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10-26-2011, 08:42 AM #1
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
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
10-26-2011, 09:04 AM #2
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.
10-26-2011, 09:22 AM #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?
10-26-2011, 09:37 AM #4
10-26-2011, 09:53 AM #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.
10-26-2011, 09:56 AM #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.
10-26-2011, 10:20 AM #7
If I were the CEO of Ford I would start a push to patent hinging doors.
10-26-2011, 10:29 AM #8
Are you serious??? That's so dumb.
10-26-2011, 10:33 AM #9
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.
system is very broken, and wastes a whole lot of money on litigation
that would be better spent developing new ideas
10-26-2011, 10:37 AM #10
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.
It's Apple against the World. This new patent crap is Karma!
Last edited by KraXik; 10-26-2011 at 10:43 AM.
10-26-2011, 10:50 AM #11
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
10-26-2011, 11:11 AM #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.
10-26-2011, 11:18 AM #13
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.
10-26-2011, 11:40 AM #14
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.
10-26-2011, 12:04 PM #15
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?
10-26-2011, 12:59 PM #16
10-26-2011, 02:46 PM #17
10-26-2011, 03:56 PM #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
10-26-2011, 05:21 PM #19
10-26-2011, 05:31 PM #20