Samsung Galaxy Nexus violates Apple's slide-to-unlock utility patent

22 January 2012 by
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The latest news from the continuous court battle between Apple and Samsung: Apple claims Samsung infringe slide-to-unlock utility model on the Galaxy Nexus Android smartphone

Apple suing Samsung for slide-to-unlock fuctionality 

The two electronic giants are having a war going on in the courts in Germany. Samsung recently lost one out of seven infringement claims they have against Apple in Germany. These are patents related to 3g/UMTS functionality.

There have been three court hearings where the slide-to-unlock invention was discussed. One in December where Apple's raised a slide-to-unlock patent lawsuit against Samsung. The second one is a case where Apple fought against Motorola over the same patent. And now the case by Apple against Samsung with a utility model. We are far from expert in intellectual property law, but if we have understand this correctly the utility models are a registration of a claimed invention without an examination if the invention already is registered.

The interesting here is that Apple is going after the "Google Phone" Galaxy Nexus made by Samsung without suing Google. They slide-to-unlock functionality is one out of many ways to unlock an Android smartphone, so the most logically step is to target the infringement claims against Google which are responsible for Android. Apple has not done that. They are for some reason going after Samsung and Motorola.

The independent intellectual property analyst Florian Mueller runs the blog Foss Patents which are following the Samsung vs Apple cases closely. He is quite bussy these days, with several updates daily with news from the German court house. If you wish to follow Samsung vs Apple on a daily basis we recommend you to read his blog.

We are sometimes wonder if anyone cares about these court battles. Do you?

Anyway. The court will make a decision on March 16. 

Apple slide to unlock patent 

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tranced12 years, 6 months ago
The year hasn't started well and here they go again. This is getting out of control IMO and I mean by the part of Apple.
yark12 years, 6 months ago
I had slide to unlock on my backyard gate when i was 5 years old.

Next they'll patent breathing and you'll have to pay them fees to live. Oh doesn't accept licensing fees, they'll just want you to die instead.

I seriously hate the Apple brand. They can't innovate their way out of a paper bag anymore.
They're going to lose this patent suit anyway. In the diagram above there is an item labled 404. This is the groove that the slide travels along. That does not exist on the Android device, hence, it is not the same.

Google's is more of a "Circle to unlock."
Bonovox12 years, 6 months ago
Oh for god sake now come on Apple you cannot be serious now. Next they'll be suing coz they put the on off switch in the same place where does this shit end?? Or the screen is the same size or shape. And please Apple fans stop giving excuses for them. Its not just Samsung that has a slide to unlock its Android too and that ain't even the point. @yark funny comment in your back gate Visit forum to view images Samsung also never wrote the software its Google. Apple never invented slide to unlock

Material things don't matter,but Rock n Roll does!!!!

