Android Central

The latest installment of Apple vs. Samsung saga sees Cupertino taking offense with the lockscreen on the Galaxy Nexus. The complaint, filed once again in Germany, is the first directed towards the Android 4.0 flagship device. The claim made is that the Galaxy Nexus infringes upon Apple's own slide-to-unlock utility model. 

FOSS Patent's blogger Florian Mueller describes this utility model as a limited fast-track patent that companies are allowed to file for alongside traditional patents. Apple has done just this with slide-to-unlock in Germany. Samsung's defense points to a device from Sweden known as the Neonode, which managed to persuade a court in the Netherlands in 2011 to question the validity of the Apple's slide-to-unlock filing.

The court is expected to reveal its decision on Mar. 16. What's clear already, though, is that we're sure to see more of these patent lawsuits as the year continues.

Source: iMore


Reader comments

Latest Apple patent lawsuit targets Galaxy Nexus lockscreen


Apple is the very definition of Petty. "marked by or reflective of narrow interests and sympathies : small-minded" so what you really mean is can someone please bring an end to Apple.

If you pull up a video from the 2007 keynote from apple, you will notice just how incredibly shock the audiance was to see someone slide to unlock a phone. Actually everything from scrolling to the whole user interface was absolutely amazing to everyone. I think the lawsuits are petty but there beautiful phone set the bar and is still obviously at the top. I stopped buying iphones when they made the htc evo. Since then Ive had the inspire, galaxy s 2 & the galaxy nexus. I have an ipad2 so I still get to enjoy apples ios, but I see apples frustrations with android, but I also feel apple needs to start innovating again. Ios has become very polished but very boring leaving room for 4.6 inch ice cream sandwich devices to pick up where they left off.

Everyone at Apple's keynotes is preselected -- it's their job to "aww" and "ahh" at everything they see. If they were more open-minded they may have been aware of the Neonode phone (a small Swedish company) that had the same slide-to-unlock gesture 3 years previously...

sorry but using a keynott as your defense is not valid. Big time for an Apple one that is generally full of Apple worshipers who consider SJ their god.

They could of brought out dog crap and the oooo an ahs would of still been there.

I agree Apple needs to stop suing everybody. Just because they are Apple doesn't need to sue people

I remember reading sometime ago when apple was rewarded the slide to unlock patent (which many before them had already done) and thought it was just a matter of time before they took that and filed a bogus lawsuit.

This constant suing is so silly. Why doesn't Apple just compete instead of trying to create a world with Apple making the one and only smartphone is the world. They have a great product which is very successful so I don't see what there problem is.
One of these companies, or Google themselves should of bought Palm from HP and they would be untouchable. the (former) Palm portfolio of patents is staggering. They essentially have a patent that is the smartphone itself. HP could sue any smartphone maker today if they wanted. It'd be silly to do so but Apple is the only one going down this ridiculous road. HP/Palm could sue apple if they wanted. When the Pre first came out they made it sync with iTunes, cuz they knew they could counter Apple with endless patent lawsuits, but they didn't have the $$$ to keep up such a legal battle. Put those patents in the hands of a company that can.

The Nexus unlock design looks and acts nothing like iPhone's slide-to-unlock. Is Apple going to sue every phone manuf. with an unlock screen?

yes. lol

They have made no secret of their desire to eradicate Android. Successfully competing is not enough. Its more than business, its something personal to Jobs, I don't know if since hes is no longer with us their attitude will change, but thus far doesn't seem so.

Maybe not if somebody can come up with an unlocking method that does not require any sliding. Maybe a long press? Dunno.

Google has the patents on Pin and pattern to unlock. The iPhone has the option to use this method as well.

We don't need to come up with another method. They need to not have a patent for something so mundane.

apple has patents on circle unlock? then why havent they ever used it?

the old unlock style is much more like apple's if anything is.

Aren't these patents supposed to be non-obvious? How else would one propose unlocking a phone with a capacitive touch screen? Maybe a moisture sensor that you lick to unlock...

Apple and to a certain extent, the Apple "fanboys" would have you believe that all of this litigation against Android manufacturers in general and Samsung in particular, is because the late Steve Jobs admittedly hated Android so much, and he believed it to be a blatant copy of the iPhone. I believe it is merely the fact that Apple feels greatly threatened by Android, point blank, period.....

