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HTC Defeats Apple In Slide-To-Unlock Patent Dispute

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the horizontal-motion-is-innovative dept.

Cellphones 149

another random user sends this quote from the BBC: "HTC is claiming victory in a patent dispute with Apple after a ruling by the High Court in London. The judge ruled that HTC had not infringed four technologies that Apple had claimed as its own. He said Apple's slide-to-unlock feature was an 'obvious' development in the light of a similar function on an earlier Swedish handset. Lawyers fighting other lawsuits against Apple are likely to pay close attention to the decision regarding its slide-to-unlock patent."

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Hell yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543221)

Fuck Crapple.

Obvious (5, Insightful)

Hazelfield (1557317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543229)

I think it was pretty obvious that it was obvious. "Slide-to-unlock"? Aargh! The stupidity of the patent system is staggering.

Re:Obvious (3, Interesting)

danomac (1032160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543295)

It may be obvious to us techy-types, but it's nice to see that it's not only us that sees it that way. I wonder if it'll affect the other litigation against the Galaxy Nexus? Pretty sure that same patent is used in that case.

Re:Obvious (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543373)

From what I understand, the search-from-multiple-sources is the Galaxy Nexus' reason for alleged infringement.

Yes, the Firefox awesome bar which searches your local history and online results is effectively being called into question.

Re:Obvious (1)

Grudge2012 (2662391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544637)

From what I understand, the search-from-multiple-sources is the Galaxy Nexus' reason for alleged infringement.

Yes, the Firefox awesome bar which searches your local history and online results is effectively being called into question.

You mean the patent that isn't about searching multiple sources, but the best of multiple sources?

Re:Obvious (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545143)

Copernic would pretty well qualify then as the prior art. I was using their unified search program in 1999 at least. Pretty much any search system which used multiple database tables and separate functions for each qualifies which would take you back to probably to what, probably the 70's.

Re:Obvious (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545603)

From what I understand, the search-from-multiple-sources is the Galaxy Nexus' reason for alleged infringement.

Yes, the Firefox awesome bar which searches your local history and online results is effectively being called into question.

Guess they never heard of dogpile... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogpile [wikipedia.org]

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543391)

I think the judge in the Nexus one scrubbed all but the one about the multi-source voice search (like Siri).

Re:Obvious (1)

JackAxe (689361) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543653)

A feature my Nexus One has had from the day I bought it back in 2010. Go figure...

Re:Obvious (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543699)

Apples patent on it does date way back, though the description was very clearly for a search dialog on Mac OS, not iOS on mobile (didn't exist yet). It's also based almost entirely on existing patents from other companies, with basically a, "well we'll do all the things these patents talk about, but in this one dialog with voice".

What surprised me is that they didn't run with that patent against any of the other android devices over the years. Maybe the Droid. As far as I know there's nothing really unique about the voice search capabilities of the Nexus over other android devices, is there?

Re:Obvious (1)

Zaelath (2588189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545147)

I don't know how old this patent is, but what about Google Desktop (which tbh I hated), or the 20 other local search daemons that have done this stuff for years...?

Re:Obvious (5, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543421)

Slide to unlock is pretty obvious to anyone who has ever used a bolt...

This is what one looks like for anyone unfamiliar with the term:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/Bolt_lock.jpg [wikimedia.org]

Re:Obvious (0, Troll)

Grudge2012 (2662391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544745)

Slide to unlock is pretty obvious to anyone who has ever used a bolt...

So why hasn't anyone implement it on a phone before Apple with or without using an actual bolt? And no, "smear your finger over the screen without indication why" doesn't count. Because if you don't slide anything you don't slide to unlock.

Re:Obvious (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544827)

I've had many devices over the years that used a little slide switch to unlock the buttons, including CD players from the 90's. When you have no buttons and a touch screen is your only interface, a slider on the touch screen is the same user experience.

Re:Obvious (1)

Grudge2012 (2662391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545277)

I've had many devices over the years that used a little slide switch to unlock the buttons, including CD players from the 90's. When you have no buttons and a touch screen is your only interface, a slider on the touch screen is the same user experience.

I repeat:So why hasn't anyone implement it on a phone before Apple with or without using an actual bolt?

