Apple awarded ‘slide to unlock’ patent | iLounge News

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Apple awarded ‘slide to unlock’ patent

Apple has been awarded a patent for its iOS devices’ “slide to unlock” feature. BBC News reports that U.S. patent number 7657549 states, “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.” As noted in the report, the broad language of the patent would appear to cover not only Apple’s unlocking method, but those used by rival platforms, including Android and Windows Mobile. The patent was originally filed in June 2009, and lists Apple senior vice president of iOS software Scott Forstall as one of the seven inventors.

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Comments

1

Oh joy, another completely pointless and idiotic tech patent that probably overlaps with the pre-existing patents held by dozens of other parties.

The patent system is a very bad, very unfunny joke at this point.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on October 26, 2011 at 7:56 AM (PDT)

2

Show me the phones that were actually doing it prior to the release of the original iPhone in 2007 then. Otherwise, Apple has every right to patent it.

Posted by Reality Check on October 26, 2011 at 8:01 AM (PDT)

3

@2: Show me what they “invented” first. Saying “slide to unlock” is patent-able would mean that every single different door lock at the hardware store is patented. It’s just an unlock mechanism, as innovative and unique as a door lock. There is NOTHING new, innovative, or unique about it, and that’s the problem of these non-specific tech patents, they are what is getting in the way of innovation.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on October 26, 2011 at 8:38 AM (PDT)

4

I got a gesture ready for Apple & the patent office that involves using my middle finger.  I wonder if I’d owe them anything. 

Are you f’ing kidding me?

Posted by Sudi on October 26, 2011 at 8:41 AM (PDT)

5

Palm OS had exactly the same feature, maybe some 10 years ago. Only it was not “slide to unlock” but “slide to lock”. Does not seem such a big difference to guarantee a patent to me.

Posted by Pete on October 26, 2011 at 9:30 AM (PDT)

6

@5: Exactly.

Once you move to a touch screen interface if there’s going to be a device lock it either works through a physical switch or it works through a touch based switch. There’s no invention here, you either still have a “hold” switch in the vein of earlier earlier iPods, or you have some touch based lock.

It’s not an invention since, presented with the premise, 9 out of 10 third graders would have come up with an analogous non-specific solution (the 10th would have just been making doodles of wrestlers or something instead of coming up with a slide/swoosh/triple tap/etc on the touch screen wink)

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on October 26, 2011 at 9:56 AM (PDT)

7

Great, Apple invented a doorknob.  Let the lawsuits begin.

Posted by Sudiq on October 26, 2011 at 10:54 AM (PDT)

8

As usual nobody commenting here has bothered to read the patent.  Nice how informed everybody is.  I mean the link is right there in the article. 

I actually disagree with Charles on my first reading.  The first claim also states: “... the method comprising: detecting a contact with the touch-sensitive display at a first predefined location corresponding to an unlock image; continuously moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display in accordance with movement…”  So they’re talking here about the little block on the screen that moves with your finger as you slide it along.

I think if you DIDN’T include something like that, meaning say something like touching a number pad or dragging around a number pad or whatever, where there is no graphical element moving with your finger that it would NOT infringe on Apple’s patent. 

So there’s lots of obvious ways of doing an unlock that wouldn’t violate Apple’s patent, at least from my reading.

Posted by Fanfoot on October 26, 2011 at 1:17 PM (PDT)

9

And the jailbroken version reads,

“Slide to Sue.”

Posted by BillyBobSmith on October 26, 2011 at 11:17 PM (PDT)

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