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Patently ridiculous: Apple gets slide to unlock patent

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Patently ridiculous: Apple gets slide to unlock patent
Once again the US Patent & Trademark Office has proven that its workers have too many patents to sort through and not nearly the expertise, common sense, or clear mandate to properly consider each filing. In the newest mess in our series "Patently ridiculous", Apple has finally been granted the patent for the slide to unlock gesture that is used on iOS devices. 

Patently ridiculous: Apple gets slide to unlock patent
The patent, which had been filed all the way back in 2005, was issued this morning by the USPTO. It likely made it through because no one at the USPTO had ever used a Discman, or any number of laptops which also had slide to unlock mechanisms, or because once you put that same exact mechanism into software on a touchscreen device, it magically becomes unique and patentable. 

The extra scary thing about this patent is that while the images provided for the patent application are the standard slide to unlock seen on iOS devices, the language of the patent is written so broadly that it covers any gesture used to unlock a touchscreen device. The title of the patent is actually "Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image", so could theoretically cover all forms of unlocking including that seen in the Sense UI or on Honeycomb/ICS devices. 

Still, well done to Apple for taking advantage of such a broken system. We'll update you tomorrow when there is likely to be a rash of new patent lawsuits filed against Android manufacturers. 

source: USPTO via 9 to 5 Mac

118 Comments
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posted on 25 Oct 2011, 17:55 16

1. bananakid (Posts: 7; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


In return, Google should patent slide-down/up/left/right notification bar

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 18:33 14

7. andro. (Posts: 1944; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Google prob hasn't patented it as google is more about open source. Apple on the other hand is hand us all your money and stop competing with and bow on your knees or we will sue

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 17:49

112. E.J.Su (Posts: 25; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Apple doesn't want competitors' money, they just don't want anyone to compete, at all.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 23:32

117. NeXoS (Posts: 278; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Apple didn't invent this, someone else already did:

Exhibit A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj-KS2kfIr0

Skip to 3:55

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 18:11 6

2. toaster (Posts: 114; Member since: 13 Sep 2011)


This patent war is ridiculous and limits innovation. I wish that Apple would stop finding reasons to sue Android OEMs into oblivion and actually make a device that they feel can compete, because this patent mess clearly shows that they don't.

I hope this patent is ruled too general, instead it should be something along the lines to "slide to a preordained target to unlock phone". This would allow the Sense-style ring, as you can drag it anywhere on the screen to unlock.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 18:22 1

4. pongkie (Posts: 501; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


it would probably ruled too general

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 18:13 5

3. tomast (Posts: 50; Member since: 16 Oct 2011)


so if apple does sue htc for the lock screen what does it mean for people who have a sense 3.0 device?

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 18:27 9

5. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)


Shut down the Patents Office wasted so much time and money on Apple's Patents applications and approval. If Apple were a car maker nobody could built car with 4 wheels.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 18:35 2

8. Sackboy117 (Posts: 178; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Exactly what i was thinking. For example, all TVs look alike, work alike but made by many different companies. So What if there was a patent that prevented the TV to be turned on by pushing a button (

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 22:26 2

38. messiah (Posts: 433; Member since: 19 Feb 2010)


apple pays well for these findings. patent officers are well rewarded for their comissions. its not rocket science folks.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 00:49

60. ivanko34 (Posts: 617; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)


i am sure apple is trying to patent the 4 wheels cars

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 05:56 2

86. andro. (Posts: 1944; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Indeed if apple were the first to market a mobile phones then they would have it patented so only there phones can be used by human hands as they invented it,all other type phones would have to be worked using other body limbs and appendages.

Mind you the apple phones would have poor reception still due to the hands on the antenas!!

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 19:03 5

12. Sniggly (Posts: 6920; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


*sighs heavily* Okay, Apple, give us your best shot. Bring it on. Attack the consumers once more.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 19:07 6

13. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


You're articles are getting worse Michael. You're going full blown fanboy. Please report the stories without your bias.

Thanks

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 20:49 3

21. cc16177 (Posts: 312; Member since: 09 May 2010)


Go somewhere else...? This patent is ridiculous, if you feel otherwise I recommend visiting a neurologist and having a brain scan done.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 20:55 3

23. cc16177 (Posts: 312; Member since: 09 May 2010)


Aso, its "your" you f**king idiot.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 08:56 3

99. robinrisk (unregistered)


lol, it's actually "you're" as in "you are". "Your" is used when you own something, like "your phone"

I love grammar nazi's spelling mistakes =)

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 09:31 1

101. maxican16 (Posts: 363; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


The first. I love incorrect grammar correction corrections. ;)

Can't help cc with his/her spelling however. AND the fact that it's "it's", not its.... whoa boy..

