Apple is again going after Samsung in their ongoing battle between the two companies which has spread all over the world. After a recent victory in Germany, they have filed papers alleging a violation of their patents involving the slide to unlock feature which is on the iPhone and now on the Galaxy Nexus. In reality, this is a feature in Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) which Apple is going after but it is easier to go after Samsung rather than Google. Since the Galaxy Nexus is currently the only smart phone selling with Android 4.0 installed, it made the phone a target for Apple. Given their recent successes in Germany, they are continuing the process in making this latest filing.
The details for this latest action are being reported by Foss Patents who has a great history of keeping everyone up to date on legal filings which are going on throughout the world. In this latest one, Apple is trying to get their intellectual property protected and at the same time trying to obtain a patent for the slide to lock feature. From the Foss Patents article:
Today’s hearing relate to a Gebrauchsmuster (“utility model”), which is an intellectual property right that could be vaguely described as a fast-track patent that comes with various limitations. Companies are free to file for patents and utility models on the same invention (or on closely related inventions), and that’s what Apple did with its ever-more-famous slide-to-unlock image invention. Stemming from the same original application, two manifestations of this intellectual property right exist in parallel in the German market: a patent (EP1964022 as well as a German utility model (DE212006000081).
The courts are expected to issue a decision on this on March 16th and it is expected that it will not be a cut and dry decision. This one may make its way through the courts for much of the year in the legal battles over the slide to unlock feature which Apple believes they have the rights to. This is the latest action in a series of actions between Apple and Samsung and we can expect that it will not be the last.