Apple awarded second patent for a two-step screen unlock

By , Oct 9, 2012

An interesting patent grant surfaced in the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s (USPTO) database this morning related to a two-step screen unlock feature. This is Apple’s second patent grant for the feature, with first patent issued in June 2012. One of the inventors listed on the second grant for a dual slider locking approach is Apple’s iOS chief and Senior Vice President Scott Forstall…

Apple originally filed this patent application in the third quarter of 2011.

PatentlyApple explains:

Apple’s granted patent states that a method of controlling a device with a touch-sensitive display includes: displaying first and second images on the touch-sensitive display while the device is in a user-interface lock state; detecting contact with the touch-sensitive display; transitioning the device to a first active state corresponding to the first image if the detected contact corresponds to a predefined gesture with respect to the first image; and transitioning the device to a second active state distinct from the first active state if the detected contact corresponds to a predefined gesture with respect to the second image.

All told, USPTO published a total of 27 Apple patent grants today, including three design patents and 11 utility patents that, among other things, cover the Apple TV set-top box, parallel computing on multiple processors, as well as translating, rotating and simultaneously translating and rotating multiple on-screen objects in a graphical user interface on a touch screen display.

A patent grant doesn’t mean the invention will ever see the light of the day.

As The new York Times reported Sunday evening, Apple has since 2005 been patenting everything and anything, to prevent another company from trying to patent the idea, even if it knew in advance many patent applications would never get approved.

Apple owns the patent for the iPhone’s slide to unlock feature and has successfully asserted it against Samsung and Motorola, forcing other handset makers to employ pattern unlock, face unlock and other methods of unlocking a portable device.

According to a former Apple engineer, the slide to unlock gesture “might seem obvious now, but that’s only after we spent millions figuring it out”, adding that “other companies shouldn’t be able to steal that without compensating us”.

Thoughts?

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  • a smit

    millions? really? doubt it

    • http://twitter.com/AJAaronA Anthony A Anderson

      I’m sure apple spends millions on lots of things that us mortals will never understand. Millions, to apple, is pocket change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wikoster William Koster

    One of these days maybe we shall repair our horrible and stifling patent system in the united states that focuses on innovation, not regression. Feel partially guilty in my continued usage of an iOS device…

    • CollegiateLad

      You might as well climb underneath a rock as virtually everything we use daily is patented or patent pending. You can abandon iOS, but the other platforms have tons of patents, too. Bottom line is you can’t steal or take credit for other people’s ideas – That’s a good thing.

      • http://twitter.com/br3akth3lim1t Nathan Barnett

        I’m going to patent rocks.

      • http://twitter.com/Pitchy Pitchy

        Unless you are Apple, then you can steal and copy and get credit for everything.

  • abujafer

    I’m just shocked at how this even gets through our patent system. I guess the only bright side to this is that companies didn’t go all patent crazy before; who knows what would have happened if people had patents in mind when creating icons or laser/optical mice (the original mouse was patented, then lost its license later on) or the touchpad.

    • Kurt

      hp touchpad you say? nice! ;)

    • http://www.GoldenGateDomains.com/ Golden Gate Domains

      I BELIEVE ONE WAY TO “FIX” THE PATENT SYSTEM IS TO CREATE A NEW CATEGORY THAT COVERS CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY.

      I PROPOSE THE FOLLOWING ‘RULES’ FOR THIS NEW CLASS OF CONSUMER TECH PATENT:

      1) CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY CAN ONLY BE PATENTED FOR EITHER 3 OR 5 YEARS – NO MORE – NO EXTENSIONS!

      2) THE SIMILARITY RULE NEEDS TO BE CHANGED FOR CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY WHERE THE % OF SIMILARITY MUST MEET A MUCH STRICTER GUIDELINE THAN IS CURRENTLY BEING ENFORCED.

      3) LICENSING MUST BE ATTEMPTED AND AGREED TO UNDER A UNIVERSAL TABLE OF LICENSING FEES THAT ARE ESTABLISHED FOR ANY PATENT QUALIFIED UNDER A CONSUMER TECH PATENT!