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 12:03

107. robinrisk (unregistered)


So do you say "it's" or "its"?

English's not my native language, so i rely mostly on a few books that i've read to know how things are supposed to be written.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 12:34

108. maxican16 (Posts: 363; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


It's = it is .. ex) It's chilly in Wisconsin.
Its = possessive form of it .. ex) The *pple lemming has lost its way.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 19:26

115. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


Ha.

5char

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 21:28

116. Ivan6479 (Posts: 244; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


You iTards cc16177 is correct. It is "Your" because this is Micheal's article. Try reading what taco wrote. If you were to replace "Your" with "You are" like this "You are articles are getting worse Michael.". That just sounds retarded, but then again this is taco the #1 iTard we're talking about here and you are just as retarded for trying to correct cc16177. Lol iTards

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 21:43 6

27. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


i realize to you apple is god, and everyone else should just dissapear, but for once use the brain that has been sleeping between your ears.

This patent covers any and all slide to unlock devices. Slide to unlock has been around as long as touch screens, which is WAAAAAY longer than the iphone has been around. basically now apple can sue any touch screen device at any time no matter how wildly different the slide mechanism is. that is BAD. I realize you lack the mental capacity for deep thought, but suing everyone is bad. competition breeds new features. If it was only the iphone and they had noone to rip off..eerr... borrow ideas from, why would they ever make a new device? You would still be on the iphone2g.. 3g at best. Without competition there is no reason for them to invest in better tech, upgrade software, add new features like siri or android notifications.

You have no idea what it is your wishing for.. zero.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 23:19 1

49. adroit786 (banned) (Posts: 4; Member since: 23 Nov 2009)


@remixfa Well said.......

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 06:03 1

87. andro. (Posts: 1944; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


unfortunately most islaves are as phonearena pointed out in an article young preteens or teenagers and as such most of this market to which Apple sells majority of its products to are under developed mental and easily swayed by pr guff from Apple. Apple seems 'cool' and trendy as it makes them fit in with their friends and they will happily get their parents or other to buy the exact same apple product year after year.

These main Apple buying base will always defend apple on idioctic patents like this as it seems like their cool device is about to be 'more cooler' They don't care about patents and will view apple sueing as a good thing

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 08:48 2

98. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


i wouldnt want any company to have that much legal power.. apple.. google.. the red cross... no one.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 08:44

96. bizwhizzy (Posts: 38; Member since: 04 Aug 2011)


Hahahaha

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 08:46 3

97. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2668; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Sorry Taco, I don't understand. Are you defending the USPTO? I said nothing negative or even untrue about Apple, so I'm assuming you don't appreciate my bias against the USPTO.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 19:00

114. Sackboy117 (Posts: 178; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Taco, if u truly believe that Apple is the greatest, then why bother trying to defend off all the trolls on the articles. If it was the greatest then people like you would not care because no matter what android should do, the iPhone owners will know they have the best out there. So why bother go to Phonearena if you "rich people" with iPhones are supposed to have real lives outside of a computer world.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 19:08 4

14. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


I'm glad Apple was granted this patent. I hope they put it to good use.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 20:44

20. pongkie (Posts: 501; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


maybe he has invested his life savings to apple stocks

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 21:39 5

26. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


he couldnt afford 1 stock with his life savings. his mom only gives him 5 bucks a week to mow the lawn and he hasnt been doing it lately from what ive been told.. lol

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 22:40

42. Johnny_Mnemonic (Posts: 240; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Jajajajajaja

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 21:49 3

29. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


I call them how I see them. This is an over the top biased article. Keep his personal opinions out of it and report the news.

I guess in fandroid world people don't deserve to be rewarded for their hard work.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 22:14 3

35. UltraElectroMagneticPOP (Posts: 49; Member since: 30 Aug 2011)


taco, you definitely are something else. You yourself are totally biased in favor of apple yet you get your panties in a twist for an article that YOU think is biased in favor of the enemy of your f**king apple god.

