HTC Beats Apple in UK Swipe-to-Unlock Patent Dispute

By Gary Cutlack on at

Despite winning numerous patent battles and injunctions against Android makers around the world, Apple has now lost its big case against HTC in the UK, with a high court judge ruling the swipe-to-unlock patent is too "obvious" a solution to be considered enforceable.

The UK Apple/HTC case saw Apple claiming HTC had infringed four of its patents, including the swipe unlocking system, the general idea of multi-touch operation, the inclusion of a multilingual keyboard and the "bounce" image gallery display technique when you reach the end of a scrolling list.

The judge in the case found that the first three patents were invalid for various reasons and the slide-to-unlock feature pre-dated Apple's claims on it anyway, while the fourth and final valid one regarding the bouncing gallery scroll effect hadn't actually been used by HTC at all.

So it was a total wipeout for Apple's legal case against HTC in the UK, with HTC saying: "We remain disappointed that Apple continues to favour competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace." [BBC]