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Thread: Apple Granted Patent for 'Slide to Unlock' and Potentially All Other Unlocking Gestures

  1. #1
    Default Apple Granted Patent for 'Slide to Unlock' and Potentially All Other Unlocking Gestures



    Slide to Unlock is now Slide to Welcome the Wrath of Apple. Yes, Apple has successfully won a patent for the commonly used Slide to Unlock feature used to unlock capacitive touchscreen phones.

    Steve Jobs during the unveiling of the iPhone way back in 2007 was almost giddy showing off Apple’s simple solution to preventing the pocket dialing dilemma. The patent application filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) dates back to December 2005, nearly a year and half before the iPhone would be announced. Scott Forstall, Senior VP of iOS, and a handful of other Apple engineers are credited with “inventing” the Slide to Unlock patent.

    While the feature was apparently implemented in a Windows CE smartphone during the stone-age of mobile technology Apple and their Intellectual Property lawyers now have another patent packed in their arsenal for use in the U.S.. However, it seems Google and their Android developers anticipated this move by Apple as their unlock screens have progressively moved further and further away from the simple Slide to Unlock feature with each iteration.

    This might not matter though because of the following excerpt:

    A device with a touch-sensitive display may be unlocked via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display. The device is unlocked if contact with the display corresponds to a predefined gesture for unlocking the device. The device displays one or more unlock images with respect to which the predefined gesture is to be performed in order to unlock the device. The performance of the predefined gesture with respect to the unlock image may include moving the unlock image to a predefined location and/or moving the unlock image along a predefined path. The device may also display visual cues of the predefined gesture on the touch screen to remind a user of the gesture. — Patent 8,046,721
    If the implications of the above excerpt are correct, any physical gesture intended to unlock a phone falls under this patent. Which means every puzzle, swiping pattern, and representation of the unlock gesture is somehow covered by this patent.

    Thankfully, Apple has already unsuccessfully tried to levy this particular patent against Samsung in the Netherlands. A judge ruled the patent invalid because of the Windows CE Neonode N1m. The video below (skip to about 4 minutes) clearly shows the phone using a swipe to unlock gesture no less than two years before the iPhone’s unveiling and before Apple’s patent application. However, patent law in the United States is a decidedly different beast than in the Netherlands.



    Whether Apple is able to successfully levy this far-reaching patent will be interesting. The patent literally covers all unlock screens, but was thrown out during proceedings in the Netherlands. However, if Apple successfully levees this patent against competing mobile operating systems in the U.S. the landscape for phones could drastically change stateside.

    Source: The Register, Android Central

  2. #2
    iPhone? More like MyPhone clikzip's Avatar
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    Will be interesting to see where apple goes with this. I took the same thing from the patent description. Potentially ammunition for a lawsuit against everyone.

  3. #3
    I'm an Apple fan (not fanboy) but this is ridiculous!! This is like Paris Hilton trying to trade mark the saying "That's Hot". Whats next, iAir? No one can breath?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by klouud View Post
    I'm an Apple fan (not fanboy) but this is ridiculous!! This is like Paris Hilton trying to trade mark the saying "That's Hot". Whats next, iAir? No one can breath?
    agreed. This is a bit extreme and I am confused on how they got this passed.
    Really?

  5. #5
    I lose respect for this company more and more each day. I even planned my next pc to be a Mac, but instead I'll get another PC. When the new Kindle Fire comes out, I'll sell my iPad then too. I'm surprised they haven't patented using a phone yet. Good thing my Android phone says "Pull the ring to unlock" with no predifined location and it has no predifined path. It's companies like this who stunt any type of innovation. I say we get some younger people to work in these patent offices, because it seems the workers there have no idea how a phone works nowadays.

  6. #6
    Apple granted a patent for "using hands to manipulate devices". Whatever, I would NOT have granted them such of a vague, non-specific patent. The patent field is turning into a bizzare world of idiotic patents which are so vague that "no one can ever invent another thing even remotely related to this" crap sticks every other day. Idiocy which clearly has only one consequence, draining pockets of consumers to feed a lawyer-fueled frenzy of biting your finger off at even the slightest smell of blood.

  7. #7
    If I were the CEO of Ford I would start a push to patent hinging doors.

  8. #8
    Are you serious??? That's so dumb.

  9. #9
    Meh.
    I like this patent (or I'd like to like it).

    It's specific. It's original. (or would be, if there hadn't been prior art )
    It has direct analogy to a physical device without straining too hard.
    When proposed, was a novel solution to a problem that had been plaguing the industry for years.

    If Apple had been granted this several years ago (before everyone started using it)
    and if they really were the first ones to "invent", I'd say: "sux but +1 Apple"

    The delay between filing and granting means that in the intervening space there's time for EVERYONE ELSE to re-invent the same idea, independently from the original filer. And the way patent law is written, everyone else who independently came up with the same invention (and used it) is liable for 3x damages after the fact.