You can't understand the implications of this f**ked up patent, and the reason for the article's tone. Apple keeps on pulling competitors down instead of pushing itself up. That's a serious case of crab mentality. And that's bad for CONSUMERS, including YOU. Think about what remix said. If apple didn't have to compete, you'll be stuck with an iphone 3g. Even retina display might have not been invented.

Like someone earlier posted, if apple were a car company, no other company would be able to make 4-wheeled cars because apple would patent the f**k out of 'em! Other companies would've had to make cars without roofs because apple might even patent roofs on a car!

And... I'll end this post with a legit (but very emotional) question:

Why the f**k did the USPTO award this stupid patent?

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 22:39 3

41. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Because it's a legit patent. Other companies can compete by being ORIGINAL. Why after everything Apple does there's 20 copy cats?

These companies should come up with their own ideas.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 23:05 5

48. NVPMOTHAF (Posts: 78; Member since: 28 Sep 2011)


I will say that I love Apple for their hard work and ability to make a quality phone (which I cannot say about Android), however, you can't be one sided and think that some things Apple does isn't a bit over the top, for instance this patent. It was designed only to limit competition. You don't see Android complaining because of notifications. Not to mention that everybody steals ideas from others in any industry, they just make it better ( or worse in some cases) and redesign in their own image. It gives room for improvement. If ideas weren't taken and put to use in different ways, there would be no different cars, no different tvs, there would only be one manufacturer per equipment. Plus they make a good point by saying that if it weren't for competition, nobody would improve. There really wouldn't be a point.

BTW....I'm not defending Android by any means. I dislike them a ton. However this was as a sceam to limit competition.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 00:15 3

56. NVPMOTHAF (Posts: 78; Member since: 28 Sep 2011)


A quick reup though.. They did file this patent 5 years ago before this was widespread, so in reality, I still stand by saying this was an attempt to limit competition, but they did file it before Android even thought about being this big. So you can't really be mad, you have to realize, it's not like they filed it yesterday because they realized that it would limit, they filed it 5 years ago to stop any further stealings of their products or inventions.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 00:16 1

57. NVPMOTHAF (Posts: 78; Member since: 28 Sep 2011)


If it were up to Apple this would have passed 5 years ago and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 22:25 5

37. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


More people come here to read what I have to say then the authors. That's who I am.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 00:07 2

54. Sniggly (Posts: 6920; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


LOL, well now, look at the Taco, trippin' out on your own ego. Even if you're right, taking a quick look at the thumb rating on most of your posts, I don't think you should be proud of people looking for your posts.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 01:25 6

64. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Thumbs mean nothing on PA. There's lots of trolls that post anti Apple nonsense and get a bunch of thumbs up.

I could easily get thumbs up by attacking Apple fervently. I choose to speak the truth in a sea of drones instead.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 01:58 5

73. Sniggly (Posts: 6920; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


The trolls can get many thumbs down too, and people like me won't thumb them one way or another.

You, however, can get massive thumbs down on some of your posts. When you make a valid point, you're generally left alone.

However, when you really say dumb s**t, or hateful s**t, or outrageous s**t, you get thumbed down like CRAZY.

You aren't admired, you aren't liked, and most importantly, 60 percent of the time you aren't right, and 30 percent of the time you might be right but you're such an asshole about it that you can't possibly gain sympathy or support.

You insult virtually everyone you disagree with, and sometimes you're damn brutal about it. You blame this on the "trolls" but there's exactly one person in control of your behavior, and that's YOU.

You perceive these comments sections as the grand arena or something, a place where you HAVE to fight against those who will blaspheme against Apple. In a way, you and I are two sides of the same coin, because my fighter's instinct leads me to kind of do the same against Apple's great defenders or whatever.

The difference is, I'm aware of my nature and the actions it leads me to take, so I try to temper myself. You're completely unaware of how violent and hostile you just tend to be all the time, so it's not tempered, which is why people end up despising you. And not just the regulars here. People will register and among their first posts they're telling you that you need to shut the f**k up.

Now, you may say you just don't give a s**t how people think about you (which is a bit sociopathic) but I think you do care, because you're always whining about the "trolls" who "take over every post." If you didn't care you wouldn't ask for all the "trolls" and "fanboys" to get banned. You wouldn't care that I was identified as more reasonable than you. (I still laugh at how much that pissed you off).

I don't get you, Taco. You cause 90 percent of the issues you end up dealing with here, yet you're so quick to blame everyone else for the fights you get into that it's simply marvelous to behold. Tell me, what goes on inside that head of yours?

