Apple Strengthens “Swipe-to-Unlock” Patent Claim

| News

Apple’s claim on a patent covering its “swipe-to-unlock” method for unlocking iOS devices was strengthened Tuesday with the issuance of a new patent. The new patent should add to the weight of Apple’s patent infringement claims against Android device makers like HTC.

The patent is summed up as “unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image” and “moving the unlock image to a predefined location and/or moving the unlock image along a predefined path.” This has become a gesture that most iPhone users can perform blindfolded.

Apple Patent Figure

Apple Patent Figure

Apple was granted a patent in 2010 for the method for an application filed in 2005. That patent stands, but Apple filed a new patent that includes new patent references to support the claims. The new patent includes references to five additional international patents

At the same time, we should note that a court in the Netherlands said in August of this year that an EU patent corresponding to Apple’s original swipe-to-unlock patent was likely invalid because it was obvious.

MGG Jim and Bryan Chaffin contributed to this article

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Comments

Lee Dronick
Rhonin

This one one that has so much prior art it should never have been granted.  Besides it is also a natural progression design.

The idiots in the patent office should be canned for this one.

Lee Dronick

This one one that has so much prior art it should never have been granted.? Besides it is also a natural progression design.

Well then Apple should be worried. Do you have any examples of patented prior art for the swipe to unlock?

Rhonin

Do you have any examples…..

Lee, not sure if they patented it, my Dell PDA had swipe to unlock.
Then again prior art does not have to be patented and they ( patent office ) are also supposed to look into natural progression.
There are a lot of devices / objects thatu se a mechanical swipe to unlock that when applied to a touch interface results in progression from mechanical to digital.

Lee Dronick

Lee, not sure if they patented it, my Dell PDA had swipe to unlock.

What was the dad of that device? Apple applied for the swipe to unlock patent in 2005. Anyway, it is up to the court of law to decide, the court of public opinion has no legal authority other than the pocketbook.

We all follow in the footsteps of giants. In the book I am reading about the Industrial Revolution they think that James Watt got the idea for his steam engine from a 2000 year old Chinese design for bellows used in an blast furnace. The Chinese used a waterwheel to work the pistons, Watt used pistons to turn a wheel.

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