Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy Nexus slide-to-unlock


To add insult to injury, after a German court ruled against Samsung’s claims of patent infringement on the part of Apple, the Cupertino-based company has decided to drag the Galaxy Nexus into court. Apple is alleging that the use of a slide-to-unlock feature in the Android 4.0 flagship device infringes upon their intellectual property. While Samsung is the name filed on the court documents, it is clear that the attack also targets Google, as the handset was developed as part of a close partnership between the two companies. There is also the fact that the Galaxy Nexus serves as Google’s reference design for their latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. Slide-to-unlock is entirely on the software side — the element of the Galaxy Nexus most closely controlled by Google.

Though the Galaxy Nexus does use a slide-to-unlock feature by default to progress from the handset’s lock screen, the method deployed by Google and Samsung does differ from Apple’s implementation. We’re not sure how a court will see it, but the ability to slide in multiple directions and launch various tasks directly from the home screen shows how fundamentally different the unlock methods of Google and Apple are. It will be interesting to see which way the court leans, but if Apple wins this one we may all have to get used to unlocking our phones with a quick scan of our smiling faces.

[via AllThingsD]

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  1. But the Nexus isn’t really a slide to unlock….

    1. It is slide to unlock.

      You are still sliding a graphic across the screen to unlock the device. It is slide to unlock, but a very different presentation of it. 

      1. I guess we’ll see.

      2. Lol no its not its mainly face unlock for the GN but they do have the honeycomb lock screen as well of which isn’t the same form of unlocking actually there was slide to unlock before the FIRST iPhone so just that fact makes it pointless to argue.

    2. …and the sky isn’t up?

  2. While you’re at it, Apple. Sue for the battery status animation, the shape of the phone being rectangular, etc.

    Frickin’ Apple is REALLY beginning to tick me off.

      1. Yeah seriously… just beginning now?

    1. They already have literally sued for shape it was a lawsuit against the galaxy tab though in australia

    2. Apple lawyers have mentioned shape and color black as copying. Shapes and colors come from nature and not Apple. They copied nature and so can anyone.

  3. This is hands-down the worst patent-related lawsuit by Apple yet.

    I am in no way saying that Google, Samsung, and others dont file suits.. but THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

    1. Hm as far as I know, Google hasn’t sued anybody over the Android phones, despite many features and technologies being ‘copied’ from the Android OS (Notifications, wireless syncing/setup, etc.).

      1. contrarely to apple, google want’s to be copied, they even envouraged it when they released chrome browser if I remember correctly

      2. Android is also  open source.  Kinda goes against AOSP if they start suing people.

  4. And we’ve reached a new low.

    1. Seriously, this is ridiculous. What’s next? Apple suing Samsung for having the letter ‘A’ in their name?

      1. Don’t give them any ideas.

        1. this is the greatest comment i have ever read in my entire life

          1. this is the worst for me

  5. Who really even uses the slide to unlock anyway? Anyway, I hope Steve Jobs is burning in hell, as will all the other big corporation thieving, middle class hating, heartless, greedy bastards at Assle!

    1. Wait what?  Who doesn’t use it?  What do you use?

      1. Face unlock, and if that doesn’t work, pattern.

        1. Pattern is still slide to unlock.  Well according to Apple it is…

          1. Yea, u don’t see them being sued for pull down notifications! They truly have been a nuisance for a while, but this is just crossing a line. Isn’t there a law against excessive legal complaints?

          2. yes actually

      2. Fingerprint sensor (Atrix)

        1. I wish every phone had that!!!

          1. Personally, I hit my menu button twice to unlock. I got used to doing it that way before Froyo gave us the slide and I just never started using the slide.

  6. What a surprise, Google does yet another thing better than apple, so their only solution is to sue them instead of just making their product better for once.

    1. android is really good at improving someone else’s ideas. 

      1. u mean apple….slide to unlock wasnt invented by apple to begin with..

      2. Quite a lot of what Apple used came from Danger .. and Danger also spawned Android so you know nothing.

        Also, those cute little notifications in iOS 5 .. straight outta Android. So have a nice can of shut the **** up.

