Featured: Apple Sues Samsung for Slide-to-Unlock Functionality on Galaxy Nexus

Sometimes I think Apple lawyers really need to justify their job at Apple. Apple probably has so many lawyers by now because of some previous cases, and now all these lawyers must find "something to do" to keep their highly paid jobs at Apple. This might explain why Apple is now suing Samsung in Germany (seems to be their favorite place for this) for the unlocking functionality in Galaxy Nexus, the first Android 4.0 smartphone.

This is clearly an attack on Google's new Android version as well, because Galaxy Nexus uses stock Android 4.0, which means it could also be a threat to other manufacturers who use it, and it might force them to change the unlock action on their Android 4.0 devices. The question to ask is does Apple actually have a patent on this unlocking action?

I don't think they do. Their original patent for their own unlocking action may have been intentionally broader than it needed to be, but I  think any reasonable judge can see that the unlocking methods are completely different and no one can say they are similar. In fact former unlocking methods for stock Android, Sense and even Touchwiz were a lot more similar to Apple's unlocking than the unlocking in Android 4.0 is.

I think Apple has reached a new low with this. I don't think even they take the patent lawsuits seriously anymore, as in actually expecting to take Samsung's products off the market for a long time. Plus, it won't even get them to dramatically modify the UI. They will only need to make minimal changes to escape the "patent infringement". So in a way this has just become a pointless game. And probably their only goal now is to get Samsung to spend a lot of money on lawyers, too. While Apple has a lot of money, I still think they should focus their energy on actually innovating and catching with Android in functionality.

 

 

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