Nokia Lumia 800
[ This Message was edited by: Bonovox on 2012-01-22 05:49 ]
masteryang8812 years, 6 months ago
Apple's losin it LMAO
buntoo12 years, 6 months ago
Bonovox12 years, 6 months ago
Still think this is really pathetic.
skblakee12 years, 6 months ago
Apple need to just take this behind the scenes and negotiate.
Bonovox12 years, 6 months ago
But this one is so lame of them. And it is Google who make the software in this device so why is Samsung being picked on yet again?? Samsung actually makes its own swipe screen to unlock on its Touchwiz interface. And Apple never invented slide to unlock did they??
Run_dawn1012 years, 6 months ago
I use a Mac and I'm really happy with it but things like this makes me ashamed of owning a Mac.
It seems that Apple is now focusing on crushing its competitors (namely Samsung, HTC and Motorola) instead on innovation.
Bravo Apple, I'm getting a Dell XPS to replace this MacBook Pro.
Plus, the default ICS locking mechanism doesn't even resemble the iOS equivalent.
[ This Message was edited by: Run_dawn10 on 2012-01-23 15:16 ]
Bonovox12 years, 6 months ago
Yes Dell is good.
Miss UK12 years, 5 months ago
The iPhone I think has always had the ring pull since it launched!
(Masseur Quote me on this)
anyway looking at all this I guess apple dislike how other manufacturers cannot come up with there own thing
before the iPhone came along where was Touchscreen phones? had there P9 Series
just looking at this makes people flip but thinking about it
Apple are only protecting themselves from other manufacturers to lame to
stump up there own ideas in there software, Android is a great deal similar to iOS
but the Android system brings in more features (live stuff, customization)
the android platform is becoming a large bit of tech more people are buying it
as it starts from lower prices then the i-Devices
Apple prob just dislike how big it's become and will try and stop the threat in any dumb way if possible!
I myself am torn between the 2 platforms
I cannot help that I like my iPhone abit more then the android phone now though
Bonovox12 years, 5 months ago
Oh please don't make me laugh. Protecting themselves?? Apple are only interested in THEMSELVES. They are even like I said before suing the wrong people. Its not Samsung its Google who made the software. And nearly all touch screens have had a slide unlock system since the invention of touch screens. Weather you slide it up down right or left. Samsung have their own way of unlocking their screens in their own phones. The Nexus software is not made by Samsung. And Apple never invented touch screen unlock either and Apple have copied many ideas from Android as well as others. Pull down notification is one. Other manufacturers have plenty of their own ideas Miss UK. Virtually nothing is copied from Apple and most features other manufacturers had way before iPhone existed. And exactly where is iOS similar to Android??

Material things don't matter,but Rock n Roll does!!!!

Nokia Lumia 800
[ This Message was edited by: Bonovox on 2012-01-24 15:43 ]
adsada12 years, 5 months ago
Say Android did get inspiration from iOS's unlock switch, so what? Is it really that big a deal? It's what happens in capitalism, competition! I could say Apple are shockingly bad for using a drag down notification bar in their recent iOS update. That, if anything, is far worse because that's actually a unique idea unlike a bloody unlock switch!
Apple know their iOS really has no future in a long run, it cannot sustain only being released on only Apple hardware and the look of it, which now is starting to look very dated. But they have a shit load of savings, so they're spending this $$$ on trying to block all competition through dirty tactics and top class lawyers.
At the end of the day Apple believe Android is a copy of iOS and as such is stealing potential customers. However if Android didn't exist I would never buy an iPhone.
Bonovox12 years, 5 months ago
Google have said nothing to Apple about the drop down notification bar. They should have sued Apple for it.
Miss UK12 years, 5 months ago
if your handsets broke tomorrow and you had to use a actual iPhone cos nothing was available
to you/short of cash etc
I'd like to see what comments you would be posting
all this activity really is a utter bore "WHO CARES WHO CARES"
let APPLE Sue the World if they have to
im sure members have better things to do then moan about phones all day
who give a rats a$$
[ This Message was edited by: Miss UK on 2012-01-24 17:38 ]
adsada12 years, 5 months ago

On 2012-01-24 18:34:26, Miss UK wrote:
if your handsets broke tomorrow and you had to use a actual iPhone cos nothing was available
to you/short of cash etc
I'd like to see what comments you would be posting
all this activity really is a utter bore "WHO CARES WHO CARES"
let APPLE Sue the World if they have to
im sure members have better things to do then moan about phones all day
who give a rats a$$
[ This Message was edited by: Miss UK on 2012-01-24 17:38 ]

Haha seriously, you just asked me to imagine a scenario that would be impossible to find myself in...where I opt for overpriced phone because I am short of cash. My dad has the iPhone and I have used it many a time, its crap. You feel so restrained in what you can do, plus the screen is tinnnnnny.
If this activity is 'utter bore' then why do you comment your opinion in this thread, effectively being part of the utter bore? Last time I checked this forum is all about mobiles, and allowing people to post their opinions on issues surrounding phones...
Bonovox12 years, 5 months ago
I'd go & buy a cheap Huawei Android handset called the Blaze
Miss UK12 years, 5 months ago
@ Asda, I do not feel restrained in anyway the handset does alot more for people who need not the ones who slag it of
The screen isn't a problem Tiny as you put it neither!
I actually am not a fan of HUGE Slabphones with 5inch screens anyhow