  7. This is so stupid. Is there a patent when you turn your key clockwise to unlock your car door?

        1. Speaking as a living historian, those are excellent!

    1. Yes – Patent Pending by Apple

    2. You gave me an idea: If a physical door had a NFC chip, you could hold your phone in front of it, and while in range, if you rotate your phone 180 degrees, it unlocks. (Course… might just be easier to unlock by waiving it in front, but the extra step would prevent accidental unlocks i fyou brushed your pocket against the lock on the way out)

      1. better not fucking patent it

  8.  “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong… I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”-SJ

    Wow.. You believe this guy? Maybe he had some mental health issues nobody really knew about.

    1. I like how he calls Android a stolen product, but most of the features iOS has, Android had first.


        1. And Android was in development BEFORE the iPhone was released.

    2. If you read the book you will see that he had multiple mental issues that most people knew about.  He basically fucked over anyone who ever cared about or relied on him.  He spent the first 40 years of his life screwing people over.

      1. Im reading the book now. He pretty effed up. But, sure would love to have his intensity on stuff.

        1. Only way I would read that is if the book was stolen! I refuse to give apple or anything related my dime!

          1. You know what…there is a pdf for that :p

      2. I read the book as well, and concur.  Screwed over every person who ever tried to help him.  He manipulated the situation against them, for years sometimes, pretending to be their ally.

        Stole ideas from all kinds of people, and called it “genius”, then complained of “theft” when anyone used something remotely similar to his.

        They talk about how his engineers came up with ideas and he would contribute something simple (like pick the color) an his name would go on the patent.

        He was a brilliant salesman and manipulator extraordinaire.  However, not someone to be emulated or put on a pedestal.  He certainly changed the face of computing, but I am not convinced at all that it all wouldn’t have happened without him.

  9. I really don’t get the point of slide to unlock other than giving you one more step between you and using your device. If you’re not using any kind of security, why wouldn’t you get an app to bypass the lockscreen? It’s not like it’s that easy to accidentally turn on the screen.

    1. To prevent accidental pocket-dialing, app-launching, etc. And the lockscreen has a shorter screen-off timeout, which saves battery life.

      1. Turn on the screen off before you pocket it? I’ve never accidentally turned the screen on on my phone or tablet.

        1. You’ve almost certainly accidentally hit the power button while in your pocket, and just haven’t noticed. Also, with no lock, some apps can wakeup the device and keep the screen on with a wakelock.

        2. Maybe you haven’t.  I am sure that does not preclude the possibility of it happening to others.

        3. I can’t tell if you are joking or not. You seriously don’t understand the point of a lock screen?

          1. I understand it if you have a pin or pattern lock but not just slide to unlock.

          2. A few things you might want quicker access to:

            911 emergency calling.Frequently accessed apps.Sometimes the few seconds it takes to navigate to the dialer, and then dial the numbers…. is far to long.

        4. Some times when I pull mine out of my pants it’s already turned on.

          1. That’s what he said?

  10. Does Apple realize how lame they look in everyone’s eyes (even iTards) when they fire off these ridiculous lawsuits? It’s as if they’ve got nothing better to do with their giant piles of cash besides throw it at shameless lawyers.

    And “don’t hate the playah – hate teh patent game!” isn’t a valid excuse.

  11. get a life apple… whats next charging a phone?

  12. This will be thrown out.  The “slide to unlock” on the iPhone vs. ICS is fundamentally different.

    1. have you read the patent?  It is so bloody generic it covers everything from just moving your finger across the screen to ending at a per-determined point to unlock.  It’s a BS patent and they’ll milk it as long as they have it.

  13. in other news, pattern unlock is sooo much more useful and Google has the patent for that so you know what iFuhrer, iFoff!

  14. Really come on! No body cares about how the phone unlocks!

  15. Wow f*ck Crapple this is getting ridiculous. Samsung stop producing components for them, the alternatives are nowhere near as good show crapple how crappy their iPhone us without your parts. Or raise the prices to pay for the lawsuit.
    ICS unlock is much different and much more advanced to the simple one directional unlock I had an iPhone and all it did is unlock the phone to the boring main screen.

