Apple awarded design patents for slide-to-unlock feature, iPhone 3GS

By , Feb 6, 2013

iphone slide to unlock

When Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone back in 2007, he had a blast showing off the handset to the Macworld audience. And one feature he particularly enjoyed demonstrating was the phone’s ‘slide-to-unlock’ unlocking mechanism.

Apple has since been extremely protective of the feature, going after both Motorola and Samsung for using similar unlock methods. And it’s just strengthened its IP portfolio regarding the feature, with a newly granted design patent…

As noted by PatentlyApple, the Cupertino company was actually awarded more than 40 new patents yesterday. But one in particular stood out above the rest: a design patent for Apple’s signature slide-to-unlock feature found in iOS.

PatentlyApple (via CNET) reports:

“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved Apple application No. D675,639 for “ornamental design for a display screen or portion thereof with a graphical user interface,” which includes illustrations of the familiar horizontal bars with rounded corners found at the bottom of locked iOS screens since the original iPhone’s debut in 2007.”

Apple has used its previous slide-to-unlock patents in infringement suits against Samsung and its Galaxy Nexus handset, and against Motorola in Germany. The Samsung case has since been dismissed, and the Motorola suit is sitting in limbo.

Another noteworthy patent Apple picked up yesterday was one covering the design of the iPhone 3GS. This may not seem like a big deal, given that the handset is 4 years old. But design patents have proven very effective for Apple in the past.

Most recently, an ITC judge ruled that Samsung had violated Apple’s iPhone design patent covering the look and feel of the smartphone’s exterior. That ruling is currently under review, and a decision is expected sometime this month.

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  • wahaha

    I must say, the iPhone 3GS is like the iPhone god. It lasts better than any iPhones!!

    • voyaflexel


    • Burge

      If the iPhone 4 makes it to iOS 7 than that will have lasted just as long..your a but early to call it a iPhone God..but it’s better than any other phone of it time..

      • Rajkumar Ramadoss

        Coz others copied already!!

    • Acolz

      Thanks, I still have it and love it lol

  • Orbigod

    I am writing this comment from my 3gs 😀

    • Dr Chiyangwa

      3GS still exist?

      • Hashem AAlayan

        Yes and it works better than 5

      • Orbigod

        Even better than any iphone will be released. Why change it? Unless apple brings the biggest thing after the 3gs will buy one of their phones in the future. We even need a bigger change 3gs was a revolution to smart phones, latest products are not more than a bigger screen and a better camera, hopping next releases will be far more better. But we can’t forget that apple products are far more better than any other products and last longer. And we can give the hand to the competitor to keep it up with the world of smartphones.

      • Kurt

        Next release will most likely look like the ugly iphone 5. I hope to be proven wrong but if it is, 100% I’ll be buying the note III. I doubt Apple will be able to make a bigger phone and add enough features for me to stay. I hope the iPad 5 comes out soon, I want to get that one ASAP

      • Orbigod

        I do agree with you Kurt, if they didn’t release a better phone with better features and a stronger ios why wast my money on something that has slightly changed, when i bought the 3gs it was woth the money paid for. Display’s are not that big of a deal neither are the sizes for me i need a phone thatwill blow my head off

      • Kurt

        A shotgun will blow your head off, but don’t confuse the two in the dark. But I was really disappointed with the iPhone 5. I just think it was a big step backwards. But now that the Galaxy S III and Note II and Lumia, etc are better phones, hopefully as the underdog Apple will come out swinging and wow people. I just don’t think they will. I’d love to be wrong! Especially when that would push Nokia/Samsung to innovate more too.

      • Orbigod

        As long as apple are not going to release a product that is worth buying and won’t be having any problem i will buy it. Why waste my money on something that will cause me more problems than having what’s good out of it, i once was angry and took on my 3gs the scratched and my 3gs came back safe with no problem at all not scratched nor broken screen. You can rely on it no matter what, hands up for the 3gs

      • Don Reid

        First of all the new iphone looks great is just that the paint scratches so easy. Second, if you like samsung, nokia, etc. so much better go on a blog for them … Stupid smh

      • Kurt

        First of all…oh wait you took that one. Ok, Second of all, everyone and their mother said the iphone 5 was ugly before it came out. I just never changed that opinion that we all felt. Third, when I have an Ipad/iphone. until I smash them. I’m staying put here. It’s a great blog for iOS news. I’m not a sheep like you where you must love everything and have no mind of yourself.

