Germany’s highest appeals court invalidates Apple’s slide-to-unlock patents

The top civil court in Germany has ruled against Apple in patenting the company’s now renowned ‘swipe-to-unlock’ gesture. The court stated in its ruling that the patent is not sophisticated enough to be awarded a patent protection.

The ruling basically reaffirmed a 2013 decision in which the lower Federal Patent Court rejected Apple’s claims on the grounds of ‘prior art’. The German courts discovered that Apple’s slide-to-patent involves a similar technique as that featured on a smartphone released before the iPhone by a Swedish company called Neonode.

“The ruling by the Federal Court of Appeals in Karlsruhe covers one of the Apple iPhone’s most popular defining features, of which makers of rival Android-based phones have developed their own versions,” notes VentureBeat.

Back in 2012, Apple had won a court injection over Motorola in Germany based on the above patent. That case is still pending appeal though and its final ruling was delayed until the final ruling of the above case was declared. With the top German civil court not granting Apple a patent over ‘swipe-to-unlock’ gesture, the case will now proceed further in Motorola’s favor.

Apple had submitted the invention to The United States Patent & Trademark Office back in December of 2005, a little over a year before the iPhone was revealed, and was awarded a patent for it in October of 2011.


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