While Apple seems all too keen on taking to the courts in order to protect its patents, it appears that it may be in the back foot in a new battle that has yet to even begin.

A Swedish firm claims to be in possession of a patent which relates to horizontal swiping and gliding, with Apple’s slide-to-unlock gesture being one such example.

The firm, called Neonode, claims to have received the relevant patent during January of this year, and its head of IP, Yossi Shain, says that companies such as Sony and Barnes & Noble are already licensees…

Originally filed back in 2002, patent number 8,095,879 apparently works in conjunction with other Neonode patents to cover the whole sliding gesture arena, and Apple is now being asked to enter into a licensing agreement with Neonode.

Interestingly though, Apple is currently locked in a legal battle with both Samsung and Motorola, with the iPhone and iPad maker claiming that the two Android manufacturers infringe on Apple patents relating to, you guessed it, sliding to unlock.

It’s all getting a little murky in those patent waters, and it is beginning to become difficult to ascertain who is in the right and who is in the wrong. If the likes of Sony are already licensing Neonode’s technology, then it is safe to say at least someone thinks the Swedes have a claim with making.

Now let’s see what Apple thinks.

[TechCrunch]

  • Ignacio Irigoyen

    And this come up to light now? I mean we had the iphone for some time and now they say they had the patent? It sound fishy to me

    • not at all. bureocratic fights can take forever, specially when companies give the other companies time to study patent claim.

      • it doesnt take like 5 years though haha

  • Anonymous

    Apple are pathetic, who gives a fuck if any phone uses slide to unlock, people don’t buy a phone because of that so stop being so petty over everything, I don’t care what any fanboy says, you guys are just as pathetic as Apple and maybe you shouldn’t believe everything you see on blogs, especially ones that are clearly biased towards Apple products !!

    • Apple IS pathetic, not Apple ARE….apple is a company. “a” is an article meaning one. now that we got that out of the way…i agree with the rest, minus the hostility

      • Anonymous

        “Apple IS pathetic, not Apple ARE…”

        Either one is acceptable. I believe British English differs from American English in the use of group nouns.

      • Then again, saying “Apple ARE” sounds incorrect.

      • Anonymous

        Maybe so, but it’s a big world.

    • gtfo troll

      • Anonymous

        STFU you homo, look up the word troll before you post next time, mine was a view on the post unlike yours which was just pointless and irrelevant.

      • GTFO 🙂

    • lol thats wat i said in a different post except i said i dont give a shit about any of these shits

    • I actually care about slide to unlock. I LOVE IT.

  • Anonymous

    I’m ashamed of being Swedish.

    No not really but they will be crushed if they do this

  • SWWWEEDEEEN!!!!

    … oh, right… well I think this is all stupid…

  • I get that it’s worth going after apple if it means potentially millions in a licensing deal but the patents they argue over are pretty silly. Especially this one.

    Patent disputes are the least interesting thing on idownload blog. A blog about downloads, presumably.

  • I am Swedish and a fan of the Apple products, but it’s a shame that Apple (most of the time) keep suing companies and such over every little thing so I think this is great to be honest.

    • I am fan of the Apple products and fan of Swedish people, but it’s a shame that companies (most of the time) can’t figure out how to use their paperweight patents in real products until Apple shows them.

  • I heard a couple of years ago that apple took the screen technology from a Swedish company. Maybe the same company mentioned. Maybe I’m wrong. Anyway, why doesn’t use a tap to unlock or is that patented by somebody already?

  • Why are there so many patent wars? Don’t Honda and Toyota have the same design engine in some o their cars? Honda vtech and Toyota vvti. Different name but same system.
    All of these companies are low, fear competition and want to be the dominant one. Back a dominant company if you want and then suffer the extortionate prices they will charge.

  • Pretty much kills apples lawsuits with slide to unlock then. Samsung buys a license and then its all good.