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Chalk One Up for HTC, Wins Slide-to-Unlock Patent Dispute Against Apple in U.K.

HTC has won a recent patent battle. A judge in the U.K. has ruled that HTC is not infringing on four of Apple’s patents, the main one being a slide-to-unlock feature. The judge ruled that the feature was an “obvious” enhancement on other technology that was seen on previous handsets before Apple held the patent. HTC released this statement:

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.

In classic Apple fashion, they released a previously already published statement:

We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.

Come on, Apple. Don’t be poor sports.

Via: BBC

  • Droidzilla

    Software patents should go away entirely, and the penalties for copying software code should be ramped up. Done and done.

  • Guest__Comment

    There sure are an awful lot of expert, international, software-patent attorneys on this site.
    They all seem to know all the exact dates and details about:

    1. Which company thought of any idea it first.
    2. Which company patented any idea first.
    3. Which company actually USED any idea in a product-release first.
    4. Which company paid (or didn’t pay) for the right to use any idea in their products.

    The small, inexpensive device I hold in my hand today, was impossible to even dream about owning, just a few short years ago.

    This is “stifled development”?

  • Guest__Comment

    Why is someone suing the hardware manufacturer for a SOFTWARE feature that’s part of the OS? Isn’t it really Google/Android that violated these software patents?

  • Guest__Comment

    I was issued a patent once. They called it the “use a light switch to turn on your house lights”. No home-builder in the world can use my idea… unless they pay me big money. I’ll be rich! I’ll be rich, I tell you!

  • Satya Chowdary

    Finally a judgement that makes sense kudos UK….

  • HAHAHAHHA steal their technology? They are trying to sue over being able to click in text messages or emails and it go to dialer….I was not aware Apple invented the hyperlink. Hmm.

  • Sven Enterlein

    Two things: Apple was founded on April 1st. April Fool’s anyone?
    Second, their reply to the ruling sounds more like something a 12-year old boy rather than a 36-year old company would say. As always, riches make you neither smart nor develop taste or maturity. I am getting more and more excited about JB and since my upgrade is in far-far-away land I’m curious about future Nexus handsets!

  • I really think that the patent wars should end and all parties involved with all disputes should just shut up and build quality devices for said customers, including Apple. You will gain more money out of the whole thing if you stop suing competition over crap that really doesn’t matter. The users are still gonna buy your products, and in turn build your profits….so why waste your money on court battles when you could be building the next iPhone, Droid, Galaxy or HTC device…..freakin derps lol.

  • LionStone

    Oh hey, SUCK IT apple!! Hows it feel to burn your money? Oh that’s right you got $ to burn!?

    • Sven Enterlein

      Didn’t they get a patent and backup from L. Koh to print their own currency:
      THE iDOLLAR!!!

  • I don’t even get the reason for this patent infringement? HTC uses their lock ring which moves around freely, in an UPWARD direction. Before that, it was a slide down motion.
    “Slide to unlock” is from left to right..Appletards.

    • NeedName

      because cr*pple is so delusional that they actually believe that any type of unlocking method on a smartphone with a touch screen belongs to them because moron patent offices erroneously awarded them a patent on “slide to unlock” and they are so stupid that they can’t figure that out — having a patent awarded these days means nothing especially that it is indeed valid.

  • Jack Coleman

    Sometime in the near future…
    Apple Assistant: Sir the new iPad 5 prototype is ready.
    CEO: Good. whats the screen resolution?
    Assistant: 5120 x 2280.
    CEO: and who is manufacturing this?
    Assistant: your call sir.
    CEO: Samsung?
    Assistant: No sir, they hate us, remember? their search bar was actually useful so we had to unleash Operation L.Koh.
    CEO: How about LG?
    Assistant: No sir, we said their Televisions look like iPhones from far away…
    CEO: Damn.

  • Lunas Eclipse

    Can this just end already if the kettle called itself black any more it would create a substance so black it would collapse in on itself forming a black hole…

    Apple has been stealing ideas and products since it was founded. Hell they stole slide to unlock from MICROSOFT they have a touch screen phone made back in the 90s called mango that had slide to unlock.

  • E A butler

    I am waiting for them to knock off widgets and call it their newest idea… I know they really want to do it!!!!!!