Re:Obvious (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545117)

Who cares? "Did it first" isn't enough of a justification to get a patent. A patent not only has to be novel, it also has to be non-obvious. Everything was done by someone first. If that was the sole requirement for justifying patents, we wouldn't have the non-obvious requirement. Just because Henry Ford made his cars in black didn't mean the first guy to paint one blue got a patent on blue cars.

Re:Obvious (0)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545933)

Slide to unlock is pretty obvious to anyone who has ever used a bolt...

This is what one looks like for anyone unfamiliar with the term:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/Bolt_lock.jpg [wikimedia.org]

And if Apple's patent claimed "sliding an implement from one position to another to unlock a portal" then you'd be right, but it doesn't. In other words, if a physical bolt would infringe Apple's patent, and the physical bolt came first (which it did), then the bolt would anticipate the patent and render it invalid.

But it doesn't... here's the first claim:

1. A method of unlocking a hand-held electronic device, the device including a touch-sensitive display, the method comprising:
detecting a contact with the touch-sensitive display at a first predefined location corresponding to an unlock image;
continuously moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display in accordance with movement of the contact while continuous contact with the touch screen is maintained, wherein the unlock image is a graphical, interactive user-interface object with which a user interacts in order to unlock the device; and
unlocking the hand-held electronic device if the moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display results in movement of the unlock image from the first predefined location to a predefined unlock region on the touch-sensitive display.

A bolt lock wouldn't infringe that claim, and therefore, a bolt lock also doesn't anticipate that claim.

Re:Obvious (4, Interesting)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543481)

Have you ever used a briefcase? Any ancient clamshell case with slide-to-unlock clips (sewing kits, tool cases, etc)? This concept is ancient.

The fact that putting it on a screen is patentable is retarded, and the fact that it was only overturned because somebody else had it on a screen before and not the obviousness of the process itself is even more retarded.

Re:Obvious (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543793)

The fact that putting it on a screen is patentable is retarded, and the fact that it was only overturned because somebody else had it on a screen before and not the obviousness of the process itself is even more retarded.

Generally speaking, judges don't rule on something if they don't have to, especially if it is fuzzy.

In the USA, patents need 3 things to be valid:

- be useful
- be new
- be non-obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the art

The third step is often contentious, and judges don't like being overturned on appeal (all the other judges make fun of them and call them names).

So, if a patent fails for not being new, there is no need to rule on a contentious issue.

Of course, some judges are activist judges, but that is a different story.

Re:Obvious (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545973)

Regardless of the judges, it's the fault of the patent office for being way too grant-happy, and of the idiot politicians who pressure the USPTO to grant more patents because it looks good in national e-peen metrics.

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543803)

When you look at some of the older nokias they even have you push buttons * to # to unlock which are in the same place as the slider on the iPhone.

Re:Obvious (1)

Grudge2012 (2662391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544785)

Have you ever used a briefcase? Any ancient clamshell case with slide-to-unlock clips (sewing kits, tool cases, etc)? This concept is ancient.

The fact that putting it on a screen is patentable is retarded, and the fact that it was only overturned because somebody else had it on a screen before and not the obviousness of the process itself is even more retarded.

And it's even more retarded that Apple quoted the prior art in the patent, and the patent office in several countries thought the difference was big enough to still grant the patent and this one judge didn't.

Re:Obvious (5, Insightful)

macemoneta (154740) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543763)

It may be obvious to us techy-types, but it's nice to see that it's not only us that sees it that way. I wonder if it'll affect the other litigation against the Galaxy Nexus? Pretty sure that same patent is used in that case.

It doesn't take a techy to see it's obvious. They've had slide to unlock mechanical bolts on doors and cabinets for centuries. Animating a physical device doesn't make it newly patentable.

Re:Obvious (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543625)

"Slide to unlock" has been around since the first person fitted a bolt to a door or gate. I suspect the patent is a little more detailed.

Shysters (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543233)

How can anyone with a straight face say that patents promote the progress of the useful arts and sciences? It seems to me that, in all countries, patents serve more to promote the pocketbooks of lawyers.

Re:Shysters (4, Insightful)

tonywong (96839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543307)

Well patents could be useful if the patent filers hadn't figured out how to game the system. They've basically used verbiage and obfuscation to paper up the claims and make it harder for the examiners to figure out what's going on. Part of this is to broaden the scope of the patent so there are fewer ways to work around them, but it also broadens the applicability to industries and products the filers never thought about.

