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August 2013: Apple's Slide-to-Unlock Patent Ruled Invalid by the German Federal Patent Court

August 2013

The firm recently obtained a victory for Motorola in the German nullity proceedings against Apple’s “slide-to-unlock” patent. The teaching of said patent generally relates to “unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image,” more precisely moving a GUI object along a predefined displayed path, known from Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad. It is one of Apple’s most often cited patents, and has been asserted against three competitors in Germany, including Motorola. Now the patent has been invalidated by the German Federal Patent Court (decision appealable). Based on the revocation of the patent in suit, the infringement court stayed the proceedings pending a final nullity decision. The firm represents Motorola in both the nullity action and the infringement proceedings (Germany has a bifurcated system in which infringement and validity of an asserted patent are decided by different courts).