  16. Personally, I feel like the slide to unlock implementation on my Galaxy Nexus is different enough from Apple’s and way better. I love that you can also ignore a call but send the person a text message (ie “I am driving, I’ll call you back soon”)

    1. Heh…try the “octo-lock” from AOKP. 

      Damn…  Eight points, eight actions that can be initiated from the lock screen….not including the media player keys.

      1. That’s cool. Thanks for sharing. Personally. I think that’s a bit much. I am happy with the Galaxy Nexus implementation.

        1. No doubt. still using the stock one myself, but…sheesh… right?

  17. I wonder if he knows that slide to unlock was available as an app on the old WM 6.x phones?  I had several WM phones with that functionality.

  18. their patent is invalid because this old phone had the slide to unlock feature long before Iphone


    but us patent office likes to s***k apple’s D***k so much that they approved it anyways

    also the apple patent is so vague it also covers the pattern unlock that google developped (any predifined gesture that unlocks a phone via a movement of the finger on a touch sensitive display)

    the only thing that is not covered is pin or password as you do not move your finger across the display.

    a dutch court has already invalidated this patent when apple tried to sue samsung with it, clearly the USPTO is filled with incompetent idiots (not Isheep, genuine dumbasses)

  19. And where was this lawsuit, i dunno, back during Nexus One and such? Why now?

  20. I love how Apple is just suing everyone else that has good ideas. Pattern unlocks were around before either of them I think [vaguely remember an article on it]. They are more focused on suing other innovators rather than just improving their own products constantly. More energy toward their own product development would do us all some good.

  21. If apple wins. I guess it’ll be time to see how the finding to
    Apple’s legal department, find their way to pockets
    of patents ruling judges.

  22. Apple are a bunch of anal idiots. So if Ford had a parent on the wheel. Then what would we all be driving… Hovercrafts

    1. Damn, now I wish they did, and we were.

  23. Why am I not surprised? Apple finally sees just how well Google has cleaned Android up and they can’t stand that.

    Think of how many more customers it’ll attract to Android over iOS’s boring, dated UI.

  24. Meh, something like it will be on the iPhone 5 and they’ll claim it’s magical and innovative. Then use more magic to produce a patent filing for it that was mysteriously filed a few months to a year or so before Honeycomb launched claiming they had the idea first.

  25. Apple needs to get a life… 

    I truly wish for Apple to wake up…

  26. “…but if Apple wins this one we may all have to get used to unlocking our phones with a quick scan of our smiling faces.”
    Didn’t Apple just recently file for a Face Unlock patent?
    As far as why Apple is suing NOW and not before, the reason is they just got their patent approved about a month ago, if I recall correctly.

  27. Hey Apple! GFY!

  28. Meh. they aren’t going to win.

  29. Really? none of you saw this coming when they were granted this patent? that’s what you do when you own a patent and someone copies you. 

  30. this is not the first slide to unlock implementation by Android.. i find it funny that Apple waited to now to sue them over it..  they are just scared..there is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition! 

  31. Patient…. rotten Apple will be ended in garbage. I’ll give it couple more years.

  32. Didn’t apple already have a similar patent thrown out of dutch courts due to prior art?

  33. Why would a fruit company want to sue an electronics company? :)

  34. Its funny really that ICS does not have a slid to unlock but more of a icon to move to the unlock icon to unlock the phone.

  35. Q: Did the first company to manufacture car tyres sue each successive manufacturer of tyres for copyright infringement?  Hmmm…. silly Apple.

    1. Well actually Michelin owned the technology patents on Steel Belted Radial Tires and kept other companies from making them for years. Up until the 70’s you could only buy Bias Ply tires in America. Michelin did offer to license their technology though and that’s where these two giants differ. Eventually licenses or other manufacturing methods (cord instead of steel) were developed. 

      Apple refuses to compete  and simply license any technology they really developed instead using patents to kill competition. So they are clearly in violation of anti-competitive legislation on the books right now. But CrApple shareholders are also in government and this clearly proves that our government employees are all just puppets of Big Corporations! 

      Only one web related software company supports SOPA. Guess who that is? Yes…. CrApple!!! Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon are against it. We are the biggest losers when companies start suing each other. But I doubt that Samsung will be left hurting. Again this year they will invest a record $22 Billion in R&D and production expansion around the World. It’s a company that spends it’s money instead of hoarding it in offshore banks to avoid taxes! …….like CrApple!!!!