However this means that the patent officers are always overworked and underpaid, and the broad scope of knowledge they must possess is ever expanding. I guess you'd have to ask a patent officer how they could revise and reform the system but it is truly becoming a system of little worth to the public at this point.

Re:Shysters (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543333)

They've basically used verbiage and obfuscation to paper up the claims and make it harder for the examiners to figure out what's going on.

In a sensible world, if the patent examiners didn't understand a patent, it wouldn't be granted.

Re:Shysters (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40545005)

In a sensible world, if the patent examiners didn't understand a patent, it wouldn't be granted.

But who's going to admit that?

Re:Shysters (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543497)

They've basically used verbiage and obfuscation to paper up the claims and make it harder for the examiners to figure out what's going on.

Pretty much the same thing the banking industry has done with the Federal Trade Commission as of late...

Re:Shysters (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544523)

Which is why we need to simply abolish patents in the first place.

There's no redeeming quality with patents anymore. If you have a good idea, put it in a product. Any modern product is much more than just the general concept. If we needed patents to have success, why are there generics of just about everything AND the "brand name". If patents were needed, everyone would buy Kangaroo Krunch (a hypothetical generic to Captain Crunch) that sells for 25% less than Captain Crunch rather than Captain Crunch since both are nearly 100% identical.

A product's success does not just come from a novel idea, or a set of novel ideas but it comes from execution, marketing and support.

Re:Shysters (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543717)

Lawyers with straight faces could say that, even that is important for mankind, or at least, the sector of mankind that are lawyers [citation needed]

I, for one, welcome our new HTC overlords. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543241)

I, for one, welcome our new HTC overlords.

Re:I, for one, welcome our new HTC overlords. (0, Offtopic)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543415)

I, for one, welcome our new HTC overlords.

I thought Apple was the Sith.

Re:I, for one, welcome our new HTC overlords. (2)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544057)

I, for one, welcome our new HTC overlords.

I thought Apple was the Sith.

Now I know Apple is the Sith.

Same patent used in Galaxy Nexus ban (5, Insightful)

another random user (2645241) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543263)

This judgement covers one of the patents that has also been used by Apple in blocking the Galaxy Nexus from sale in the US - http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-18705285 [bbc.com]

As this mentions the 'slide-to-unlock' function as obvious based on existing functions in earlier handests - could this be used in evidence as part of the arguments around the Nexus ban?

Re:Same patent used in Galaxy Nexus ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543423)

nice info..good

Re:Same patent used in Galaxy Nexus ban (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543505)

This judgement covers one of the patents that has also been used by Apple in blocking the Galaxy Nexus from sale in the US - http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-18705285 [bbc.com]

As this mentions the 'slide-to-unlock' function as obvious based on existing functions in earlier handests - could this be used in evidence as part of the arguments around the Nexus ban?

Not if the judge is a iFan and will use anything to block competing products.

Re:Same patent used in Galaxy Nexus ban (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543751)

As this mentions the 'slide-to-unlock' function as obvious based on existing functions in earlier handests - could this be used in evidence as part of the arguments around the Nexus ban?

No, its not evidence. It might be precedent (persuasive only, because it is from a foreign jurisdiction, and of limited persuasive value because, in addition to the fact its a foreign jurisdiction, its applying a different patent law than applies in the US.)

More importantly, while the invalidity argument here is one that is, in general form, available in US patent law, I don't think it is one that is available against an issued patent in proceedings before the International Trade Commission. So, I don't think its applicable at all to the proceedings in which the import ban is at issue.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? (5, Funny)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543281)

What's with this new sudden wave of common sense ?

Re:Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? (4, Funny)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543317)

Don' worry, it won't last long.

Caught in a landslide. No escape from reality. (4, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543367)

You must feel like you're caught in a landslide, with no escape from reality.

Re:Caught in a landslide. No escape from reality. (3, Funny)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543503)

Unfortunately, that feeling will pass as soon as he opens his eyes.

Re:Caught in a landslide. No escape from reality. (2, Interesting)

AcMNPV (2347552) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543709)

But what will he see? Is he just a poor boy and get's no sympathy?

Re:Caught in a landslide. No escape from reality. (2)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544299)

These judges are just easy come, easy go.

Re:Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543425)

Neither Apple nor HTC are British companies. The only British-designed component they share is the ARM processor. We don't have any economic fallout if Apple loses (or HTC, for that matter).