Erm why did I bother posting here? I dunno tbh but its all pretty funny though isn't it
Bonovox12 years, 5 months ago
Funny?? I ain't laughing at Apple trying to take the whole competition down so we are just stuck to a world of only Apple phones. It's like a bloody dictatorship As Steve Jobs said he wanted to destroy Android & it seems his hench men are still doing it after he has gone. @Miss UK you just called asada after a supermarket Asda
Miss UK12 years, 5 months ago
Theres always Windows phones right?
lol Even Siri fails to comment on Android
I just think let them get on with it may the best one win at the end
I like both iOS and Android but I have a 4S
and I cannot help the fact that, Phone works better for myself personally at the moment
as a avid music fan the iPhone ticks that for me and the gaming on it
is fantantic even my partner has said its better at handling games than his HTC Sensation!
he isn't much of Apple fan himself but he has learn't to deal with me having these iphones
lol asada sorry about the asda
adsada12 years, 5 months ago

On 2012-01-24 19:13:25, Miss UK wrote:
lol asada sorry about the asda

I was about to say!
haha, I but to the topic in hand, I too agree that a 5+" handset is too big, but I still believe that 3.5" is silly. My arc's 4.2" is just right IMO, its perfect for watching movies on the go. The fact Apple refuse to expand on their screen size is ludicrous, sure not everyone wants a large screen but there is still a market for it, if you want iOS you have to make do with a tiny screen. Sure not everyone does, but would producing a model to cater for these users be so hard? Sony has a range of large and small screen handsets screen sizes. Yes back in 2007 3.5" looked pretty impressive it 'aint no longer!
Bonovox12 years, 5 months ago
I remember the days when I thought a QVGA screen was amazing
etaab12 years, 5 months ago
Talk about out-of-the-mouth-of-babes this guy has only just signed up and i can honestly say i couldnt have put it better myself in such a simple condensed form.

On 2012-01-22 04:57:55, yark wrote:
I had slide to unlock on my backyard gate when i was 5 years old.

@ Miss UK - if say for example Apple did get their way and managed to get every other manufacturer out there banned from selling mobile phones, so we all had to buy iPhones, which could be very possible in a country with a dictatorship installed that did a deal with Apple, yeah i would happily use an iPhone. I do like iPhones, ive been in the Apple store this evening playing with the 4S thinking how nice it is and how id like one (as a collector rather than main use), but i would feel really constricted and as though im missing out on much better things that i could get with other platforms.
Supa_Fly12 years ago
Something interesting that I've found.
Apple's a gesture Patent in the USA is EP1964022? One thing we have to remember is that Patents are Very very specific; if too vague the patents can run the industry into submission or no longer be valued for what is intended.
Of ALL the news and even that 9:56min you tube video NO PRESS has actually officially stated the specific NeoNode patent arguing against Apple. More to the point is that NoeNode used a phrase NOT an image nor does their slide to unlock can be exited by a spring in mid action by the user at will! Furthermore, Neonode has not stated how their action is executed.
There are a number of patents that are uncannily similar that we have ALL seen yet the way in which their executed makes them unique. Apple is not the only one to goto court over mobile device patents - think NTP against RIM in their prime for their NOC PUSH rice implementation (Motorola also was sued but settled VERY early in court proceedings and paid a bargain, meh a STEAL compared to RIM.
I'm curious who has the actual patent number and link to describe the Neonode patent. ?? I'm very curious because I'd like to find out. I already spent hours on google searching havent found it.
Supa_Fly12 years ago
Update! Ivefinally found it

A particularly good quote from good investigation...
As I pointed out in an earlier piece, Neonode -- a small Swedish phone manufacturer -- was the first to deploy the technology commercially.  And it also appears to be the first to have patented swipe-to-unlock.
I initially missed this, as it was buried in U.S. Patent No. 8,095,879.
But there it is -- in "User interface for mobile handheld computer unit."  Fig. 11 and Fig. 12 (pg. 5).

