which saw his appointment halted at the last minute.