Re:Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? (4, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543551)

Well, what you're seeing now is the eventual outcome of the vast majority of legal endeavors. That silly "common sense" almost always prevails, because, shockingly enough, judges are humans with the capacity to understand the details of a case and see past the misdirection the media throws at the general public. Of course, that misdirection is always highest at the start of a lawsuit, because an audacious corporation making outrageous claims is a good sensationalist story that people will pay attention to, and that brings prestige and profit.

Within the past few years, there have been several lawsuits brought up that the media could make a circus out of, and now they're all starting to conclude. The judgments will be made according to a mix of law and interpretation that the judge thinks is fair. Since it's ludicrously unlikely for a judge to actually agree with the absurd assertions the media has put forth, everything will seem like a sudden outburst of common sense when it's really just business as usual for the American legal system.

Pro151 is right (though at the moment modded at -1): it won't last long. I'd expect that by the end of the week, there will be some new legal shenanigans reported and sensationalized, so the anti-corporate zealots can have their Two Minutes Hate against those evil abusive companies, and the pro-corporate zealots can shout about how this is all the fault of government interfering in business, and the nonconformists can tout their crazy plans for how to fix everything by abolishing society and rebuilding it effectively the same but with all the problems magically gone. Everybody feels good about their particular opinion, and the media gets to feel good about starting a rousing discussion. It's a win-win, right?

Is someone keeping track of all this? (5, Interesting)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543315)

Is someone keeping track of all the pre-iPhone tech/software that Apple copied in order to create the iPhone out of thin air?

It would be useful to paste it as a generic response to Apple fanboys, like that guy who used to paste the big-ol' response to any suggested spam solution ("Your spam solution will not work because...").

I never knew that Apple had copied swipe-to-unlock from the Swedish Neonode N1 phone.

Re:Is someone keeping track of all this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543479)

Sony Ericsson P800 - released in 2002

The iPhone has the benefit of five years of technology development, but is a clear successor.

Re:Is someone keeping track of all this? (3, Insightful)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543491)

Doesn't matter. They'll just claim the innovation was the gestalt of putting it all together, not the individual parts.

Re:Is someone keeping track of all this? (4, Insightful)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544725)

They'll just claim the innovation was the gestalt of putting it all together, not the individual parts.

This have already happened in many discussions I've been in. After methodically refuting every "innovation" they then get to that part. At which point I try to tell them that the market was already moving in that direction (LG Prada, Samsung F700 for example), and that the concept of touch phones is ages old (IBM Simon).

Being the first out in a race does not mean you invented running :p

But at that point, it's really a lost cause, since they then just vaguely argue that the iPhone is somehow magically different than all those, but seemingly unable to tell why. If I feel particularly bored or spiteful, I start arguing that technically, the iPhone shouldn't even be counted as a smartphone until the App Store was opened mid-2008. For some reason, this really push some of those people over the edge.

Re:Is someone keeping track of all this? (1)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545085)

Didn't work for Oracle, when they tried to claim the same about Google's use of Jave "structure and org", did it. Of course, suing a search engine in a world where prior art matters is kind of stupid and brash, just like Ellison.

Re:Is someone keeping track of all this? (1)

Truedat (2545458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544879)

Not just apple fan boys but that would be useful against android fanboys too. And any other fanboys. Just imagine it, we could have whole flame wars fought entirely with copy and pasted comments.

Re:Is someone keeping track of all this? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545139)

In my experience, Apple fanboys are the ones claiming that their company produces unique items that no other company in the world could possibly do, and thus should get patents on them. Android fanboys have other hobby horses, like "openness uber alles". I can't recall ever having seen Android fanboys defending Google's patents (not to mention that, prior to Motorola, Google pretty much had none, at least in the mobile area).

Unfair to Apple (0, Flamebait)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543337)

They invented this fine product with cool innovations like "slide to unlock" and the government should protect these inventive employees from theft by companies like HTC.

Re:Unfair to Apple (0)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543455)

Did not a court just find that slide to unlock was already in use before Apple had anything to do with it? Oh sorry, I forgot, facts are not important to a cultist.

Re:Unfair to Apple (1)

BanHammor (2587175) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543671)

I believe I just heard the sound of the comment flying over your head. It is sarcastic.

Re:Unfair to Apple (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544075)

Haha, well that is why we have the <sarcasm> tag.

