Apple’s ‘Slide To Unlock’ Patent Concerns Taiwan

Apple has recently won ‘Slide To Unlock’ gesture patent available on its iOS products including popular iPhone and iPad. This recent success of Apple where concerned many smartphone and tablet manufacturers has also worried the Taiwanese government to an extent that the Prime Minister Wu Den-yih has directed a number of administrative agencies to evaluate whether Apple’s patent will affect Taiwanese companies.

The request came from Taiwanese government two days after the USPO granted the Cupertino-based company patent rights for unlocking mechanism in touchscreen devices including: iPhone and iPad, reports Focus Taiwan. It is certainly an alarming moment for Windows Phone and Android-powered devices as both have been viewing to use this mechanism because of its built-in nature.

It is interesting to note here that the Cupertino-based company submitted application back in December 2005 to get original patent for gesture technology, at the time when iPhone was not even the reality.

While addressing in a weekly Cabinet meeting, Wu said that he has concerns over Apple’s new patent win, especially when I consider Taiwanese companies operating in the smartphone and tablet markets under the shadow of this patent. He instructed both the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) to assist local companies including HTC to cope with potential infringement complaints registered against our companies by the tech giant, Apple.

At the moment, Apple is in involved in a number of patent clashes with other popular tech companies including Samsung and HTC over the infringement of intellectual property, i.e. copying and implementing certain software technologies. However, it is not clear at this point whether the Cupertino-based company has any intentions to use its patent rights against its competitors particularly about gesture technology. Considering the history, the possibility is pretty much there.

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