Apple’s certainly keeping its lawyers busy. The Cupertino-based company filed yet another lawsuit against Samsung in Germany last week. This time around, Apple alleges that Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone infringes upon Apple’s “slide to unlock” feature which first debuted on the original iPhone back in 2007. The feature was officially granted patent protection in the US in 2011 and was subject to a utility model patent in Germany back in 2006.
Foss Patents adds:
In connection with the disputed validity of that utility, Samsung emphasizes an obscure Swedish device that previously persuaded a Dutch judge to doubt the validity of Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent. In the utility model case, the Mannheim Regional Court could decide in Apple’s favor without even having to go into technical details on the Neonode device. In order for the widely-unknown device to be eligible as prior art in a utility model case, the standard for availability is higher than for patents. It’s not clear whether Samsung can prove that this device counts as prior art in this context.