Microsoft toggle video predates Apple's slide-to-unlock patent

April 6, 2014: 5:41 AM ET

New evidence in one of the most contentious issues in the Apple v. Samsung II patent trial.

FORTUNE -- AppleInsider's Daniel Eran Dilger and FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller have locked horns in a fierce debate over whether Samsung ought to be held liable for copying Apple's (AAPL) slide-to-unlock patent -- one of five patents at issue in the $2 billion infringement trial that began last week.

Dilger posted his piece on Saturday:

Apple unlocks new Copy Cat docs as evidence Samsung pilfered iPhone unlock

Mueller responded the next day:

'Teaching away' is why Apple's rubber-banding patent has far more merit than slide-to-unlock

Dilger's strongest evidence are internal documents that show Samsung researchers working hard to match the intuitiveness of the "unlock" mechanism that Steve Jobs demonstrated -- to appreciative applause -- at the 2007 unveiling of the first iPhone.

Mueller's strongest evidence is the attached 1991 video, in which the University of Maryland's Catherine Plaisant -- then employed by Microsoft (MSFT) -- demonstrates a variety of touchscreen toggle switches, including (at the 2:55 mark) a slider.

Does the existence of this video invalidate Apple's case? That, I suppose, is for the jury to decide.

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