    • Droidzilla

      Silly @google-635d96662c52799f3d6a599ecfc70b13:disqus . Apple will do large screens and widgets “right,” like they did with high res screens, 3G, multitasking, video calling, app store, etc. that everyone else had before them. Apple doesn’t follow anyone else; they lead the way!*

      *This statement is not meant to imply that Apple actually leads in anything. Any conjecture one makes based on information provided at WWDC is the sole responsibility of the individual; Apple make no claim of invention.

  • EvanTheGamer

    GOOD, take that Apple! Now excuse me while I go eat an Apple. And trust me, I’m going to enjoy taking a bite out of this Apple. A. Lot.

    • i feel bad for the apple thats about to get raped by your teeth haha

  • Superdroid

    Can’t beat them with product, beat them with lawyers. Pathetic Apple.

    • J.B

      haha right! so pathetic

      • and that is exactly why there are more android devices worldwide now than iOS

  • Cubanito1967

    HTC response was pure awesome. Makes me want to go out and by a One X

  • We’ll never know if Jobs knew that Apple stole’slide to unlock’. His successor should have known and should be accountable to shareholders if he continues this legal travesty.

  • What about the words obvious and prior art translate differently in America than England?

  • New_Guy

    Cry me a river Apple…

  • Trevor

    I’m not sure how I feel about all this patent crap. I mean, it’s definitely annoying and seems childish, however on one hand, I understand why Apple would be upset if Google (or anyone else) is copying their ideas and inventions. But on the other hand, it’s best for the consumer if companies “share” ideas/innovations, otherwise these companies would have no motivation to make their product better for us. I guess I sort of understand both sides of the story (I think) and am happy that Android is taking some of Apple’s ideas (whilst implementing their own of course) and making them better, but I know I, personally, would be mad if someone stole my ideas.

    Now the part where Apple steals other people’s stuff and just seems to brush it under the rug, that’s just downright dirty.

    • NeedName

      The reality is, apple is infringing way more patents than anyone is infringing of apple’s patents. Not to mention most of apple’s patents are BS *obvious* software patents and thus far, 3 out of 4 invalidated in the UK, 9 out of 10 invalidated in Germany, and you have to remember this is after the courts already toss 90% of the patents out in pre-trial. . . thus, you are looking at a very low percentage of apple patents that are even “valid” for trial, and they are crap patents — rubber-band effect in the gallery?!?!?!? Such innovation! While they don’t pay for FRAND radio patents. . .

      Not only that, apple has copied way more from Android into iOS than any Android OEM has copied from apple. I can see some of apple’s arguments about “trade dress” in regardless to some of Samsung’s products pre SIII. . . but that’s where it stops.

      Hell, just look at apple’s EU design patent for the iphone — they include designs of BlackBerry & Nokia handsets. . . ridiculous!

      Apple is spamming all patent offices and then using those patents, which are not valid because the patent offices are not doing their jobs, as clubs to beat down competition.

    • Droidzilla

      If Apple really were innovating, I would agree with your sentiments. As they are trying to lay ownership to things like “performing a gesture on an image” to unlock, “multilingual keyboard,” “unified search,” etc.; I don’t think they have any real IP to protect. They’re just playing the game, not protecting something they came up with. Unless you think any of the following are actual inventions and not simply intuitive:
      -Searching both the internet and the device
      -Opening a program/browser from a link in an email
      -A rectangle device with a screen on front
      -A keyboard that supports multiple languages
      -Unlocking a phone by any gesture on an image (even if it’s just a tap)
      -Multitouch on a touch screen (not the specific implementation, mind; just the concept)

      There are a bunch more, but these are ones off the top of my head that I can recall them using to sue with (and, in some cases, get injunctions granted). It’s not like they invented a new LTE radio that didn’t have a FRAND license and people reverse engineered it and copied it, or HTC copy/pasted Apple code for swiping between homescreens. All of the stuff thus far Apple accuses others of “stealing” Apple ought never have been able to own in the first place. Apple, on the other hand, is constantly using real tech innovation (like radio technology) without paying the proper licensing fees.

      The only way to see it from their viewpoint is to see it as exploiting the broken software patent system to stifle competition, because this is exactly what they’re doing. It’s legal and it’s smart, but it also makes them the Scumbag Steve of the tech world.

  • J.B

    LMAO, says the company who “stole” androids notification system…

    Love HTC responce btw. Well said.

