HTC wins a battle; defeats Apple in slide-to-unlock dispute in the UK

In one of the many battles against Apple and its attempt to stifle innovation thanks to the crazy patent-related lawsuits it dishes out every year, HTC has won one battle. Based on a ruling by the high court in London, HTC does not infringe on four technologies that apple claims as its own. The four patents include:

  • Unlocking a device by performing a gesture on an image.
  • The use of a multilingual keyboard offering different alphabets on portable devices, including mobile phones.
  • A system to determine which elements of a screen were activated by single-finger touches; which were activated multi-finger touches and which ignored touches altogether.
  • Letting a user drag an image beyond its limits and then showing it bounce back into place to illustrate that they had reached its furthest edge.

According to the judge who ruled on the case, the first 3 patents were ruled invalid in the case and that the fourth didn’t apply. Apple’s claim to the slide-to-unlock feature was rejected on the fact that the Neonode N1 contained a similar feature that allowed users to unlock the device when it was in protected mode. In addition, the judge added that the concept of a “slider” wasn’t new since it was had already appeared in Microsoft’s Windows CE system.

Lawyers currently involved in battles vs. Apple on similar infringement cases will closely pay attention to this ruling by the courts in the Uk, a good thing for Android OEMs.

HTC released the following statement after the ruling:

HTC is pleased with the ruling, which provides further confirmation that Apple’s claims against HTC are without merit. We remain disappointed that Apple continues to favour competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace

Apple declined to comment on the ruling and instead decided to re-issue a previous statement saying that they “think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours”.

Keep it classy, Apple. Keep it classy!

Source: BBC | via DL