      4) THE PATENT HOLDER / OWNER MUST ACCEPT AND NOT DELAY ANY LICENSING CONTRACT WITH ANY ENTITY THAT WISHES TO LICENSE THE TECHNOLOGY FOR THEIR OWN USE ON THEIR OWN CONSUMER DEVICE.

      5) ANY AND ALL DISPUTES WILL BE ARBITRATED BY AN INDEPENDENT ARBITRATION BOARD. INITIATOR OF THE DISPUTE WILL SUBMIT A MINIMUM BOND OF $1 MILLION USD (OR 10% OF THE CLAIMED DAMAGES AMOUNT – WHICH EVER IS HIGHER) TO FILE THEIR COMPLAINT.

      I BELIEVE IF THIS WERE TO HAPPEN, IT WOULD TAKE THE STRESS OF THE ARCHAIC PATENT SYSTEM THAT IS CURRENTLY GIVING TIME PERIODS THAT ARE FAR TOO LONG (15 / 20 YEARS) FOR A TECHNOLOGY PATENT!

      I BELIEVE THESE ABOVE 5 RULES WILL RELIEVE OUR COURT SYSTEM AND LITIGATION SYSTEM OF THESE UNNECESSARY DISPUTES.

      A SIMPLE AND ECONOMICAL PATH THAT ALLOWS ANYONE TO LICENSE THE INVENTION IS FAIR FOR COMPETITION, WHILE STILL PROTECTING THE INVENTOR.

      WHAT DO YOU THINK? DID I MISS ANYTHING?

      • deepdvd

        You certainly didn’t miss the CAPS LOCK key.

      • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

        He patented it though.

  • Kurt

    there should be no patent for unlocking your screen.

    • Kurt

      4 people are idiots ;)

      • אסף סופר

        1 of those 5 is your mom :)

      • Kurt

        she’s 1 out of 16 now

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000122495675 Ali Aledany

        17

  • http://twitter.com/ICEmayne85 Isaac Rodriguez

    I am going to patent breathing air. Everyone is gonna be so screwed…

    • Kurt

      apple already has a patent pending. sorry dude too late

      • http://twitter.com/ICEmayne85 Isaac Rodriguez

        I’m sure I can patent the movement of the chest.

      • Kurt

        hmm, i think you got a chance with that one

    • Ben Robertson

      Lol that’s already happening in New Zealand.

  • http://twitter.com/franklylife Frank Anthony

    I wanna patent my name right away and anyone found infringing/bearing same name will be sued for $1 dollar ;-)

  • @dongiuj

    “Apple’s granted patent states that a method of controlling a device with a touch-sensitive display includes: displaying first and second images on the touch-sensitive display while the device is in a user-interface lock state; detecting contact with the touch-sensitive display; transitioning the device to a first active state corresponding to the first image if the detected contact corresponds to a predefined gesture with respect to the first image; and transitioning the device to a second active state distinct from the first active state if the detected contact corresponds to a predefined gesture with respect to the second image.”

    Does anyone actually full understanding of this?

    • http://twitter.com/nAcolz Acolz

      Yes.

  • http://twitter.com/jwap13 Jeff

    I’m going to patent the patent system. Everyone’s screwed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      EXACTLY..

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    THIS IS NOT INTERESTING AT ALL THIS IS BRING AND LAME.. IM GETTING TIRED OF APPLE AN THEIR PORIN INNOVATIONS..

    • Kurt

      let’s all get the lumia 920. best phone! i want one in red and one in yellow thank you

      • GNexusPhone5

        tardroids circle jerking on an Apple Blog. oh the irony

      • goofygreek

        last time i checked, the lumia 920 was a windows phone you fucking retard.

      • http://www.facebook.com/davidcolehunt Cole Hunt

        Don’t you look stupid.

      • Kurt

        wp8 is not android…”oh the irony” indeed

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000122495675 Ali Aledany

        sped the lumia 920 is windows

  • http://www.facebook.com/yasiell Yasiel Diaz

    I am going to patent farting to see how they like it

  • goofygreek

    i wonder how long these patents have been pending, because this patent seems to be almost exactly what my galaxy s3 does.