70

Apple granted patent for the “Slide to Unlock” feature


Apple has been awarded another patent by the United States Patent & Trademark Office, this time it’s patent number 7657849 which grants them the rights to “Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image”. Yes, Apple now owns the familiar slide to unlock feature that has been synonymous with the iPhone… and anyone who uses something remotely familiar will have to pay them royalties, or be charged with patent infringement.

The official description in the filing states that “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.”

This “slide to unlock” feature was first publicly shown off in 2007 when the original iPhone was introduced. Steve Jobs took the stage and demoed it by stating “To unlock the phone, I just take my finger and slide it across. Wanna see that again? We wanted something you couldn’t do by accident in your pocket. Just slide it across – BOOM.”

Source: USPTO
Via: 9to5Mac

  • b

    ….. I was slide unlocking things on my mom’s IPAQ in 2003….

    • aa

      Stupid is the name of your mom’s 2003 pad

    • TomatoGuy

      Well, in that case I’m going to get patent for “Slide to Wipe my Ass” feature and will be collecting royalties from pretty much everyone.

    • GMan

      @TomatoGuy LOL I guess I’ll have to use more of a dabbing technique to avoid paying you royalties.

  • Oranges

    Let’s get ready to LAWSUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUIT!

  • LOL

    Bloodsuckers.
    How can anyone keep supporting such a greedy company?

  • Barry

    2003. IPAQ should have gotten a patent. Shame on them.

  • Chris

    And I was sliding to unlock on my HTC Hermes in 2006 using a third party app. I don’t think this will hold up too much in a court setting.

  • soulstar

    “Slide to unlock” is soooooo 2007. Bring on Face Unlock! Seriously, this patent war is becoming ridiculous. Come out with the new phones faster and with new better features and it doesn’t matter who had the idea of something first.

  • Barry

    Everybody.

    LAWSUIT UP

    **** Apple. I’m not eating an Apple ever again. My fruit of choice is now the strawberry

    • Ed

      You should try some “Mango”

    • Wil

      Who eats fruit? Ice Cream Sandwiches all the way.

  • Cole

    3
    2
    1……
    Lawsuits begin!

  • cody

    Oh well there are obviously better alternatives such as the htc unlock ring.

    • Vince

      The problem is, apparently that is also covered under the patent, as stayed in this bit of the patent doc

      “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.”

      This is getting to a point where its becoming ridiculous and that boys and girls is why I went with Android, why support this nonsense. Its like me wanting to patent the movement one makes to slap someone. I think if I did, I would become extremely wealthy, especially now, I can imagine a lot of people would want to slap whomever came up with the idea to patent this…. well this and women who don’t like a man’s comment and/or attitude. lol :D

  • J.

    This is f*****g retarded.

  • Alex

    There is a god!

  • Mike

    OH FUCK THIS SHIT ALREADY! Obviously there’s something wrong with America, and they like rolling in their own s**t and pretending it’s completely normal behavior.

    The rest of the world KNOWS there is wonky s**t going on with their current patent laws, yet stuff like this is still happening. Next: front-facing buttons, volume rockers, chromed bezels and glass will become Apple patents.

  • jeff

    does glad have a case with the ziplock technology?

  • Craz

    Apple can’t compete anymore. The hardware is out-dated, iOS5 is playing catch-up with Android 1.5. Lawsuits to slow down technology and innovation is their only hope.

    • aa

      Stop Whining! Can’t afford one?

  • Rexuslexus

    Everybody watch this….. with a swipe of my hand… and *smash* *BAM*…. need a new iPhone..

  • Jonesy1966

    You can patent vague gestures now? How pathetic is that?

  • james

    wonder if this would extend to the dial pad – only i-phones can make calls by pressing numbers. what a bunch of tools!!!!

  • _ThaNerd_

    There are so many other ways to unlock your device, hope this will make competitors more creative in that domain rather then paying anything to the Rotten Monopolizing Apple.

    Apple days are numbered and other companies should not only reinvent the wheel but patent the f*ck out of it so that Apple gets sued left and right just like they do.

    • Don

      I think Apple is a lot more alert than most companies. I don’t agree with their patent lawsuits, but they do know what’s going. And as long as people buy their iPhones, no matter how outdated they are, they’ll keep making them.

  • Chris

    Wow. The patent office is run by r*****s

  • Don

    Wasn’t this patent disqualified in the Apple versus Samsung suit in the Netherlands? Should the USPTO consider that?