      1. Apple couldn’t license anything other than the OS lol they don’t make their parts of the iPhone. If apple were to license their OS it would kill the OS not because of “Fragmentation” but because nobody would have to buy an apple product for iOS, the other iOS products would clearly outshine them.

  36. I’m pretty sure they were denied that patent. I hope apple goes the way of Kodak… Bankruptcy that would be a great day then Tizen OS can enter the ring to compete with android.

  37. This and many other law suits from Apple are evidences of Apple being scared. Apple is buying time to catch up with Android. Simple as that.

    1. You forget buying money

  38. Why doesn’t anonymous go after apple?

    1. They use Macs.

      1. Darn

  39. Wish list item one, Google buys Motorola, item two Google buys tmobile. Then renames it Gmobile. That would make the iFruit people insane, as Steve jobs dreamed of one day having a cell phone provider.
    Imagine getting updates when they come, not havingto wait for your provider to load the blotware…

    1. Except manufacturers can’t be carriers at least not now.

      1. That’s what makes it a wish…

  40. Apple must be really scared as they products are crap I wouldn’t give them to my 5 year old. Samsung need to stop make parts for the apple crapphone. Why can’t china send crapple an app that makes to phones useless just to shut them up.

  41. Apple must be really scared as they products are crap I wouldn’t give them to my 5 year old. Samsung need to stop make parts for the apple crapphone. Why can’t china send crapple an app that makes to phones useless just to shut them up.

  42. Hey you F+#*ing Apple!! .. quit whinning!!! Android will be King of the world!! You know that!! SMH!

  43. This will never go through, the only thing will happen is invalidation of Apple’s patent on slide to unlock as there are previous products from around 2004 with slide to unlock.  Some winmo phone had it way back in the day.  Someone at Engadget pulled it out not too long ago and showed it around when Apple was given the patent for slide to unlock.  Everyone, seriously, just chill.  Now, if only Samsung could once it was over countersue for damages and court costs, now that would get rid of frivolous lawsuits.

  44. Wait isn’t the Galaxy Nexus’ lockscreen a circle on the middle you move to the right to unlock and the left for the camera app?  That’s totally no were near Apple’s slide to unlock… unless I’m missing something here.
    Obviously, I don’t own a Galaxy Nexus.

    1. Actually thats not even the advertised one. Its a Face Unlock, the other one which is similar to the one in honeycomb is free movement instead of a line to the right.

  45. well it’s just the beginning, just remember Apple has the Face Recognition patent now, we have to wait and see when they are gonna force Google to take it off from every android device. I F***ing hate that company.

    1. No they don’t and that would be easy court case Galaxy Nexus vs imaginary apple product that will never arrive.

  46. more apple trash, it doesnt even remotely look the same on the Gnexus anyway, apple’s just on her period again

  47. I blame the Patent office for allowing Apple to have such a ridiculous patent.  And F Apple for submitting common sense.  I’m surprised they haven’t submitted a patent for the action of drinking water.

  48. It really pisses me off how Samsung and others keep falling for this shit, like seriously, they had to know that apple got a patten on this a few months ago. why do they insist on making themselves look like asses and feed into apple’s bullshit. there is absolutely no reason why the Nexus needed slide to unlock.

    Im so sick of apple and Im really glad Steve Jobs is rotting in hell right now.

    1. if you have seen the “slide to unlock” on the nexus (i have one) it in no way shape or form looks anything like the iphone. although you are “sliding” a circle over to an unlock image it doesn’t have to be a slide movement, you can up down around whatever you want as long as the circle ends up on the image.

  49. Can we sue apple for horoble products?? 

  50. umm, you want to burn your cock?

  51. in light of this news im going to change my unlock screen to use the slide to unlock feature. thanks Google, this slide to unlock thing is definitely worth stealing from apple.

  52. Next thing you know, Apple will be patenting/sueing others over the pattern unlock :/

  53. lol yeah hes rolling over in his grave cuz of this. 

