Researcher’s 1991 video could torpedo Apple’s key ‘slide to unlock’ patent
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Researcher’s 1991 video could torpedo Apple’s key ‘slide to unlock’ patent

A video from a researcher could spell curtains for one of many key patents in Apple’s ongoing litigation towards Samsung.

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 10.03.10 AMThe 1991 video, entitled “Touchscreen Toggle Design,” options College of Maryland researcher Catherine Plaisant exhibiting off various methods to mannequin a touchscreen toggle that customers can management. One of many toggles (proven at round 2:55) is an on-off slider that customers can management by swiping their finger backwards and forwards, in a fashion that’s related to Apple’s slide-to-unlock management for the iPhone.

That’s an issue for Apple, which argues that Samsung’s telephones violate its patent on the slide-to-unlock gesture. The video, which pre-dates Apple’s patent by greater than a decade, could function prior artwork that exhibits the patent is invalid. In accordance to Florian Mueller over at FOSS Patents, Apple has argued previously that Plaisant’s video doesn’t depend as a result of the corporate’s patent governs sliding to unlock, and an on/off swap is completely different than that.

Saying {that a} sliding on/off swap is completely different than a slide to unlock swap simply because certainly one of them unlocks and the opposite doesn’t is a reasonably weak argument, nevertheless it looks as if that’s all Apple has. Mueller identified that Apple’s patent has been deemed invalid in Europe due to related performance current within the Swedish Neonode N1M. Proper now, there’s some dispute over whether or not or not a Swedish telephone could be thought-about prior artwork when it comes to Apple’s patent within the U.S.

Nonetheless, even when the slide to unlock patent is invalid, Apple nonetheless has various different patents that it claims Samsung infringes. One other Apple patent at problem within the present lawsuit governs “rubber banding,” which permits customers to barely scroll previous the highest of a doc or view earlier than it bounces again into place.

[This post has been updated to correct Plaisant’s employer.]

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