  • HTCmachine

    I hope google patents face unlock on cell phones so Apple can suck a D&cK!

  • John

    I cant wait until face unlock gets revealed for the iphone 5 and then Apple has a mega lawsuit on their hands… stupid apple.

  • Terry

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

  • zar

    IF .. and I stress the word ‘if’, Apple were to be rewarded on a slide to unlock pattern, at most it would have to do with the horizontal slide movement (and even that is still BS).

    The way I see it right now, ANY touchscreen base phone in the world that does not open by means of a password would be affected by this patent…simply because it’s such a retarded patent.

    I’m assuming that every Android phone will have to pay loyalties to Apple because they use the 9-dot password system, which if you think about it you DO have to slide to unlock. You know what’s funny? Most of the people I know who own a jailbroken iPhone have installed that 9-dot unlock pattern on their device.

    Phones aside, what about tablets? Would the same thing apply?

    Jeez, I think I chose the wrong profession; I should change to law school as I’d make big bucks with all these companies suing each other based on stupid patents.

    • alex

      well apart from the atrix. It has a fingerprint scanner! :D

  • zar

    I might add, why does this patent involve pictures? Apple NEVER had a move picture or any other type of gesture to unlock their phone, and somehow THAT get’s thrown in this patent?

    I’m assuming it’s a direct hit at Samsung GS2′s move picture away to unlock, or HTC’s move the ring to unlock. I simply love how Apple gains such a broad patent for so little. You’d think that Apple is located in the same country that gave them the patent…oh WAIT!

  • Michael

    So then how can you unlock your phone? Any gesture on a lock screen is now patented? I guess only facial recognition, but if that for some reason stops working then wtf are you supposed to do? This doesn’t make sense.

  • jim

    apple can’t compete anymore. lol androtards are so jealous they have become total morons.

  • Stuntman

    If Apple simply want to collect royalties, I’m fine with that. If Apple spent some effort to come up with slide to unlock, they should be compensated appropriately.

    No doubt Apple has no intentions of receiving any reasonable amount of compensation for this patent if this appears on an Android device. They will use this patent to block Android devices from being sold. This I have an issue with.

  • anon

    Just like America’s economy is run by Wall street, the Patent office is run by companies, most probably through under the table funds, and Apple is probably one of them. Apple has a knack of playing dirty, they will for sure get screwed over in the court for patenting a ‘vague’ gesture. Apples’ next patent would be ‘looking at the screen a certain way’, or perhaps ‘number of pixels on the display’.

    • datachick

      The USPTO is entirely funded by the fees paid by patent applicants and owners

  • Mark

    hmmm I know what kind of “GESTURE” I want to unlock my phone with and it isn’t pretty!! Oh dang it was already patented!!

  • Scott

    This is yet another example of how broken the patent system really is. As several other commenters have pointed out, there is a ton of prior art on this particular patent. Not only that, but it’s obvious to anyone who works in the industry. Yet the patent office continue to allow this sort of thing to get patented ALL THE TIME. You can’t necessarily get mad at Apple for doing it – it’s a competitive necessity, if they didn’t patent this then someone else would. This needs to stop! Fix the patent office, or get rid of it altogether.

  • Rufusy

    Everything should be fine. There is some wiggle room with the term “predefined gesture.” lawsuits yes, successful lawsuits no. good times for the patent lawyers

  • Rufusy

    surprised pinch to zoom is not patented yet

    • TeknoBug

      I bet you that’s currently in the pending section right as we speak.

  • DROID

    I hope Android placed a patent on their face unlock feature.

    Wonder if the camera at the back will work with this also.

  • dutchman13

    this is ridiculous. Rufusy is right on this one. There’s no way that this will go through and they’ll win the lawsuit, but both Apple and whoever they sue (which will be everybody) is just going to have to go to court and waste a bunch of both of their money. Stupid patent office… Though it’s true. Great time to be a patent lawyer.

  • datachick

    How is this news, the patent granted February 2010, ya 20 months ago!

    1. all tech companies sue each other
    2. in all likelihood this was filled (and granted)in many other countries, not just the US
    3. if it is so obvious, why had no one else patented it before??

    Learn something about patent law before you are scream and shout about how unfair it is

  • Kman

    This is getting stupid.
    Next someone will patent “disengaging a lock using an unlocking mechanism or technique ”

    Idiots playing the system rather than truly innovating.

