back to article Motorola monsters Apple's swipe-to-unlock patent in German court

Apple has suffered yet another setback in its Bleak House lawsuits, with another German court deciding to throw out its swipe-to-unlock patent. The ruling confirms an earlier decision that the patent just didn't have the goods to stand up in Europe. As The Register reported at the time, “European law doesn't allow for the …

  1. Hans 1
    Happy

    Great, could the court now invalidate EACH and EVERY patent in Europe that Microsoft pushes forward in the Android extortion scheme, thanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Last I heard NSAFT was still refusing to identify those supposed "patents" BECAUSE THEY DON'T EXIST. It's just another Redmondian FUD/protection operation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Some do exist...

        The ones that exist are already identified and relate to filesystems and their ability to handle deprecated stuff from microsoft.

        Relevant to phones with sd cards mostly.

        Of the others, you are right, lots of smoke and mirrors...

        1. Hans 1

          Re: Some do exist...

          >The ones that exist are already identified and relate to filesystems and their ability to handle deprecated stuff from microsoft.

          Prior art, just because MS used the BACKSLASH as a path separator when everybody else (slight exaggeration) used it as an escape character does not make a patent. Long file names existed way before MS came up with their poor mid(%filename%,0,6)&"~<n>" excuse ... just because they had not yet thought of the ^ as an escape character, or had they ... DOS experts ?

          The only patentable feature of FAT is the name itself ...

    2. John Bailey

      Yep. As soon as someone brings a case.

      This is a patent case. Filed by Apple and who ever was being accused of heresy against mother corporation's holy eye pee.

      Not a case brought by the EU to stop Apple "innovating magical industrial design".

      So if you have a grievance, and qualify as an interested party, bring a case, and a patent can be thrown out if it is without merit.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Well done that Kraut

    Sensational glimmer of sense from the Jerry legal system! ...and presumably, by association, the rest of the EU too. Marvellous. Hope they can keep it up.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Well done that Kraut

      Kraut?

      Jerrry?

      That's ssooooo last century

      1. GrumpenKraut
        Coat

        Re: Well done that Kraut

        > hat's ssooooo last century

        No, it ist not! Yours, Fritz.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well done that Kraut

        Kraut?

        Jerrry?

        That's ssooooo last century

        Well, I refer you to the winning joke of the Edinburgh Fringe then:

        "I deleted all the German numbers from my phone. It's Hans free" - Darren Walsh.

        :)

  3. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    Slide to unlock was used in the Pyramids

    One day Apple might come up with something original, but it would be going against what Saint Jobs baked into their mindset from the start.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Click button to do thing?

      That's like ha;f the patents!

    2. Adam 1

      *cough* rounded corners *cough*

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The round corners thing was a (not entirely invalid) trade dress* dispute you idiot. Time to learn the difference.

        *In the US, they call these design patents. The Lord alone knows why.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC Because we're ...

          not British! The Lord can't figure out why you Brits call it "trade dress". "Design Patent is rather more descriptive of the subject isn't it?

          "Trade Dress" Is that some British drag queen reference?

          1. Grikath

            Re: @AC Because we're ...

            Because here in Europe the Look of a Thing either falls under copyright or trademark law, never under patent law... Patents are only for technical innovations over here, not windowdressing like the Rounded Corners.

  5. MacGyver

    Slide-to-Unlock?

    That was most likely the very first type of physical lock, so what they said was that Apple couldn't patent a 10,000 year old concept. Go figure.

    1. mitch 2

      Re: Slide-to-Unlock?

      Good point- I perform this action every time I exit my toilet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Slide-to-Unlock?

        "I perform this action every time I exit my toilet."

        Ah but that's a physical action. In USPTO you're allowed to patent those ideas again if it's electrons wot you're moving about. As long as "you" are a US corporation, of course.

  6. Mage Silver badge
    Coat

    USPTO

    Now we just need USPTO to invalidate about 90% of USA patents, 100% of software patents (there is copyright for that) and about 99% of "Design Patents" which are generally not distinctive enough shapes (which are really covered by copyright anyway if original)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: USPTO

      Re design patents, please refer to this comment.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Break that self perpetuating game..

    Quite a lot of these patents are defensive in nature: if you don't patent it, someone else will do it and screw you over. Annul patent trolls and stop allowing wins over trivial shit and you may eventually end up with a patent system that does what it was supposed to do: protect innovation.

    1. P. Lee

      Re: Break that self perpetuating game..

      >Quite a lot of these patents are defensive in nature: if you don't patent it, someone else will do it and screw you over.

      Cheaper to file than to fight in court. That sounds reasonable, but in that case, they should have contributed it to a patent pool and not held onto it.

  8. Graham Marsden
    Meh

    Great...

    ... but *how many* years did it take...?

    1. Roo
      Windows

      Re: Great...

      Quite a lot of years, which led to a lot of reputational damage, legal fees and lost sales. Happily Apple are cash-rich so they have enough money to cover the damage. ;)

    2. ItsNotMe
      Devil

      Re: Great...

      Won't someone think of the poor Lawyers (yea...yea...I know that's an Oxymoron)? They need work also.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great...

        Won't someone think of the poor Lawyers

        I am, whilst stroking my cat..

        1. Hans 1

          Re: Great...

          >>Won't someone think of the poor Lawyers

          >I am, whilst stroking my cat..

          How lucky, you live near the beach then ?

      2. Captain DaFt

        Re: Great...

        Old joke:

        What's the difference between lawyers and prostitutes?

        A prostitute will screw you if you pay them.

        A lawyer will screw anybody else if you pay them.

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