  54. Slide to unlock huh?
    I been using this method since I was a little kid.

  55. Next lawsuit will be Apple suing for the patent if suing others.
    Yesterday I posted on ebgadget that instead of jailbreakibg an iPhone you might as well get an android rooting is much easier and google already is an open platform. Whereas trying to open a closed platform is a hassle, especially because it is a pain to update the system if you have a jail broken iPhone. I couldn’t believe how defensive ifan buy/girls were getting. I was called form being a liar to someone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about. It was quiet entertaining, I guess the webs anonymity gives people a reason to be an a$$h*le. I’m tempted to get my sociology prof to do a study on this with me haha.

  56. if your planning on voting. …choose the canidate whos never gone back on his word….remember…fool me once shame on you…fool me twice shame on me!


  57. The patent is actually worth reading before we all practice armchair law:

    1. All is see is BS apple was not first to use gesture unlock 

    2. Can you find if Apple have a patent for the invention of placing 12 buttons in particular order, and required movement is pressing each of the digits to form a phone number. If they have, I might as well toss everything out, my home phone, my mobile, my keyboard, my software IP phone……soon they will be suing everyone…….

      As an outsider to patents, and believe me, I understand their need, but if I remember, the early patents were taken out on ground breaking ideas, ones that really needed to be protected.

      Patents on how a gesture works??………come on……I am going down to the patent office to register a well known single finger gesture which is universally known through out the world……Wait, I think apple have that one as well…. ;-)


  58. Apple will try anything to derail Samsung. Samsung at the moment is the
    most successful cell phone company. But Apple will stop at nothing. If one
    strategy fails they will try another. They are suing Samsung now in Germany on 10 products. Electronic analogs of real world objects are not inventions but unfortunately judges may not see that. I will launch my own personal campaign to convince others not to buy any Apple products. They are the biggest, greediest, most evil company ever. A real reflection of SJ.
    I hope all of the companies band together to fight off this evil company that does not believe in competition. They may eventually sue Asus and Acer too if they are successful  at suing Samsung. I wear T-shirts that show Android eating an Apple. They are available on the net. I have never given Apple a second thought before until I saw the massive legal campaign they launch to thwart Samsung. Samsung;s iSheep ad campaign is going to have an effect if we all help to spread it. We can all help in our own small ways to defend this world from this corporate greed and evil that is upon us. Yes I know all companies do that somewhat but not to the scale and level that Apple has embarked on.

  59. And the courts don’t allow Samsung to use their 3G radio patents? What is this bull@#$%. Apple needs to just go die…

    Only one web related. my neighbor’s sister makes $67/hour on the computer. She has been unemployed for 5 months but last month her income was $7401 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site… MakeCash2.com

  61. Had the arc to unlock on my X10 before they removed it. Way more natural gesture. Don’t even like the slide gesture.

  62. Honestly, I think all these lawsuits hurt Apple because it grows hatred against their brand and makes them look scared and desperate.

  63. If this is the case, then EVERY Android phone on the marker should be targeted since HTC slides that circle, Samsung slides the screen, LG slides… well… I’ve never actually used an LG UI phone, and same for MoTo, but I’m sure they slide.

    Apple shouldn’t be able to sue for this. The reason being, in their image of the patent, it shows the picture going from left to right. So that’s Apple’s specifics right there. The patent has a picture and that’s what Apple is doing.

    Since Android’s unlock screen looks nothing lyk Apple’s, there is no problem.

  64. Unfortunately as always, USPTO has granted Apple the most generic patent possible:

    “1. A method of unlocking a hand-held electronic device, the device including a touch-sensitive display, the method comprising: detecting a contact with the touch-sensitive display at a first predefined location corresponding to an unlock image; continuously moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display in accordance with movement of the contact while continuous contact with the touch screen is maintained, wherein the unlock image is a graphical, interactive user-interface object with which a user interacts in order to unlock the device; and unlocking the hand-held electronic device if the moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display results in movement of the unlock image from the first predefined location to a predefined unlock region on the touch-sensitive display. 

    2. The method of claim 1, wherein the moving comprises movement along any desired path.”

    As everything displayed on the screen is an image and considering that is qualified as an “unlock image” as it is touched to achieve unlock, you can fit pretty much any kind of unlock method you wish as long as it has to do with moving something on the screen.
    MeeGo double touch is OK.

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