    Speeding up the process isn't realistic unless the USPTO were radically expanded, or else we'd be flooded with billions of completely bogus and stupid patents (as opposed to mere millions of them now). Better I think, would be a flat amnesty and indemnity for "infringers" who couldn't have had any reasonable way to avoid "infringing" - between filing and granting. "Infringing" use via independent invention during that window should also be considered as potential "prior art" if the patent gets reviewed later.

    just mho.

    system is very broken, and wastes a whole lot of money on litigation
    that would be better spent developing new ideas

  10. #10
    Livin the iPhone Life KraXik's Avatar
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    Why are people slamming on Apple? The patent office grants them. The biggest waste of space ever. http://www.elistmania.com/juice/10_h...ulous_patents/

    If not apple then some other troll company will surely get it and then iDevices etc will cost even more.

    This is a year old so sorry about that but this link contains a picture of which mobile company is suing who.

    http://m.guardian.co.uk/technology/2...y&type=article

    It's Apple against the World. This new patent crap is Karma!
    Last edited by KraXik; 10-26-2011 at 10:43 AM.

  11. #11
    Livin the iPhone Life BenderRodriguez's Avatar
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    I had my phone in my pocket awhile back with the camera hack on lockscreen and it unlocked itself, what? And they want to patent this lol

    And then the fact that sometimes it DOESN'T WORK intel u tap the lock then slide it again

  12. #12
    I don't like how company's are going nuts with the patents and law suits, either, but can you really blame them? All they are doing is being competitive and taking advantage of a system that allows this kind of crap to go on. It's even more infuriating that our tax dollars are running this system and enabling this crap.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by gehjl View Post
    Good thing my Android phone says "Pull the ring to unlock" with no predifined location and it has no predifined path.
    Hey, you just proved how incredibly easy it is to unlock a phone without violating the patent. There's also 100 other ways to do it. So what's all the griping about?

    Quote Originally Posted by gehjl View Post
    It's companies like this who stunt any type of innovation.
    Copying what the other guy does (slide to unlock) is not innovation. In fact, it's the exact opposite.

    It's patents like this that spur innovation by not allowing companies to copy each other.
    Last edited by fleurya; 10-26-2011 at 11:21 AM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by gehjl View Post
    I say we get some younger people to work in these patent offices, because it seems the workers there have no idea how a phone works nowadays.
    Funny... How would young people know about new technology without old farts creating that new technology? Ever thought about it that way?

    I started to dislike Apple more and more..Apple always steal someone else invention and perfected it. Did they make first mp3 player, nope. Did they make first GUI OS, nope. Did they created first touch screen phone, nope.
    Last edited by Victor_inox; 10-26-2011 at 12:01 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
    Hey, you just proved how incredibly easy it is to unlock a phone without violating the patent. There's also 100 other ways to do it. So what's all the griping about?



    Copying what the other guy does (slide to unlock) is not innovation. In fact, it's the exact opposite.

    It's patents like this that spur innovation by not allowing companies to copy each other.
    The gripe is apple applying for this patent and the office approving it. It's a ridiculous patent just like the millions that are out there. Because it may seem like my lockscreen works around that patent, but I am 100% sure that Apple will still sue for it.

    Yes, copying someone's work is not innovation, but improving something is. Just like Apple and iPhones. Did they invent the smartphone? No, they just improved the smartphone over the others. Did they invent PC's and laptops?

    Funny... How would young people know about new technology without old farts creating that new technology? Ever thought about it that way?
    Ok great. Didn't seem like those inventing old farts work for the patent office.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by gehjl View Post


    Ok great. Didn't seem like those inventing old farts work for the patent office.
    Einstein was one of them....

    Clearly not in this case, this patent is ridiculous. Honestly, I don`t even like slide to unlock gesture. I use "NoLockScreen" from Cydia.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by eg6motion View Post
    agreed. This is a bit extreme and I am confused on how they got this passed.
    r u kidding me!?! this is apple brilliance. how often do you see a problem that is continually encountered solved so simply? jobs you the man! no one else should be able to use slued to unlock. they should all come up with their knock off version of it. it's how our system works. android came up with a good one. maybe this will push the competitors a little common guys give em credit. pure brilliance

  18. #18
    Now apple have sadly lost steve they need patents like this to keep the money coming in , now they have lost the man behind all the hot ideas , what way will apple go ? Cant see johny ive staying forever at apple as he wants to go home to the uk , i just wish all this patent crap would end , if an apple product in the future is hot then it will sell , same goes for android , all patents do in the mobile world is destroy inovation and for anyone like us the end user its a bad thing , the sooner this patent war ends the better for everyone , if apple were not so busy in courts they might have brought out the iphone everyone wanted the iphone 5

  19. #19
    iPhone? More like MyPhone Agent929's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AUZambo View Post
    If I were the CEO of Ford I would start a push to patent hinging doors.
    Haha that awesome. This is honestly a child move from apple. They are trying to monopolize it all.
    War is my mission. Killing is my ambition.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent929 View Post
    Haha that awesome. This is honestly a child move from apple. They are trying to monopolize it all.
    ok so bill gates is childish? telcel is childish? apple is childish? im sorry but i think you have the definition of childish misconstrued. How is trying to build a monoploly childish??? youre all focusing on something thats actually a strategic business move.. apple is merely a squirrel trying to get a nut.. exactly what kraxik said.. if you guys dont like it yell at the patent companys.. apple is reaping the revenue of this and doubtfully is gonna be concerned with their image of obtaining a prestigoues patent, what you should be focused on is the fact that this is allowed. not the fact the apple jumped on it while it was hot

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