HTC has won a victory over Apple in the UK courts over the 'swipe-to-unlock' feature shared by smartphones manufactured by both companies.
Apple have been involved with several patent disputes with different technology firms around the world. A recent example is its dispute with Samsung over the similarities between Apple's “Siri” voice-activated assistance and the Samsung Galaxy's similar feature. The latest saga has taken place at a UK High Court.
Although many of the recent disputes have been triggered by Apple, on this occasion it was the Swedish company HTC who took the action. According to Engadget, HTC challenged Apple's right to claim certain aspects of smartphone as its own, including elements of phone unlocking system (the 'swipe-to-unlock' feature common to smartphones produced by both Apple and HTC).
The BBC reports that HTC argued that certain Apple patents are in fact 'common sense' and intuitive, which meant that they are unable to be patented. HTC took this issue to the UK High Court.
The ruling was not in Apple's favor. The presiding judge, Christopher Floyd, ruled that HTC had not infringed the technology that Apple had claimed as its own.
In light of the ruling, HTC spokeswoman Andrea Sommer is quoted by Phone Arena as saying: "We remain disappointed that Apple continues to favor competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace.”
The news may help HTC, who have seen a recent fall in their share price.