back to article Apple slide-to-unlock spat with Samsung hits the buffers

A judge in Germany has put the brakes on Apple's complaint that Samsung copied its slide-to-unlock technology while awaiting the outcome of a separate lawsuit progressing elsewhere in the country. The court in Mannheim announced it won't be doing any more legal stuff on the smartphone feature until proceedings in Munich have …


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  1. JaitcH

    All this legal baloney is boring ...

    and Apple seems to forget it is the Defendant is over 800 claims whereas it is Plaintiff in only a few tens of actions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      so everything that

      is decided by Germany becomes world law?

      The last time they had this much influence was in 1941....

      They've finally even managed to annex Greece,.

  2. Graham Wilson

    Shades of the past resurface.

    Those who have been around for a while will remember the Motorola flip-open-to-answer patent. To dodge it Nokia introduced the considerably less convenient slide-to-answer arrangement.

    Now it's here we go again, and again.

    It's time governments legislated to stop trivial patents, for in the long run they cost users/consumers considerable money not to mention inconvenience, waste of human time and effort, and of course, the lining of lawyers' pockets.

    Right, I've already spotted the fault in my logic: the most predominant species in our governments are lawyers.

    1. despairing citizen

      Re: Shades of the past resurface.

      perhaps we should look to a slight alteration of Joseph Stalin's thoughts on diplomats

      Ah, these lawyers! What chatterboxes! There's only one way to shut them up - cut them down with machine guns. Bulganin, go and get me one!

      the only difference is that somebody might notice a missing diplomat or two, as they are on occasion useful, unlike software patent lawyers

  3. Thomas 18
    Thumb Down

    "something everyone who's not a patent lawyer is hoping for."

    Not me, I want them to sue each other more and more with ever more ridiculous patents so we can burn the system out. Maybe then we will actually get a workable IP system.

    Otherwise what happens is the big boys all settle and play nice while driving off anyone else who isn't in the patent holders mega-club.

  4. despairing citizen

    Apple to Patent Patents and sue everybody

    Which point of patently obvious access method did the twit in the patent office miss.

    The problem is that Rotten Core, Micro$haft, and lots of other "not into real R&D" outfits have been granted patents on stuff that quite frankly is blindingly obvious to any proffesional in that field (and hence not eligible for a patent)

    e.g. patent for identifying contact information in a text message!

    Sorry I was writing code to scrape adress details out of free text data back in the 80's using a command in the original version of COBOL code designed for such activity, and so was evey other coder when presented with the same business problem. But the US Prat office (sorry Patent Office), handed out a patent for this (obvious and easily id'd as prior art)

  5. John Hawkins

    So what - Neonode had a slide-to-unlock long before Apple

    US Pat. No. 8,095,879. Filing date Dec 10, 2002 and issue date Jan 10, 2012 it would seem.

    Move along folks, just another meaningless feeding frenzy for lawyers.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple Watching?

    It is interesting to note that on the Reg and elsewhere, that when anything slightly critical of apple is ever mentioned, the posts get down votes, but no reply saying why the voter disagreed with the post. (strange in that somebody disagreed enough to go to the effort of voting, but not point out why they think the post is wrong or misleading)

    It's almost like apple paying a PR firm to monitor technology forums, and manage any negative publicity.

    Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean astrotrurfing doesn't exist

    1. John McCallum

      Re: Apple Watching?

      You have to remember that they have only learned to read writing is a whole new ball game©®™

    2. Keep Refrigerated

      Re: Apple Watching?

      I imagine post-decision dissonance accounts for a lot of it as well.

    3. aThingOrTwo

      Re: Apple Watching?

      Whenever any says anything positive about Apple it gets down votes without any explanation as well. You are paranoid.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple Watching?

        "Whenever any says anything positive about Apple it gets down votes without any explanation as well. You are paranoid."

        Down votes without explanation for anything positive about apple, that sounds like sounds like reverse astroturfing by microsoft and google (hell, anybody that apple has managed to piss off in the IT world in the last 20 years,, so we'll just round it up to everybody's a suspect)

        Remember the truth is out there.....

        .......but repeating it is an offence under the official secrets acts

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple Watching?

      Sorry but Microsoft have a patent on Astroturfing

  7. Anonymous Coward

    These people are just pathetic

    Next they'll be trying to patent the "turn-to-change-value knob"

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: These people are just pathetic

      But only if it goes upto 10

      theres prior art if it goes to 11

    2. dssf

      Re: These people are just pathetic

      The next iPhone will have little thumb dials (like Star Trek's communicator), and they'll claim a trademark the terms "change the dial" and "dial to a new channel"...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My Lavatory door has a slide to unlock feature, hadn't realised it was an apple product until this artice.... yup its white, and its designers were definately thinking how best to take the piss...

    1. mfraz

      Re: iLavatory

      Does it have rounded corners too? Then it must be a new Apple product!

  9. silent_count

    I can only hope that these companies eventually manage to annoy the legislators enough that the entire patient system ends up getting disbanded.

  10. Sirius Lee

    This could get dangerous for all of us

    The EU doesn't support software patents and, at the moment, they are not enforceable here except in the narrow circumstance that the software is tied to the hardware. If this were to change, the EU would be at a severe disadvantage because it would then have to enforce US (and other) patents which have been building up for many years while EU citizens have none to protect because we've not been allow to make the claim.

    On the face of it this is not going to change. No EU parliament or government is going sanction giving the US such a prize. But the courts might.

    The 'swipe to unlock' feature is clearly just software. A phone does not *need* this feature to be locked or unlocked - a button or entering a number or pressing an on-screen button will do just as well. By contrast an engine management system *needs* software with specific characteristics to operate. However it seem these distinctions are not clearly in the minds of the judiciary when considering these case.

    Or maybe these cases are being fought in Germany in the hope judges there may be more inclined to equate smarphone software with, say, a BMW engine management system. Maybe Mannheim is waiting on BMW's home town for just this reason.

    The consequence of judges upholding Apple's claims could be profound. This would set a precedent that US software patents are enforceable in the EU. While this would take a while to play out, companies with deep pockets which also hold US patents could then start protesting their cases in EU courts.

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