Apple has lost a challenge in the German court system that sought to overturn an earlier ruling, which voided its patent for ‘swipe to unlock’ in Europe.
The patent (EP1964022) was granted back in 2010 and was used to win an injunction against Motorola smartphones (back when Moto was owned by Google) in 2012. Motorola has since appealed the injunction, with a decision dependent on Tuesday’s outcome.
According to Deutsche Welle, which first spotted the ruling, the Federal Court of Justice ruled that the Apple patent didn’t fit the European requirements, namely that it didn’t provide a technical solution for users, but rather was an added convenience.
The courts also added that a Swedish company, Neonode, had already developed the swipe to unlock feature before Apple ever introduced the iPhone.
The decision may have implications for the continuing legal battle between Lenovo-owned Motorola and Apple.