  • Levi Wilcox

    steal YOUR ORIGINAL technology? http://i.imgur.com/M10Uj.jpg

    • SirSoloDolo

      Apple = Hypocrites

      • NeedName

        I’ve been saying that for years! it’s in their DNA straight from Steve Jobs, one of the biggest hypocrites I’ve ever witnessed. It seems they now believe their own RDF BS that they’ve forgotten where their GUI came from, how they ripped off every idea for iTunes form another music player, produced a knockoff portable digital music player based on the inventors patent, copied Palm with the design of the iPhone — just look at their PDAs and tell me the iphone doesn’t look like them — along with RIM & Nokia, and we ought not forget about the inside information Jobs got about Microsoft’s courier tablet project that led to the ipad. . . .

        they have NEVER come up with ONE truly original invention. . . I dare anyone to produce it.

        • michael arazan

          In recent news apple suing CERN, claiming it discovered the Higgs Bosen particle first and patented the large Hadron collider years ago ; P

    • EvanTheGamer

      I am posting that EVERYWHERE and will laugh at friend’s who YET STILL defend Apple and their so-called iPhony.

    • AppleasArtist

      yes…Apple = artist…!=thief…

  • I’m upvoting all of you because your opinions are awesome.

  • SirSoloDolo

    I love Google because they wont stoop to Apple’s level. They understand to win customers you have to be the bigger person. People that have Androids and consider iPhones hear about this and are just disgusted that Apple chooses to take all this legal action rather then truly be innovative. Google upstaged Apple at I/O and I think we all could agree to that

    • Rabies

      i cant imagine anyone wanting to go to an iphone after using an android devise.. apple seems tobe just catching up tp froyo..lol

      • NeedName

        That’s what their lawyers said in Australia when they were trying to ban the Samsung Galaxy Tab — ‘if customers buy it then they will be happy with it and we won’t be able to lock them into our ecosystem’ (paraphrasing).

        I kid you not, the lawyers came right out and said it. And that’s what pisses me off about all these fans that think it’s about protecting IP. No, it’s about market share & locking customers into their ecosystem because they know, once you invest into iTunes you are unlikely to leave because you lose most everything you purchased. And if you try another platform you will be more than happy with it and know that cr*pple’s stuff isn’t so good after all, just marketing hype.

    • NicholasMicallef

      During the JB Notification centre announcement at IO, I almost wished for them to quote what apple tries to mention in every one of their events – that their competitors have tried to copy their products, but they didn’t, nor did they show charts with half-truths in order to make their devices look better.

      The worst part is that people actually believe what apple says, that apple’s products are being copied, that everything they come up with has never been done before and, at WWDC, that their devices don’t suffer from fragmentation.

      • NeedName

        yeah, it’s very irritating reading regurgitated cr*pple hyperbole PR on the web all the time. . . as if people can’t even think just a tiny bit for themselves.

  • “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

    HTC’s lockscreen looks nothing like Apple’s at all. Just because they patented one form of swipe to unlock doesn’t mean that they get every single type of swipe to unlock in existence.

    Just because a person patents a running shoe design doesn’t mean that the patent includes boots, sandals, anything else that covers your feet….

    • New_Guy

      fantastic point. I’ve never understood what they are thinking with suing everyone based on the slide to unlock feature. If they aren’t stealing the exact code, or making it look and feel exactly like what they’re doing, then what give them the right to sue? Just ridiculous and petty. The lawsuits do more harm than good and Apple is using a system designed to protect people and turning it upside down and attacking people instead.

    • Droidzilla

      Except, in your analogy, Apple would have actually been granted a patent on “foot coverings for protection, performance enhancement, and aesthetics or other reasons.” The patent situation really is that broken for software patents, as Apple proves on a daily basis.

    • Or, to bring it closer to this situation, its like the patent owner of an air cushioned running shoe suing the maker of a gel cushioned running shoe, e.g., Nike suing Asics

  • Obligatory “Fu#k Apple”

  • competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours

    Hows that notification bar apple

    • That was my first thought as well.

    • Droidzilla

      And the grid of icons, capacitive screen, radios, etc. Apple hasn’t come up with anything new; they just put it all in a user friendly package.

  • LMAO at Apple’s response. Silly Apple, its not called “your work” if you didn’t invent it first 😛

    • But they bought the technology and the patents then sued other companies over those patents!! That’s close enough, right? #sarcasm

      • NeedName

        they didn’t buy anything. . . just spammed the patent office(s) which they continue to do.