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Apple patents slide to unlock feature

The Patent for the Slide to unlock gesture has been granted recently although it was filed in December 2005 and is currently found in almost all of the touchscreen devices

Two days earlier the United States Patent & Trademark Office issued the patent grant to Apple pertaining to the familiar Slide to unlock gesture. Although, this sliding move is available in most of the touchscreen devices found in the market.

It was originally debuted by iPhone as a way to keep the devices secured while it is kept in the pocket. Steve Jobs presented it in the phones unveiling in January 2007 and had commented as To unlock the phone, I just take my finger and slide it across”. He also mentioned that they wanted something which could stop the accident which may be caused by keeping the phone in the pocket.

The inventors credited for this locking application if the iOS Chief Scott Forstall along with some other Apple Engineers as Imran Chaudhri, Bas Ording, Freddy Allen Anzures, Marcel Van Os, Stephen O. Lemay and Greg Christie.

The patent for this system was filed in December of 2005 by Apple, which was a little ahead of the release of the Apple iPhone in the Macworld Expo. It’s really bit silly, but the blame can be put on the patent system. But nobody now gets to use the popular ‘Slide to Unlock’ without infringing on Apple’s patent unless a court rules it is invalid.

Even a video from 2004-05 shows the Neonode N1m which had a similar ‘Slide to Unlock’ that existed before the iPhone. A Dutch court has already ruled out the ‘slide to unlock’ patent as invalid because of this device. 


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Pallab Jyotee Hazarika, 2011-10-27 (Update: 2012-05-26)