Apple gets awarded important slide-to-unlock patent

Apple has been granted a very powerful patent, the “slide to unlock” patent 8,046,721. Apple filed for this patent in 2009 and is now the owner of this very common technology feature available on most devices nowadays from smartphones to tablets.

The patent description goes as follows,

“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 patent has a very broad field of action and most smartphone and other electronics manufacturers violates it. Most Android manufacturers and even Windows are violating this patent and Apple will most likely sue them in regards to this patent in the near future. This comes as Apple and Android manufacturers such as Samsung are in the midst of a legal battle regarding Samsung Galaxy line-up.

Its not easy being an Android these days. Steve Jobs vowed to destroy Android in his biography, and so far his keeping his word.

[Via United States Patent Office]