Re:Unfair to Apple (4, Interesting)

Flipao (903929) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544513)

But it's ok if they steal the pull down notification bar from Google? :)

Re:Unfair to Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40546361)

I know!! That really pisses me off.

The real Travesty here is... (0)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543341)

that the Judge did not rule in the first 5 minutes of the case that a "slide to unlock" patent was complete and utter void. Following that up with a Hefty Fine of wasting taxpayers time and effort with such foolishness. Would have given him bonus points for finding the USPTO in contempt for even issuing the patent but that would obviously be beyond the scope of his authority. But he sure could have made some key comments! After which a class action could be started by the industry against the USPTO for their.... stupidity!

However, this judge like every other self important judge fails to even realize their importance in society.

Re:The real Travesty here is... (4, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543389)

that the Judge did not rule in the first 5 minutes of the case that a "slide to unlock" patent was complete and utter void....Would have given him bonus points for finding the USPTO in contempt for even issuing the patent.

I think I'd prefer Judges to not be hasty and make snap decisions... you obviously should do the same: take a step back and not be so hasty with your postings, maybe even read the sumary, seeing as this is a UK case and the USPTO has nothing to do with this patent.

HTC is claiming victory in a patent dispute with Apple after a ruling by the High Court in London.

Re:The real Travesty here is... (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543507)

Yes, I know that judge's should not make snap decisions, it was mainly said TIC but you are right about the High Court in London having nothing to do with USPTO. I got carried away, however the UK IPO has very similar rules. My complaint is not readily dismissed because I failed to identify the proper authority in my post.

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/p-requirements.htm [ipo.gov.uk]

Re:The real Travesty here is... (1)

Roujo (2577771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543733)

I think his point is that hasty decisions, justified or not, are more error-prone than thought out ones. I've seen a lot of witch hunts on the Internet that were caused by hasty judgements and were followed by awkward apologies when exonerating evidence was later unearthed. Your post, while (IMO) correctly underlining the failings of the patent system, contained an error because you "got carried away". While an error in a /. post is generally of little consequence, judicial rulings tend to have more far reaching consequences, and I would also like them to be the result of careful thought rather than knee-jerk, error-prone reactions.

Re:The real Travesty here is... (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543927)

Did you not read my response? I said it was tongue in cheek, which means that I did not seriously expect that the Judge should make a snap decision. However, an easy decision we very reachable for any judge who actually read about what they were presiding over. Additionally, you guys are taking this a little too seriously.

Re:The real Travesty here is... (1)

Roujo (2577771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545961)

Ah, right, TIC. I was not familiar with that acronym. Sorry! =)

Re:The real Travesty here is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40546271)

>I think I'd prefer Judges to not be hasty and make snap decisions

Lawyer: Your honor, my client was on the other side of the planet, at a recorded press conference, at the time of the alleged assult

Judge: As recognised by the Slashdot community, a member of the courts should never make a rash decision. I will allow the case to be heard. Overruled. Prosecution - you may continue.

Q: At what point is something so blatantly obvious to anyone, that it should be dismissed instantly??? The grandparent poster had it right. Obvious IS obvious.

patent? how? (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543353)

I am not a programmer or software designer. Can someone explain to me why something as mundane as this can be patented?

Re:patent? how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543475)

Patent office issue patents for everything nowadays as long as you write it in a vague enough language. IBM had a patent on the progress bar as far as I can remember.

Re:patent? how? (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543557)

not trying to argue, but it seems to me that if something as simple as this is patented then why don't we see more patent disputes? For example: I have a Motorola Droid 4 and it has a power button on what would be considered the top/center of the phone. I have a few other phones from a few other companies that also have power buttons on the top/center of the phone. Why don't they go after each other for that type of design? Apple went after other tablets for a similar design..


It just seems like this is a completely mundane issue and shouldn't of even been allowed to be patented.

Re:patent? how? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543683)

Not every company is as irresponsible as Apple or Samsung when it comes to suing others for "patent infringement". Some just hold the patent so that companies like Apple can't sue them as easily.

Re:patent? how? (3, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543539)

I am not a programmer or software designer. Can someone explain to me why something as mundane as this can be patented?

Say "Troll" then say "Apple".