      • Don Reid


      • Kurt

        Are you sure you’re not the homo? My wife thinks you’re just flirting with me. Typical gay boy move huh? Wait don’t answer that

      • Don Reid

        Ok but the correct way of saying you hope something is better is the way i said it not “more better”

      • Kurt

        3GS is/was a good phone.

      • Orbigod

        I do agree also on everything you’ve said. And believe me when i say 3gs is the best, once i was angry smashed it to the wall and still working like a charm nothing broke and can handle all sort of crap, you can rely on it :) as jeff said once you want a phone to show its beauty not to be afraid that it will break or get scratched all the time

      • Orbigod

        Its not only about Apple, Nokia or Samsung Don i have tried all sort of phones and i am sticking with my 3gs, and also using my nokia N9, the only problem with my N9 is the lack of apps other than that it’s a great phone, used iphone 4,4s and 5 all of them were not that great, its about the product itself when i see a good one why not appreciate it thats what i am saying. Not going to waste my money when ever Apple, Nokia Samsung felt like releasing a new phone. If it’s not going to make me say “well that’s a phone to buy” i won’t buy it. We are the end user’s we decide what to buy or what not to, not as they promote then we should jump and buy stuff just because apple said so. And as kurt said IDB is a good website and jeff is good at what his doing along with his team.

      • Kurt


        (But this is not Jeff’s website, its Sebastien’s)

      • Orbigod

        Sorry didn’t know that but they all are doing a great job, i think sebastien once posted that he was leaving or am i wrong, anyway love this website and trust it :)

      • Jack Wong

        LTE is all we need for smartphone these days PERIOD

      • Kurt

        Spoken like a true Apple fan. But some of us enjoys features! So we want more, much more.

    • Nvrhde

      I thought this on my iPhone 30s

  • Greg

    Off topic: anyone on iPhone 5 on 6.1 having problem with the 3G. Coz i can’t use mine and i have a unlimited data plan. Only edge is working.

    • Kurt

      I’m having problems with my Message app crashing over and over again, then it works after repeated attempts. I miss the days when jailbreaking didn’t have so many problems

      • Jimothy

        Restore to a clean iOS, then restore to your back up and jailbreak again. This is how @planetbeing wanted it to be.

      • Kurt

        That’s what I do each time :)

      • Jimothy

        Good man. See, I always forget to do it, but as of now I haven’t had any problems.

      • Kurt

        Your weather app is working fine? Mine was ok, but it stopped working. At least there is a fix.

      • Don Reid

        Why dont you stop complaining and ix it the like i did

      • Kurt

        Ok but the correct way of saying “ix” is “fix”

      • Don Reid

        Stupid ass nigga that was a typo

      • Kurt

        Don’t cry. You are bigger than that. You are a big boy now. Ok good boy.

      • Don Reid

        Im not crying im just done with this ur the stupid one telling me all dis shit on the internet pussy

      • Kurt

        Stop flirting with me already you flamboyant queen.

      • Jimothy

        Yeah, I’ve not had a problem with it.

    • Orbigod

      I think you should contact your provider. Or check your setting if 3g is enabled.

    • ClaudieX X

      I had this problem too with my iPhone 4 iOS 6.1. But disabling and enabling 3G a couple of times and the problem disappeared.

  • WolfgangHoltz

    And I thought it was invented and patented in USA by Neonode 3 years earlier.
    U.S. Patent No. 8,095,879.

    • Acolz

      That patent covers something else, not a mention of unlocking a phone.

  • SuperDev

    This is a piece of art, a natural feel, a godly touch a (Imma running out of adjectives)…..

  • Sandy Cook

    Perfect example of Apple stealing prior inventions

  • JomanJi

    I guess soon apple will win patent for patenting -_-

  • Joe Jonsen

    oh really??? cause im bored as hell of slide to unlock now…

  • Deltec Enterprises

    The 3GS was by FAR the most comfortable phone in the hand, vs a brick. If it had a retina display and ran a Lillie faster, I would see no reason to upgrade. But hey, you gotta love that retina screen!