"Don't hate, litigate..." Apple's motto?(Microsoft also)

All fanboys suck. Apple ones, Android ones. They all take this shit way too personal. It seems anymore you can't be an enthusiast of more than one company, you have to also hate said company's competition.

It's disgusting and rampant anywhere you go. I see it all the time here, users bashing Apple and the people who enjoy those products. TUAW (when they even get comments anymore) are filled with Apple fans that want Android to be obliterated. Engadget is the worst offender, with idiots of all shapes and sizes clamoring to be heard.

It'd be nice to just be able to be an enthusiast without reading so much vitriol and hate for others that chose a different company's products.

I went...speechless.
When can they stop this NONSENSE?
When can (or should I use 'could'?) Apple stop trying to compete?
It's more stupid than SOPA.

Want a real laugh? Call Apple corporate in Cupertino & tell them (whoever answers that is) that because of their legal nonsense you won't buy any of their products & tell others not to as well. The reaction you get is downright comical. Extreme hubris comes to mind.

Apple keeps digging themselves in a hole with this bs i will never buy support or ever say anything good about this greedy f up company.Instead of making something new and great they just sue you instead i guess Apple thinks they invented every thing electronic. ROT IN HELL

Apple knows that without Jobs their innovation is gone. So now they are going to sue everybody they can until they eventually go bankrupt. They'll end up were they were before Jobs came back.

Well after Jobs initially left Apple back in the day, they screamed down a path of failure. Jobs came back and they shot back up to the upper peaks of the mountain again.

It's just a matter of time folks, a matter of time.

I'd like to point out this is a rather silly post. This assumes that:
A) Apple is the same company it was in 1985
B) That Apple does not have any innovative projects already in the works. (Jobs left a couple years worth of designs behind)

All told, Jobs has bought Apple the time they need to structure themselves into non-Steve-centric company. Not to mention, the entire tech world would suffer from Apple dropping out of the innovative market. Android as we know it would not exist without the iPhone's pioneering nature. The standard for tablets was also set by apple with the iPad.

This all isn't to say that Apple isn't just being obnoxious with this suit. But I don't think we can say that Apple has not been a huge positive influence on consumer technology (They popularized the MOUSE for goodness sakes).

I'm a huge android fan but I don't think that preferring Android means we have to pretend Apple is a worthless thing of the past.

"I'm a huge android fan but I don't think that preferring Android means we have to pretend Apple is a worthless thing of the past." -- I agree.


"Android as we know it would not exist without the iPhone's pioneering nature."

This... I'm sick of hearing this bull. It's not true. Android existed before the iPhone, and was headed in the direction it has headed in before the iPhone was ever released. It took a bit longer for them to push it out in the end, but Android *WOULD* exist on very similar phones, with very similar features, without the iPhone (yes, even slate touchscreens, which they were demoing before the iPhone was ever rumored as well). iOS and Android have since learned a great deal from each other (along with learning from WebOS and Blackberry as well) and neither would probably exist in their most current iterations exactly as they are without the other.

Huh you're right. I hadn't checked the dates. Though the initial release of the iPhone was over a year before the release of the first android phone (HTC Dream), android was showing off its stuff before then. I stand corrected. I agree there's been lots of back and forth learning since then (not sure what's come from blackberry though :P)

OBVIOUSLY YOU MOST BE READING YOUR INFO from an apple forum....Because anyone with a clue or facts knows android was out almost year before apple...this is fact.

Why do people always refer to Jobs being the brains behind everything Apple. Jobs never invented anything at Apple he was only a marketing genius. Designs came into his office he argues with his workers and engineers day in and day out. The man is just an arrogant SOB and thinks he's smarter than everyone else. He's also not a very pleasant person he doesn't know anything even if he pull it out from his behind. He put together a kit back in the 70s with woz and decided to market it to a bunch of geeks back in those days. In those days you can buy kits and create what ever machine you wanted to run just about any software you wanted, they chose an os and later used an open source (unix) base to run their first Apple crap, which was crap compared to the pc. Credit has never been given to the designers and engineers at Apple it's always this pathetic excuse for a human being ROT IN HELL JOBS.

Seriously, this is ridiculous. Instead of suing and trying to ruin the competition, why not compete? Come out with something new and creative. Nah, they say, let's just throw a couple extra features into the phone and stamp an S on the back.