Re:patent? how? (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543587)

Here is how it happens. Governments participate in your regular everyday scams just like any other business. It is more profitable for a Patent Office to issue Patents easily encouraging companies to file for multiple patents hopping they stick like spaghetti on the wall so that they troll cash out when a competitor employ's "their idea" in a way that takes their customers away from them or to just to collect a nice paycheck. Meanwhile the Patent Office rakes it in on the fees.

The Patent office does not care if the patent they just approved looks 99% like another patent just so long as they can claim enough difference to allow it pass. For example, "Swipe to Unlock" could seriously be considered different enough from "Slide to Unlock" to grant a patent that effectively is the same thing to 2 separate entities.

It is all about the Money and nothing else.

Re:patent? how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543853)

I am not a programmer or software designer. Can someone explain to me why something as mundane as this can be patented?

1. Lots and lots of money bribed^H^H^H^H^H^Hspent.
2. Status as a trend-setting media darling.
3. Reality Distortion Field.

Note that none of those involve innovation, invention, or the advancement of the sciences.

Rant (5, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543355)

This is the perfect opportunity for me to rant on HTC's slide to unlock implementation. Their phones use a custom (non-stock android) lock screen that must have been designed be a total idiot. Instead of sliding to the side, you slide straight up and down. Further, the slider bar is the width of the entire screen, so it is huge. Now, this is stupid beyond belief because millions of people carry their phone in their pocket, so of course as the phone is pulled in and out of the pocket.... it unlocks.

Worse, when a call is coming in, sliding up ignores the call, sliding down answers the call. I have answered or ignored literally DOZENS of phone calls by accident because of this garbage. I actually have to put my phone in my pocket either upside down or right side up in anticipation of which way the slider will go if I take my phone out to answer a call.

Their locking implementation really has to go down in the annals of GUI design as one of the worst designs ever.

Re:Rant (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543369)

Here is your chance to file a "Circle to Unlock" patent before 1 of a billion people with a brain beat you or a corporation to it!

Re:Rant (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543387)

too late...I just did

Re:Rant (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543397)

So change it?

That's the beauty of Android. If there's something you don't like, something some other phone does, or something you want to do more efficiently, there's usually a replacement application for it.

i.e. You want Face Unlock on a 2.1/2.2 device? Look up Visidon App Lock (which incidentally functions as a lock screen replacement, if I recall)

Re:Rant (0)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543405)

This is the real reason Apple patented it - to save customers of other implementations from bad implementations. Too bad the stupid judge didn't realize it.

Re:Rant (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543471)

Huh? The Judge was stupid for other reasons, but patenting something to save people from something else seems to be a little illogical. Perhaps you should clarify what you mean.

Re:Rant (1)

oxdas (2447598) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543915)

I think Frankie is being sarcastic.

Re:Rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543691)

How is parent actually modded up?

Re:Rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543435)

I've never had issues with this.

First, you don't need to slide it -all- the way, like the apple implementation. Simply move the circle from the dock and let go.

Second, I've never unlocked it pulling it out of my pocket because the screen is dark. I would need to turn it on first for that to happen.

Your phone call comment I can't really refute though - I have never had it happen to me, but then I grab the phone by the back/side when removing it (the phone's screen is against my thigh, or face down as it were)

My pants are insufficient to unlock the phone or answer/ignore calls for me. Maybe less conductive pants?

Re:Rant (2)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543449)

The unlock screen was probably designed that way to try and avoid the slide to unlock patent...

Re:Rant (3, Informative)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543579)

Most probably they were trying to cover themselves in case Apple's stupid patent was held valid. Now they can do it in the way that is best for the customer and Apple can fuck themselves. At least when this decision is mirrored in the US court system, which seems rather likely.

Re:Rant (1)

khipu (2511498) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543667)

Now, this is stupid beyond belief because millions of people carry their phone in their pocket, so of course as the phone is pulled in and out of the pocket.... it unlocks.

Yes, a lot of those "stupid decisions" are an attempt to avoid lawsuits by Apple over Apple's phony copyright, design patents, software patents, or just general look-and-feel. So, go thank Apple.

Fortunately, smaller app developers don't give a sh*t about Apple, so whatever aspect of the iPhone you like, you can actually get for Android with a click or two.

Re:Rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543675)

Maybe they copied it from this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlXjDJt9fL4 [youtube.com]

Re:Rant (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544035)

You do realize that the slide-unlock design you are complaining about was replaced over two years ago with a totally different lock screen?

