A German court has ruled in Apple’s favor regarding Motorola Mobility’s supposed infringement on Apple’s “slide to unlock” patent, EP1964022, which describes ”unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image”.
Apple won what could be a permanent injunction against two of Motorola Mobility’s smartphones which use a horizontal unlock gesture swiping from left to right (or vertically from bottom to top if the device is in landscape mode). Apple was not able to get the same ruling against thetablet, which uses the Honeycomb unlock gesture where you drag the lock from within a circle to its outer edge in any direction.
While most of Motorola Mobility’s smartphones use the same unlock gesture, Motorola doesn’t anticipate any impact on their sales in Germany because they can change the unlock method via software update. They are also planning to appeal the case, so the ruling isn’t yet final.
Given that many Android smartphones use a similar unlock gesture, upholding Apple’s patent EP1964022 in Germany could mean at the very least a lot of headache for those manufacturers like Samsung to change their unlock methods as well.