Motorola Apple

A German court in Munich today announced that it has sided with Apple in the company's latest patent dispute with Motorola Mobility, which involves slide-to-unlock gestures. Of the three unlock gestures that Motorola uses, two were found to infringe Apple's patent; a third, the slide-the-circle gesture used on Motorola's XOOM tablet, was exempt from the ruling. 

The permanent injunction can now be enforced by Apple, at the expense of a large bond that would be set aside and used to pay Motorola for lost sales in the event that the ruling were appealed and overturned. Seeing that Motorola already uses a non-infringing gesture on its XOOM tablets, it is safe to assume that the company will implement the same gesture on its infringing devices, avoiding lost sales and fines. A Motorola spokesperson has confirmed to various news outlets, including PCWorld, that it has already begun to replace the infringing gesture on its smartphones in Germany.

The German ruling is just the latest in an ongoing spat between the two smartphone makers, which has generally fallen in Motorola's favor. In December, a German court ruled in favor of Motorola regarding the company's data packet transfer technology patent. That ruling is currently being appealed by Apple, along with others.

Eyes have remained on German courts due to its small market size and its timely patent dispute process, and while today's ruling is a significant win for Apple, it is not a bellweather for things to come stateside and in other countries. Regardless, it is one of the first rulings, along with the one that forced Samsung to change the appearance of its Galaxy Tab 10.1, that has a direct effect on the user experience of an Android device. 

We'll keep our eye on today's injunction as it unfolds, along with other patent disputes between Android licensees and Apple around the world. Hit the source link for a full rundown of today's ruling.

Source: FOSS Patents


Reader comments

German court sides with Apple in dispute against Motorola's slide-to-unlock gestures


Not being mean or anything but you used the wrong Motorola logo at the top of the post. I thought that Motorola Mobility was a red logo. Reguardless all this patent stuff needs to just go away. Reforming the patent system is the only way unfortunately.

BREAKING NEWS // German court judge spotted playing Angry Birds on a never before seen iPad3 in his chambers.

This is the biggest bunch of Horse Shhht, sorry i mean ROAD APPLES! It's ridiculous how often Apple and some others are pulling this legal B.S., especially OUTSIDE the United States. Try and bring that weak legal stuff to the U.S.A.
SLIDE TO UNLOCK?, they can not give a patent on that gesture. That gesture has been around forever. EVERY TIME I TAKE A DUMP I HAVE TO "SLIDE TO UNLOCK". WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO? STAY IN THE STALL UNTIL I PAY APPLE? Whats next "push to turn on" or "pull to open"? Manufacturers will pass these legal cost onto US, the consumer and we are going to be the biggest losers in this battle.

I'm going to patent "Righty Tighty - Lefty Loosy". After I'm done, threads will have to be reversed or they owe me money.

BREAKING NEWS. APPLE patents "JERK TO GET OFF", cures Blindness, Test scores on the rise and most women reporting to be happier and strangely satisfied.

Remember everyone - FOSS Patents == FLORIAN MUELLER == Microsoft shill and anti-Android person. 'nuff said.

I'm going to patent the motion of raising your arm from a flat surface directly in front of you to your mouth when in a seated position. From now on you may not eat or drink unless standing, or if you want you can first lift your hand above your head and then bring it down to your mouth from above.

Also scratching. No more scratching.

Absolutely disgusting. Apple is so full of envy, they are using the court system instead of innovation, It is always repeated but it is the truth.

Blimey, all this for what are probably going to be industy standards for years to come. Did we go through this farce a century ago when people bought cars for the first time? "German court in Munich today announced that it has sided with GM in the company's latest patent dispute with Ford over its bringing the car to a halt patent. Ford now has to remove the brakes from all It's Model T's".


Slide to unlock features have been around for some time, on several platforms. Variations of that approach have evolved that allow you to chose which application you start with. How specific is this judgement, cant Motorola issue a patch and avoid using it?

I really try - but I can't see this as a dispute about a specific invention. It feels like a small issue being used to block or delay specific companies access to a market; which is SOP with Apple at the moment.

I think I need to patent steering wheels, shift levers, brake pedals, accelerator pedals, and turning a key to start a car.

Wow, I cannot believe that Apple won such a frivolous law suit. Slide to unlock is so vague and almost everyone uses some sort of sliding mechanism to unlock a device. The slide lock on Motorola devices is also much different than Apple's so WTF? All of the Android OEMs need to team up and sue the living shit out of Apple for all they are worth and give them a taste of their own medicine. They can no longer innovate to generate revenue so now they have sunken so low that they have to sue to make an income. How pathetic is that. I WILL NEVER own an Apple product, every day they piss me off more and more with their stupid shananigans. Also, who the hell allows Apple to hold these extremely vague patents? They need to be fired from their job because there is no way that some of Apples very vague patents should exist. I will file a patent that allows a lithium ion battery to power a portable display and sue the shit out of Apple, bwhahahaha.