When the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) awarded Apple a patent late last year regarding its ‘slide to unlock’ feature, we didn’t think it would be very long before we saw it pop up in Apple’s Android war. And it wasn’t.
Hot on the heels of Motorola winning an injunction against Apple in Germany, which resulted in a temporary ban of some of its products, the Cupertino company has fired back by winning its own injunction against Motorola in the country…
“I just returned from the Munich I Regional Court, where Presiding Judge Dr. Peter Guntz publicly announced a decision in Apple’s favor: most of Motorola Mobility’s products were found to infringe on Apple’s slide-to-unlock image patent, EP1965022 on “unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image”. Today’s ruling is a permanent injunction that Apple could enforce at its own risk (against a bond).”
So essentially this means that Apple has won a preliminary injunction against several of Motorola’s products. And if Apple wants to put up a bond to cover the monetary losses Motorola would incur, in the event that it ended up losing the trial and the injunction was reversed, it could ask Motorola to stop selling its devices that were found to be infringing on the ‘slide to unlock’ patent.
Motorola can, and likely will, appeal this decision, but FOSSPatents thinks Apple will prevail. The end result will likely be that Motorola will have to change its ‘unlock device’ user interface. And while this sounds like an easy fix, it’ll actually be tough to do without diminishing the user experience.
This win is huge, and could be used to power future lawsuits against other Android manufacturers that use similar ‘unlock device’ interfaces by performing touch gestures on an image. Interesting.