  • keiYUI

    The diagram kind of looks like a menstruation cycle… LOL! “Diagram one we’re at 2 weeks and then if you slide over as you see in diagram 2 you’re at 6 1/2 months…

    And that ladies and gentlemen… Is how you use an iphone to tell your pregnancy stages.

  • Adam

    Wow I so regret buying the Iphone 3G once upon a time before I knew better. I’m ashamed that I supported Apple in their infinite stupidity. But on the same note they should be ashamed of the Iphone 4S and their lack of innovation. Now their playing catch up and the only way to do that is to try to slow down the competition. But ultimately I hope they FAIL.

  • LeadRocket

    Guys what you’re overlooking here is what the patent is actually saying. Predefined. That’s where this patent applies. Its a big loophole for any other unlocking mechanisms that dont follow a predefined path. For instance, the Honeycomb unlock mechanism can go in any direction, hence the patent wouldn’t apply. Similar with Samsung GS II or any other other unlock mechanisms that don’t follow a linear path. This doesnt mean anything for Android or any other manufacturers unless they ape the iOS mechanism. It’s pretty easy to circumvent. This is not a big deal.

  • ron

    The United States Patent & Trademark Office, needs a major overhaul. I am surprised how the dept. is blind to common sense. What is next i cannot breath cause somebody is going to patent the breathing mechanism.

  • Sean

    Hey Apple, look at what I’m doing with my finger right now!

  • JKL

    WTF!?! That is some serious BULLSHIT

  • Devon D.

    Yet another post turns in to a FanBoy War…

  • Me Ted

    Two words: F**k and Apple.

  • Mike

    those bastards….

  • briggs

    Loving the fanboy wars.

    On another note, lol. This is nothing short of hilarious. I doubt it will stand up in court, but if it does, I’m going to be the first to patent every little thing possible. Like moving one foot in front of the other.

    That said, if memory serves, the courts don’t take well to this stuff. Like when Microsoft tried to sue the makers of OpenOffice for various patents. When asked, MS replied “We can’t tell you which ones.” Probably the same situation here.

  • yeahbuddy

    this site is to android as fox news is to republicans. Maybe people who use iphones are too busy being cool and having too much fun with their phones to pay attention.

  • Nathen

    USA !!!

    Thank GOD i don’t live there.
    What a f*cked up social system they have become.

  • Nathen

    I agree with TomatoGuy , someone should patent swing your ASS so no one can swipe to clean you ASS without paying .
    When is the US GOV going to realize that they have become the laughing stock of the WORLD.

    Guess we know who REALLY RUNS the USA , huh ?

  • Patent King

    I pick my nose a certain way ..I need to patent that . I will collecting royalties from anyone & suing anyone who picks their nose the same way :)

  • Slype

    Wow… I’m glad I left Apple – this kind of patent douche baggery is what made me leave in the first place. Next thing you know, they will patent the act of saying “ooooo” when they unveil new features at their tech shows. Of course, it will be extended to cover all tech shows and the Apple believers will think that Steve Jobs invented this new trend just months before his passing. Is that about right?

  • icyhotonmynuts

    ” does glad have a case with the ziplock technology?”
    no. When’s the last time you slid to UNLOCK a ziplock bag? You slide to LOCK it.
    Not even funny.

  • TeknoBug

    First they patented a keyboard, now they patented a slider lock that’s been used before iPhones came out? This is getting interesting, and those apps on Android and BB with similar slider mechanism are going to have to change their design, Apple are very sue happy these days.

  • Ender

    You guys are all morons. It’s not like they just filed the patent this year.

  • gmd

    With the iCar coming, I’m sure they have filed a patent for “things with 4 wheels that usually move forward”.

    Once Microsoft took part of the Apple computer interface, they filed for patents. Is this a sign that Apple is running out of ideas?

  • Paul

    To get a patent on this or even on a tablet in general is a bit ridiculous. Apple must have bought someone out at the patent office. The only reason Android is number 1 is due to the fact that most of us do not want Apple to shove down our thoats how we use our devices. Yet they keep doing it.

  • GMan

    If this retarded patent was granted to Apple, they should’ve also let Paris Hilton patent “That’s hot!”

  • kevy

    I especially like my Atrix finger print scanner to unlock now! Too bad Moto dropped that feature.

Trending News

Other Articles