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Dutch judge considers Apple's slide-to-unlock patent likely invalid


Although Dutch courts granted Apple a preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones, the same courts have ruled that Apple's slide-to-unlock patent is "not inventive" and therefore likely invalid. According to FOSS Patents, there was sufficient evidence of the "obviousness" of slide-to-unlock for the Dutch courts to consider invalidating it.

Apple has asserted this patent against several companies, in several lawsuits, in several jurisdictions. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents believes these other jurisdictions will also likely rule to invalidate this particular patent on "obviousness" grounds.

Even to a layman like myself, a patent for slide-to-unlock did seem excessively granular for a feature that's not particularly inventive. It's not surprising the Dutch courts have smacked this one down even as they've upheld Apple's other infringement claims against Samsung. This one invalidation isn't likely to affect Apple's overall case against Samsung, which will proceed to trial at some future date unless the companies settle out of court first.

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