How low can Apple go? This is ridiculous. Did they ever think for a second where they got the pull down notification idea from? Apple is fighting a losing battle which will bring them to their demise

can't Sammy just show the judge slide to the left for camera to prove the difference, then show pull down menu from top, turn to the Apple attorney and then pimp slap him?

i have nothing more to say about this company. its too bad that so many persons have invested in their eco-system and now find it difficult to leave but, take heart, many have left in the past and you wont be the first, or the last to do so. i simply cannot buy products from a company that has no self esteem, or doesnt care how they appear in the eyes of the general public.

While I can understand the intense venom among diehard Android and Apple fans, I don't think ushering in the end of either company is wise purely from a competition standpoint (this post was typed on a MacBook).

Need we be reminded that many Android fans also use Apple products or that Google themselves have done presentations wherein we see MacBooks proudly on display? What is stupid is Apple's myriad of lawsuits, and this one in particular. C'mon a "screen unlock lawsuit"? Please, that would be like General Motors suing every other automaker that put an ignition lock on their steering column in the late 1970s.

Apple time to refocus your energy on developing new products versus just trying to squash the competition, which at the end of the day is good for nearly everyone involved.

Apple is in need of some R and D and if their devices keep sucking they have to pay for that r and d by suing other people because their sales suck. Apple phones are just the bottom rung now a days... just accept it apple and go by a Droid!

To be honest its the patent system itself that is at fault here. It desperately needs a complete overhaul

You're so right about that, I just wonder does anyone actually review those patents before they are submitted? Or is the patent system in the US that up tight for money they are paid under the table so that uncle sam doesn't know about it? Just like the rumored accounts of Apple that don't seem to have been taxed? Aren't Americans upset that an American Company well so called American company ships their designs to a Chinese third party manufacturer to build their Icraps, and a company that builds HP, LG electronics as well? Hmmm you wonder if people really know anything, or is the brainwashing just so deep that they just basically follow what this TERRORIST COMPANY tells them?

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but if anything the nexus' lock screen copies that of webOS not ios. Cmon apple enough is enough.

there are only three options-

you either love apple cuz youre a fanboy,
hate apple because youre a fanboy of a competing company,
or hate apple because you know apple.

I would say what makes the iPhone good is the same thing that makes it bad. The good thing is that the software works well. The bad, the reason it works well is because they CONTROL everything about it and only come out with one phone per year. So with that you have no choice. There are some people that will be OK with that, but still try to innovate, stop suing.

I much more enjoy having the choices with Android. Phones of different price points, sizes, power, etc. And I don't have any problems with software working, but there the developers do have more work cut out for them trying to keep multiple versions and hardware compatible with their software.

There are different choices for different folks. But COMPETE, don't sue over stupid things. I realize you need to protect your property, but the stuff Apple sues over is silly.

To everyone saying Apple should compete, they can't, that is why they need to file these lawsuits. The whole Apple system is build in such a way that makes competition impossible, they've done it to themselves.

Android wins because you can get a droid at any price point, since nobody else makes Apple and they can't produce a cheaper handset, it would also effect sales of the old ones which essentially become their cheaper handsets. Android wins because as much as it annoys some people the android OS can have a manufactuers own interface like sense and touchwiz, Apple's whole thing is that every device is the same, again they can't do it.

It was inevitable that smartphones would go from being about talking to people, to connecting people in every way, they have become your address book and in some ways it's like a daily newsletter from your friends life. The android OS makes this so easy, while the apple OS doesn't and I don't see how it can without a massive overhaul, which I would expect to see soon if they have any sense, one look at WinMo7 tells you MS understand this.

******Breaking News******

This just in… Apple filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection after overwhelming legal battles has sunk the company in the red....

This would be a great headline to see. I wish every Smartphone &Tablet manufacturer holding patents would all backlash and attack Apple all at once to teach them a lesson. With the battle on all sides, it would have a big impact on cash reserves.

Why wait for them to attack, attack first and get the upper hand. With the stance that Crapple seem to be taking, it will be coming.

