Things had been looking up for Motorola in the ongoing Apple versus Android/Motorola lawsuit battle, so much so that the company even had the nerve to ask for a large chunk of Apple's iPhone revenue. Today, though, the tables have turned. Apple has used their trump card, a recently won slide-to-unlock patent, to score an important victory over Motorola in a German court.
According to the ruling, Motorola's implementation of slide-to-unlock in two of their smartphones infringes on Apple's aforementioned patent, number 1964022, which covers "unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image." While Apple failed to comment, a seemingly unconcerned Motorola spokeswoman did say, "Motorola has implemented a new design for the feature. Therefore, we expect no impact on current supply or future sales.
However, patent consultant Florian Mueller of the FOSS Patents blog isn't so sure. Although the current ruling would, at best, prevent the sale of the two Motorola phones in question until the lockscreen is changed, he still considers the case a "very significant win for Apple against Android." A victory like this would likely have an impact on the numerous other Apple lawsuits against Android manufacturers, and since Google has recently acquired Motorola, could be seen as a ruling against the company and Android as a whole.
Personally, I hope this kind of ruling does not set a precedent, and I would love it if both Apple and Android manufacturers would fight with better products instead of lawsuits. I am fairly sure that "Gestures on an unlock image" are here to stay anyways, regardless of what Apple says, but it will still be interesting to see how far they try to take this.[BBC Technology]