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 09:50 1

102. maxican16 (Posts: 363; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


@Sniggly: Although I completely agree with you (as I'm sure many do), my gut tells me you're wasting your breath. Yes, I'm afraid he'd jump headlong into the Cracks of Doom after his "precious."

It's a shame people like him can almost single-handedly ruin a comments section. You would think PA would have warned him by now...

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 17:08

118. NVPMOTHAF (Posts: 78; Member since: 28 Sep 2011)


I gave you a thumbs up on this because you are mostly right. The last time I checked though this is a phone information site, not a dating site. I think that you wasted your time commenting on this guys ego rather than talking about the article at hand. Are you a female? Just wondering because I don't know any male that would waste their time writing an biography on some dudes social status on a phone site. Let's keep this post on the article and leave the personal comments on someone to a minimal level.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 00:52 3

61. ivanko34 (Posts: 617; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)


yes taco
I read sometimes what you vomit just to be sure I think completely different

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 06:08 2

89. andro. (Posts: 1944; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


As usual an islave who considers themselves cooler and more wanted by everyone in the publics eye and preception,a stereotypical example of iphone owners and how apple has astutely but cruelly exploited this vunerability in its majority buyer base which we know is the 12-24 year olds.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 12:48

109. maxican16 (Posts: 363; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


BAAAAHAHAHAHA!!

Your idiocy knows no rival.

Phone Arena, look what you have created. Please fix your comments section! Start by limiting this clown.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 20:25 3

19. jacko (unregistered)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj-KS2kfIr0&feature=player_embedded

apple should be banned for copying

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPLsr7vKFdw from 3:27 couldnt of said it better myself

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 01:28

67. Frogy (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


what good use ???

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 19:32 3

15. rasinhussy (Posts: 87; Member since: 28 Dec 2008)


Why all the anti-Apple comments when Microsoft and IBM have 6x and 10x the patents, respectively. http://www.ificlaims.com/news/top-patents.html

They are patenting a software design that they, to my knowledge, had first.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 20:15 1

17. Slammer (Posts: 1000; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


Patenting a certain way to control or use water, is acceptable. Patenting everything that has to do with water, is not.

This is an attempt to stifle any capalization on the technology. In short, Apple is allowed to make improvements on past inventions and innovations, but forbids anyone to capitalize on theirs.

The saving grace here, is Google's newly announced Face Unlock.

John B.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 09:01

100. robinrisk (unregistered)


So far, reputable companies only used stupid patents for defense, like motorola or samsung patenting "Showing the time on a cellphone".

They have never sued anyone over this, because stupid patents are placed for protection from the patent trolls.

Apple is one of the first, if not the first Tech Giant who uses bogus patents to displace products from the market. It is patent trolling at its best, it hampers innovation, promotes a monopoly and generates a lost of expenses for the OEMs that will be translated to the price!

Btw, unlocking with tour face or with a movement could be considered a "Gesture", so this patent could possibly cover it!

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 20:12 2

16. maxican16 (Posts: 363; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


And Apple's reputation as a litigator hell bent on squashing everyone and everything (read: innovation) in their path continues. It's almost as if you can hear them screaming, "Slow down so we can keep up!!"

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 20:55 2

22. ardent1 (Posts: 1991; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


What a bunch of sour grapes. Smartphones have been around for a long time and no one decided to patent a slide to unlock feature. Then when Apple files for the patent, and then gets it almost 6 years later, people are up in arms.

I have a patent and if people like Michael H., the author of this article, thinks its SO DAMN EASY to get a patent, then why aren't you guys filing patents yourself. So Michael H., what your EXCUSE?

Apple is upset people are stealing their ideas and anyone could have easily pre-empted Apple if they had the same idea before Apple's patent filing.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 21:04

24. toaster (Posts: 114; Member since: 13 Sep 2011)


Don't start with that. If it genuinely was Apple being upset about people taking their idea (which is ridiculous in itself, how do you patent a gesture) they would have done it when other devices started using similar things and no later. This is a foothold in their patent war against their competition.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 21:38 1

25. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


They have patented gestures such as pinch to zoom already.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 21:46

28. protozeloz (Posts: 5375; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


If you meant last patent granted it was already explained that is not pinch to zoom but interaction with a block

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 21:50 2

30. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


They have a pinch to zoom patent

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 21:55

33. protozeloz (Posts: 5375; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Article please

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