Apple: "We invented touchscreens, lockscreens, cameras, tiled icons, buttons, the internet and the shape known as the rectagle. If you make anything with these we will sue you"

Apple can have my Galaxy Nexus when they can pry it....well, actually, in about two years when I replace it with some Octa-Core Android 6 phone that doesn't need a swipe to unlock at all because it just reads my mind :)

Please, slide to unlock has been on phones since way before the iPhone. There was a phone way back when that had 3 IRs on each side of the screen that worked with gestures. One such of these gestures was, get this, slide to unlock! This patent will be invalidated so fast...

Perhaps all the other companies should sue Apple for all the things they stole. Google should sue for Apple stealing Android's notification shade, IBM should sue them for copying their touchscreen phone being that they put out the first one, RIM should sue them for stealing BBM and calling it "iMessage" and pretty much every flip phone manufacturer should sue Apple for tiling their icons on the screen (which apparently Apple thinks they invented being that they've been relentlessly trying to sue Samsung for it)

Apple act like no else can make a smartphone.. in just a year they sued every smartphone manufacture out. Apple thinks they invented everything.. like no one else can invent something.. You don't see other companies throwing lawsuits at each other, like car makers n etc.. You don't see the first person to make a car suing BMW for having 4 wheels and 4 doors.. if i was Google ill rather Tim Cook or w/e his name is a letter that says "Sue these nutts!!"

FU Steve Jobs. How's that dirt nap going? F your company and being the ONLY smartphone company in the world. It will NEVER happen you POS! HAHAHA

Ok, the folders in ICS were copied from iOS, it would be okay if they sued Google/Samsung for it. There are other ways to do that, for example the Categories jailbreak tweak had it before iOS 4, and it worked just fine, but Apple's way was better. Google agreed, so they copied it.

Except Android launchers did folders even before iOS 4, and the jailbreak tweaks as you mentioned. Both mean Apple wasn't first.

I think the iMac in my home office will be the last Apple device Iown.very ashamed that I was once an Apple advocate. Google Chromebook will be my next "large" computer.

I agree, the Nexus slide is nothing like iOS, and more like WebOS

This would be like one company suing another for putting a button on the front of their device to turn it on and off. The slide unlock screen is not an idea that even deserves credit. Absolutely Ridiculous!

Apple acts as if they invented the smartphone. I agree they helped to move it forward, but that's it. Palm started the smartphone business. To bad they became static for to long. WEBOS was GREAT, but they just did not have the money to compete.

They sue over everything, size, form-factor, app drawers, app store, touchscreen. All these things are either not worthy of a patent and or they did not invent it, but they act as if they invented everything.

That something this silly could be patented in the first place is exactly why patent laws need to be totally overhauled and eradicated from the software industry.

Unless you can prove that the code used to build Android is the SAME LOGIC as the code to build iOS, there was NO stealing of any kind. Android was built from the ground up.

Tell Apple to whither up and fall off the tree.

And the idiots at the patent office that granted a patent on the simple movement of a finger should be smacked.

I'm not patent expert, but I seem to remember the last Apple suit concerning the "slide-lock" was one because their patent clearly states it is for a "method to unlock a phone by sliding a finger along a pre-determined direction". The issue with this is that since Android 3.0 (and CM7.1), the unlock has not required the user to slide along any pre-determined path, only that they start at a pre-determined origin.

Not real sure how this one will even make it past the pre-trial motion to dismiss.

I hate to tell you this but that's not the case with the ICS lockscreen. I can't just drag the ring anywhere to unlock it, I have to go from the middle to the unlock icon to unlock the phone.

That still isn't a predetermined path, except I'm pretty sure you have to just drag it anywhere outside the ring.

Not so long ago Apple file for a "face unlock" pattern, so in any moment we will see a law suit against Google's face unlock feature. This happens when you don't know how to lose, besides the point were you get lame and you start to lose customers.

These patent lawsuits are completely out of control. The whole system needs to be changed because it's killing innovation.

F**k f**k f**k f**k you. All these corporations seriously bunch of sue happy bit**es. Especially you Apple.

I want a high-paying job at Apple. Darn it... why didn't I listen to my folks and studied harder? I could have gone to law school and work at Apple!!!! :D

I'm so sick of these ridiculous Apple lawsuits that I'm ashamed they're an American company. As much as I respect Steve Jobs' contributions to the tech world, his battle-Android-to-the-death approach should have ended with just that, his death. Continuing this idiocy is a waste and a shameful legacy for a man who gave us so many good things.

