Apple Granted New "Slide To Unlock" Patent, Expect Lawsuits To Start Flying Soon

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dstevens

can ford sue chevy for steel frames on rubber wheels now? Heh

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acidic

no because they arent apple

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Shalbatana

Now you businesses just stop these silly shenanigans this minute, you hear me?!!!

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bloodgain

In addition to the patent reform recently enacted, I think we should have released all patents older than 5 years, release all current patents once they reach 5 years, and flushed the patent application line. Everyone should have to refile under the new rules. We could even credit their previous application fee to the new patent application.

Maybe that wouldn't solve all the problems, but it would be a start. It would certainly spur some innovation in the large companies that are all sitting around suing each other over stupid stuff like hyperlinks changing color when you click on them (I'm sure somebody sued somebody over that).

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LatiosXT

Here's what Brad didn't mention: This patent was filed in the US in 2009. 2009. Two years after the first iPhone was released and one year after the first Android. And wasn't it recently that Apple was denied a patent for something because it was already done a zillion times?

So riddle me this, how the f*ck did this slip through?

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JCGPZ9

TouchFlo from HTC was around even before that. It was ona a WinMo phone from 2007 I believe and it had swipe features.

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essjay22

Can you imagine where we would be today if Henry Ford had patented 4 round wheels steered by one wheel?  Or internal combustion as means of locomotion  or Power transfer using ratio'd gears? <insert your auto tech parable here>

You get the idea

Infrackincredible

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bloodgain

...except that Henry Ford didn't invent any of those things, either. So if he had patented them, they would have been overturned for prior art -- just like this should be.

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Scatter

Meh, a wheel can't roll unless its round.  There's dozens of potential other ways to unlock a tablet or a cell phone but everyone simply copied the popular way. 

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canadageek

This has been done for centuries.

 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22508570/slidetounlock.jpg

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Holly Golightly

What happened to America Invests Act? Did Obama sign it with invisible ink or something? This is more proof that Apple is stifling innovation. 

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Renegadesl1

That wont take effect for about 1 year from the time of signed.  It will takes awhile to figure out what the law means and then train all the examiners.  Also this Patent was in the system well before the law was signed in and would have been grandfathered under the old laws. 

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Holly Golightly

What makes me really sad is the judges who approve these patents. Clearly sliding to unlock a device is a basic function. It is like patenting a touchscreen onto a tablet computer. Gosh... I hope this patent is not pending for Apple. Otherwise Apple's primary income will be filing lawsuits.

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acidic

what do you mean "will be?" it already is. they know that their products are far inferior and have to rely on lawsuits to try to sue the real competition out of exsistance. its the most pathetic thing ive ever seen although their massive team of lawyers dont mind

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eric31593

i   h a t e   a p p l e.  just a bunch of patent trolls.

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biggiebob12345

On my Palm i705 from 2004-ish, I have an application called GridLock which gives you a 5x5 grid that you slide your finger or stylus across to unlock.  You can use it to make whatever pattern you want as the key, but using just the bottom row would be very similar to Apple's supposed "invention".

You can google Gridlock 1.32.  It was released as freeware a full year and a half before Apple's patent application.  You're welcome Samsung and Google.  I just saved you a ton of work.

Apple seems to forget that they weren't the first people to make a mobile application platform successful.  Nor were they the first to come up with the idea of user-installed programs on said platforms.  Palm beats them on all counts.  I'll bet that other companies were doing it before Palm as well.

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don2041

What the fuck is with the patent office. Are they taking bribes or what? Something is very wrong with this office, that they constantly aprove aplications that have absolutly no validity. MY GUT CHURNS.

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penguinboy

OK, who are Apple and Microsoft bribing in the USPTO?  Actually, come to think of it, what is the prior art in this case?  Can anybody point to some?

On another note, I don't remember the details, but doesn't the new law give people a period of time to contest a patent award without having to go to court?

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HeroOfCanton

Check the 9to5Mac link in the article for info on the Neonode N1M which is what the Dutch court used to invalidate the patent.  So either the USPTO is dirty or woefully incompetant. 

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ScytheNoire

Incompetant, they have proven that over and over.

The patent system just doesn't work, plain and simple. Innovation is what is needed, patents prevent that. There is no such thing as invention, that is a myth, it's all innovation. All work, both in patentable things and copyrightable works of creativity, are all built off of the work that has come before. There is no such thing as an original piece of work.

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AntonioGarrison

I'll just go with incompetant.

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