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back to article German court says nein to Apple's slide-to-unlock patent

Apple's slide-to-unlock patent has been ruled invalid by a German court because it's not really an "innovation" in the eyes of European patent law. The Bundespatentgericht (federal patent court) in Munich ruled that the famous patent is invalid because European law doesn't allow for the patenting of software that doesn't …

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Pint

…And there was much rejoicing!

W00t!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: …And there was much rejoicing!

...said every Copyright and IP lawyer.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: …And there was much rejoicing!

"yaay". (in the most unenthusiastic voice possible)

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It shouldn't be patentable....

...at all, because it's a stupid idea to try and patent something like that

...by Apple because I had that feature on my old Symbian-based Nokia

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Coat

Re: It shouldn't be patentable....

I've had it on my toilet door for a lot longer...

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Re: It shouldn't be patentable....

I've had 'slide-to-unlock' on my Sony Ericsson W995 phone for years too (probably a feature of most 'slider phones') - although in physical form - sliding the whole screen up to unlock it (in fact, it has 'slide-to-lock' too!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It shouldn't be patentable....

Stupid unless you invented it eh?

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Coat

Re: It shouldn't be patentable....

> I've had it on my toilet door for a lot longer...

And a door clearly is a "mobile device" (otherwise it would be called a wall), so even that particular infamous defence won't stand!

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Thumb Up

Re: It shouldn't be patentable....

I think the Nokia 8110 was the first to do it (aka the original Matrix phone).

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Bronze badge

Re: It shouldn't be patentable....

Even if you said "mobile electronic device", my very first ThinkPad back in the dark ages of the 90's had a single sliding catch on the lid in order to "unlock" it.

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Apple's slide-to-unlock patent has been ruled invalid

> by a German court because it's not really a "technological innovation"

10,000 year old bolt finally accepted as prior art.

Next news, Apple to appeal decision that that can't patent writing.

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Apple... can't patent writing.

but selection over that writing is there to take

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Paris Hilton

Slide to unlock

US patent lawyers must live in their own little cubicle.

Even Paris knows Apple wasn't first to upcome with this bog-standard widget.

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Mushroom

Splendid. It looks as if the "powers that be" have finally begun to take notice. Oh, and no......

........I am not just talking about Cupertino. It is becoming increasingly clear that "The Man" in both the States and in the EU has finally begun to wake up with regard to the way that "BigCorp" (not just the "Patent Trolls") are taking the piss out of patent law. Splendid, shame it took the high profile nature (media-wise) of Apple's fairly shameless judicial carpet-bombing of their rivals (notably you-know-who) to make them wake up. Despite the fact that I do not have very much time for the fruity company I would be the last to pretend that they are the only guilty parties. It is not just the classic patent troll who is at work here - it is the entire fucking industry who is playing this particular tune and it is about time our authorities took notice.

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Devil

Patented -- or worse?

It could be worse -- patents have a limited life, but copyrights are forever.

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Boffin

Re: Patented -- or worse?

Actually, no, they're not. See the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Copyright is generally active for the lifetime of the person who created the work, plus fifty years after death (normally via his/her estate), and a fixed period of length (this fixed period isn't fixed in the convention, if I recall correctly) for companies, etc. Various national laws giver different forms of work different periods of protection, but in no jurisdictions that I'm aware of, does such protection last for ever. I stand, or course, to be corrected by those who actually know better than this layman!

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Facepalm

Re: Patented -- or worse?

>Actually, no, they're not.

Erm, I think you missed the sarcasm...

Copyrights are now so long, there is little practical difference.

And just wait until Steamboat Willie comes up due for the public domain treatment, an extension will be pushed through in the US, undoubtedly.

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Re: Patented -- or worse?

In the United States, thanks to Sonny Bono and hist stupid copyright term extension act, copyrights are now extended to 120 years after the death of the creator.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonny_Bono_Copyright_Term_Extension_Act

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Bronze badge

Re: Micky Mouse Act

Bzzz! WRONG!

If you are going to object to an objectionable piece of legislation, please get your easily available facts right. It's life plus 70 years for a creator owned piece, 95 years from publication or 120 from creation for a corporate owned piece (whichever is shorter).

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Unhappy

Re: Micky Mouse Act

..and renewable every 20 years until the end of time.

Sounds like forever to me, after all they wanted it to be forever.

"Sonny Bono wanted the term of copyright protection to last forever. I am informed by staff that such a change would violate the Constitution. ... As you know, there is also [then-MPAA president] Jack Valenti's proposal for term to last forever less one day. "

In 2023 when Mickey Mouse is set to drop into public domain (again), you honestly think it will, if so have I got a bridge to sell you.

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FAIL

Its our fault

Sorry world, this is the fault of the US public. We have allowed Corporations to run our country, even to the point where they have granted themselves personhood. Out of this "Do whatever we want" attitude they are allowed to patent anything that comes as common sense, even with tons of prior art. Rounded black edges patentable? Really? REALLY? Bottom line is the majority of our public are either too stupid or too lazy to do anything about it. At least Europe seems to have a more level head about some of this stuff. The Corporation lawyers are busy trying to out litigate each other while the Patent Office is either staffed with the mental equivalent of 3rd graders or paid off. Either way stupidity reigns and it is our fault.

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Re: Its our fault

You are largely correct but there isn't a whole lot the average consumer/voter can do regarding the USPTO. There's no one to vote for & I'm pretty sure 'bringing democracy' U.S. style to federal agencies is frowned on.

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Gold badge

Re: Its our fault

The US (and others) restored democracy to Germany a while back. Perhaps they'll return the favour.

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Joke

Anybody else noticed?

Apple and Appeal are almost the same word

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Pint

Sensible patent decision in a German court! brilliant!

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