And the interface element is covered by Claim 12:
12. The computer readable medium of claim 1, wherein the user interface is characterised in, that an active application, function, service or setting is advanced one step by gliding the object along the touch sensitive area from left to right, and that the active application, function, service or setting is closed or backed one step by gliding the object along the touch sensitive area from right to left.
Now Neonode is perhaps not suing everyone because it kindly limited its own patent, writing
In the case that the patent was deemed non-novel at some point and redundant with existing drag-and-drop IP, Neonode attempts to strengthen it with a secondary claim:
12. The computer readable medium of claim 1, wherein the touch sensitive area is 2-3 inches in diagonal dimension.
What a novel notion -- a company narrowing its own patent to cover only what it actually has designed!  While we'll never know if this narrowing was intentional or inadvertent, either way.
Despite the apparent strength and broad scope of its patent, Neonode declined/missed its opportunity to try to cash in on its user interface innovation at the expense of stalling the mobile market with crippling lawsuits (as Apple is currently doing).
II. Is There a Difference Between These Patents?
Now let us review the matter at hand:
Neonode filed for a patent on swipe to unlock 3 years before Apple did.
Neonode's swipe to unlock gesture is identical to that found on the iPhone -- a fluid left-to-right motion.
Apple is now suing people over the technology it "borrowed" (presumably without permission) from Neonode and applied for two patents -- U.S. Patent No. 7,657,849 and U.S. Patent No. 8,046,721 on.
Let me address a point of contention I received in an email.  Yes, Neonode's display is resistive (diodes-based) touch design, where as Apple's screen is capacitive touch.  But ultimately this does not have any major affect the algorithm, as we see it on the original iPhone.  And bear in mind, Apple is not patenting capacitive multi-touch.  Other people have already done that.  
Indeed Apple's patent doesn't even mention capacitive touch in its claims.  It claims the invention of the gesture on "a touch-sensitive display" (See Claim 1 of first patent) -- a term which encompasses both resistive and capacitive touch displays.
So is there any difference between Apple's claim and Neonode's?  
It would be tempting to state that there is some sort of graphical difference looking at the iPhone versus the Neonode n1, which featured the slide-to-unlock.  But the patents are ambiguous enough they don't confine themselves specific look to the unlock mechanism (that would be more appropriate for a design patent, anyhow).
So if the difference is not graphical, what is it?
Apple's algorithm appears to have two unique claims, compared to Neonode's.  But they're actually not unique at all.  Let's discuss why.
First it claims dragging a graphic.  But let's see -- this has been done for over two decades before the filing via the ubiquitous "drag and drop"(who has this patent Xerox PARC or is it someone else by 2yrs; hmm).
Apple's only other seemingly unique claims is that its algorithm mentions that if the finger is removed during the swipe gesture, before the end point is reached, to cancel the result.  But ultimately, the Neonode patent simply did mention this.  If you swipe halfway across the Neonode phone (reaching the middle diode) and stop, you can't just click the endpoint several seconds later.  Neonode's algorithm was less explicit, but it appears to have the same mechanism as Apple's.  (See videos below.)
etaab12 years ago

On 2012-07-09 07:07:09, Prom1 wrote:
Something interesting that I've found.

Interesting to who ? certainly not me. Notice how nobody has posted in this thread for 6 months ?
Its because nobody really cares about defending Apple. Well apart from you of course.
goldenface12 years ago
Apple lost in the UK courts on this very claim. Common sense ruled for a change.
Bonovox12 years ago
Was watching the Dyson advert today and noticed they mentioned patents in it Visit forum to view images
goldenface12 years ago
What's wrong with that?

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