Any and all accusations of copyright violation should have been dropped when iOS5 came out, with its Android-inspired feature-set (yes, even voice commands). That simply proved that the touchscreen smartphone is an established product category, not an exclusive invention. Similarities should be expected as innovations occur simultaneously as technology allows. As long as major portions of design and function are not copied outright, I see no reason to stifle innovation. Apple needs to realize the harm they're doing to their image, and the tech industry as a whole, and stop competing in the courtroom rather than the marketplace. Otherwise, there will always be people like myself who don't own a single Apple product because of their detestable business practices and closed approach.

Apple must have flat-rate lawyers so they use the heck out of them. Kinda like how I abused my Sprint unlimited data plan.

they might as well sue everyone for having a touch screen. and a power button. and volume buttons. and for being a freaking phone.

I'm losing respect for Apple with each of these ridiculous patent suits. I've never much cared for their products personally, but have always respected their design and appeal but every suit they file makes them look more and more insecure about the success of Android and Google in general. I'm sorry Apple but there comes a time when you just need to accept that there are other products out there.

A big part of the problem is the patent office itself. Patent status should be reserved for the truly innovative, new, big ideas. It has gotten to where every tiny little detail and mundane feature is patented. Giving a patent for the concept of sliding the screen to unlock is just ridiculous, and is comparable to giving a patent to having a round on/off button on the front of your TV.

Legal battles like this have the potential to really slow down innovation as silly little details are fought over and legal teams have to scour over millions of spec sheets before releasing product to insure that there are no patent issues.

Apple are a bunch of cry babies!! They aren't #1 and they cant take it. So they have to try to block all the competition instead of making better products. They make very small changes in their devices and all you stupid Apple Fanboys keep falling into their trap every year! Its the same product with a better camera and a bunch of stolen ideas from others. (iMessage = BBM and the ios5 notifications are Android.)

So Apple stop bitching about how others devices and how they look like your shitty devices and try to make better ones then your competition!

I've been following this tech industry and I've been with electronics all my life. I've worked on computers way back in the 80s and from what I can tell Apple owes a great deal to Microsoft, Unix and all the other players in the Tech industry. Apple was never original in their OS nor were they original in their Icrap devices. They simply took exisiting tech and elaborated on them, since most OS back in those days were open source except for MS, Apple took the advantage and stole ideas. Back then companies invented devices to compete with other devices from other companies. IBM comes out with a PC that ran MS, Apple goes crazy and decides to compete and ran commercial after commercial depicting MS or anything running MS as an evil big brother. Guess who's the big brother now, and who wants to control the way you use your device and source your information? I've never owned an Apple computer and never will, they are just an inferior machine made out to be grand because of iOS (which by the way is stolen too Unix?). The specs of these machines back in the day was quite good when they used motorola components but was never compatible with anything else in the world except another. Apple has never created anything original most of the things they have patent have already been implemented by various companies. Apple should of been sued by other hand set makers for putting MMS into their iphone 3Gs because the 3G didn't even have it. The only reason why Apple is doing this is because Android is fast becoming a much more prefered platform because of the hardware and price difference. One thing that isn't clear to most is why they are paying a premium when the icrap devices are made at a sweat shop in China? The media plays a big part in this Apple brainwashing and no one knows better. Have you noticed that the media hardly makes mention of the cases Apple loses? The media needs to start making this Apple hoopla public, it's only going to hurt the consumer in the end. Microsoft from what I heard bailed out Apple, they should of just let them rot.

I really hate to double post but I work for Chrysler here in Canada. If Chrysler invented the Minivan, so why isn't our company suing the hell out of every other auto manufacturer out there that sells minivans? Think about that for one minute, almost every auto manufacturer has cashed in on this idea that Chrylser started. Although no one auto company ever created something unique because you could say there was a minivan look alike way back in the past as well. So why aren't the auto companies suing each other, simple answer they like competition. The auto companies rather would let the consumer choose the product and improve them if they see fit to lure the consumer closer. Apple likes to corner the market and by making sure the competitiors lose they block sales ( injunctions ) for as long as they can so they can spark interest in their products. Apple's main competitor Samsung will be coming out with some very impressive products in the coming months, rest assured Apple is going to ramp their childish behavior ten fold. Samsung should once and for all launch a flexible panel Tablet and Smartphone and knock Apple's ass to the curb, then sue the hell out of them if they copy.