If you want a LEGIT complaint about the non-historic HTC lock screen, it would be that it has absolutely no security. And if you try to ADD security to it (like the pattern unlock), you have to FIRST unlock the screen with the "pretty" HTC interface, and THEN UNLOCK IT YET AGAIN with the security screen.

Re:Rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40544113)

Well, maybe he could get an Android update....uh, nevermind. Go find some randomly named replacement app that has ads.

Re:Rant (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545275)

1) The phones that had that version don't have enough RAM or storage to run the newer version of Sense.

2) He has the option to run a different ROM without Sense.

3) Utility apps addressing many problems are available free without ads or commercially for a few dollars.

But I guess you would rather just stereotype.

Re:Rant (1)

ougouferay (981599) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544039)

Instead of sliding to the side, you slide straight up and down. Further, the slider bar is the width of the entire screen, so it is huge. Now, this is stupid beyond belief...

And yet, at 8am in the morning, I am still incapable of either :-

a) sliding it in the right direction
b) hitting it at all!

Can someone please invent a slide-to-unlock that is both bigger (dinner-plate size should do) and requires zero hand eye coordination.

Re:Rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40545307)

What? Why would pulling it out of your pocket affect the slider? You'd have to both hit the wakeup button (usually on top the phone and reasonably stiff), AND have something in your pocket conductive enough to affect the screen. I used an HTC device for two years, keeping it in my pocket the whole time, and never had issues like this.

Re:Rant (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40546195)

See?! Apple was right in trying to stop this travesty from getting into the public's hands!

I knew Apple were the good guys... *dreamily looking at my picture of Steve Jobs*

(The above is intended as humor...)

Apple=Evil (0)

esten (1024885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543473)

Everybody knows it.
Apple evangelist only qualify it as less* evil.

Most of Apples Patents are hogwash in that most individual features were already present somewhere else before they put together in a device by apple. Don't take me wrong taking the best parts from a wide array of devices and assembling them into a single product takes a lot of skill.

And really most of apples cutting edge features are invented by others but solely available from apple because they have the capital to buy an entire supply chain for a new product to delay others from making use of the new technology.

So now that other companies have caught up and are turning out products that bet apple to market on new technology all Apple can do it go to court with their bogus patents to keep their monopoly.

Re:Apple=Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40544131)

Is there some link you can point that shows every single Apple patent, and how most of them are prior art? Then we can send it to the USPTO

Popcorn (3, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543639)

I think at this point I've mentally checked out of the patent wars. 'Mutually assured destruction' was supposed to be a deterrent, not a gameplan. Time to make some popcorn, sit back, and watch the carnage.

Re:Popcorn (1)

Truedat (2545458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544925)

Except it didn't turn out that way. Before apple decided to not to play ball the big players operated an old boys club of shared patents with a license fee stake high enough to keep newer upstarts out. I would much rather they all went to war with each other than cooperate in a cosy cartel, but I'm open to changing my mind if I hear any decent arguments as to why thats less evil.

Slides to unlock the gate every workday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40544187)

Got a nice bolt at my daughters kindergarten. An old fashion slide to (un)lock in the form of a bolt lock.

So whats so new about Apples slide to unlock patent? It's just the digital version of the cold iron thing.

Proof that Apple stole ideas from Android (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544969)

http://team-nocturnal.tumblr.com/post/26388747742/proof-apple-stole-from-google-boycottapple

#BoycottApple is still trending strong on Google+, and elsewhere.

Maybe #BoycottApple has momentum (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545009)

Worth a quick look, just for the graphics.

Google Fanboys Furious Over Apple Getting The Nexus Phone Banned, Flock To Google+ And Start A #Boycottapple

July 2, 2012

Maybe this will put to bed the idea that Google+ is a ghost town.

After Apple won an injunction against the Nexus phone for violation of a search patent, Android fans took to

Google+ to express their outrage. The topic #boycottapple was trending this weekend. The #boycottapple posts are still flowing in.

The gist of the complaints are that Android has been evolving on its own, and Apple's complaints are silly. We've rounded up some of the funniest graphics to come out of #boycottapple.

http://www.businessinsider.com/google-fanboys-furious-over-apple-getting-the-nexus-phone-banned-flo
ck-to-google-and-start-a-boycottapple-trend-2012-7?op=1

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