New Apple suit claims Galaxy Nexus infringes on 'slide-to-unlock' feature


Mere hours after serving up a ruling on Friday for a failed Samsung lawsuit against Apple, the Mannheim Regional Court held a hearing about Apple’s complaint against Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. It is the first time when Apple has named the South Korean electronics manufacturer's flagship Android handset in a lawsuit, claiming the device infringes the iPhone maker's "slide-to-unlock" utility model that was first introduced with the original iPhone in 2007 and subsequently patented with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in October 2011

Examinations of utility model registrations are not as stringent as patent filings and don't carry a presumption of validity which is necessary for a court ruling. Thus the Mannheim court does not foresee an immediate decision in the "slide-to-unlock" suit as it believes the validity or invalidity of the invention is too close to call.

Judge Andreas Voss could opt to stay the case pending the conclusion of an identical suit at the Munich-based Federal Patent court to avoid inconsistent rulings, but Apple wants to obtain a decision as soon as possible. If a stay was instituted, the "slide-to-unlock" model could come dangerously close to its 10-year expiration date, becoming increasingly devalued commercially.

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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Saturday, January 21, 2012. 23:22

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