HTC claims victory in a patent dispute with Apple
He said Apple’s slide-to-unlock feature was an “obvious” development in the light of a similar function on an earlier Swedish handset.
Apple has also cited the patent in disputes against firms using Google’s Android system software.
HTC launched the London-based lawsuits a year ago as part of an effort to invalidate European patents Apple had referred to in a German court case. Apple subsequently counter sued.
The four patents at stake were:
- 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.
The judge ruled that the first three patents were invalid in this case, while the fourth did not apply to HTC’s devices.
Lawyers fighting other lawsuits against Apple are likely to pay close attention to the decision regarding its slide-to-unlock patent.