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August 26, 2015

German court rejects Apple’s slide to unlock patent appeal

Neonode sold phone with slide to unlock a year before the iPhone launched.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Federal Court of Appeals in Karlsruhe, Germany, has rejected Apple‘s claim over the patents covering the "slide to unlock" feature in mobile phones.

The decison upholds a 2013 ruling by a lower court, which also considered the claims made by Apple as invalid.

Germany’s highest appeals court observed that the technique used was similar to a phone released by Swedish company Neonode.

Neonode launched a device with a slide to unlock feature a year before the iPhone’s 2007 launch, reported Reuters.

According to the patent court, the device ‘Neonode N1’ that ran on Microsoft Windows CE.NET had similar technical features, and ruled that the iPhone makers easier-to-use interface was not in itself patentable.

Prior to filing for bankruptcy in 2008, Neonode sold thousands of N1 phones. It reorganised itself as an intellectual property firm licensing its patented optical technology for phones, tablets, and other touchscreen devices.

The lawsuit was initially launched by Motorola Mobility in a Munich court against the Apple user interface patent.

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