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HTC defeats Apple in swipe-to-unlock patent dispute (Source: BBC)
(BBC: HTC defeats Apple in swipe-to-unlock patent dispute)
Now, clearly this is a victory for HTC and Android in the UK.
[High Court judge] said Apple's slide-to-unlock feature was an "obvious" development in the light of a similar function on an earlier Swedish handset.
I believe the US patent law also requires novelty and non-obviousness. It doesn't matter if the product was sold in the US or not, in fact it doesn't even care if the invention was sold at all. If some one publishes a paper about an invention, it's prior work, and cannot be patented by others anymore. I had two patenting strategies classes so far though, I'm not a patent attorney or something so don't quote me on that.
I still can't believe that the US won't get rid of the slide to unlock patent. Maybe this ruling will catch US judges' attention.
Oh, here's a video of the swipe to unlock feature on the 2004 windows CE phone:
. I fast forwarded to the swipe to unlock feature demonstration so I can't embed it into the message, sorry.