Apple has won a patent dispute with Motorola Mobility in a Munich court over a "slide-to-unlock" feature on smartphones sold in Germany.
The patent was granted to Apple in 2010. The patent relates to the process of unlocking a smartphone by swiping a finger from one area of the screen to another, introduced with the iPhone in 2007.
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Motorola said the judgement would have no impact on supply or future sales, because the company has implemented a new design for the disputed phone unlocking feature in select devices.
According to The Guardian, it is not yet clear whether this means Motorola has implemented its own new software feature or whether the new design is the unlocking system introduced in the latest version of Android.
Despite dismissals of the impact of the ruling by Motorola, patent expert Florian Meuller believes it is a significant victory for Apple against rival Android, according to the BBC.
Apple’s first patent victory over Motorola Mobility, currently being acquired by Google, could affect all patent disputes involving devices that run Google’s Android operating system, he said.
Apple is asserting the slide-to-unlock patent in different jurisdictions against three leading Android device makers, but could go after more on the strength of the German ruling, said Meuller.