Like Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows 8 looks like it violates Apple’s new ‘Slide to unlock’ patent

“So, Apple’s been granted a patent on the ‘Slide to unlock’ feature present on the iPhone and iPad,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports for ZDNet. “Where does this leave Windows 8 which features a similar unlock mechanism?”

“As my ZDNet blogging buddy James Kendrick has pointed out, the granting of this patent means that every Android device now infringes on this Apple patent,” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “That’s a pretty big deal. But he also suggests that Windows 8 might fall into the same trap.”

Kingsley-Hughes reports, “Now, I am not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on TV or on the internet, but it feels to me like the Windows 8 lock screen does indeed violate Apple’s patent.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward Weber” for the heads up.]


      1. Steve Jobs stole the idea for the Mac from Xerox. What has Apple really innovated? They didn’t make the first windows based OS, they didn’t make the first mp3 player, they didn’t make the first touch screen. You are the sheeple.

    1. You’re forgetting that Steve Jobs stole the idea for the Mac from Xerox. What has Apple really innovated? They didn’t make the first windows based OS, they didn’t make the first mp3 player, they didn’t make the first touch screen. You are the sheeple.

  1. Hee hee, this gets better and better. Go after ’em Apple, sick ’em!!! So typical and arrogant that others let Apple point the way and then feign righteous indignation when caught with their hands in Apple’s patent cookie jar crying “but it’s so obvious this is the right and only way!”

    If so you should have thought of it first.

    1. Robert
      Wednesday, October 26, 2011 – 10:25 am · Reply

      No, it is completely different. The unlock goes from right to left and is located on the top of the screen. Duh!


      If you have used iOS5 you will discover the Slide to unlock can be any where now. Next time you see a flashing notification just tap on it and slide to both unlock the iOS 5 device but to instantly view the message details in what ever app posted the notification.


      IMHO slick got slicker with iOS 5 and Apple has a patent on it.

  2. This is where Patent Examiners are silly. The Apple’s slide unlock button is merely a digital graphical representation of numerous locks that slide to unlock. Surely it can’t be novel and inventive to digitally represent what we see in millions of slide locks in the physical non-digital world. That’s how Microsoft should argue their patent defense.

    1. No. That’s where you are wrong. It only appears to be a graphical representation. However theres a lot of engineering problems behind this that required someone to solve and then make it easy for the users and yet still accomplish the purpose, which is to keep us from accidentally activating our phone while it’s in our pocket.

      I watched the original iPhone unveiling yesterday and I had forgotten how advanced the iPhone was (and still is) when compared to everything that’s out there. The audience was amazed at sine of the features that we take for granted and think are common place today – like the slide to unlock. You should have seen their reaction to the scrolling feature especially with the little bounce or rubber band jump when you hit the bottom of the page or list. Prior to the iPhone that had never been seen before. Apple invented it. Everyone else stole it. Before the iPhone everything was done by click wheels, buttons, or stylus and it was not fluid at all.

      So it’s only right that Apple should get to profit off of these inventions. Let the other guys come up with their own “next big thing”.

    2. Actually when it comes to Microsoft, Apple and MS have a broad cross licensing agreement that covers both companies patents. That means that MS will be to pay Apple a fee to use slide-to-unlock. Google which owns next-to-no patents does not have the same luxury.

      1. You’re probably right, and this will be locked up in the courts so long that it isn’t going to make one lick of difference. By the time Apple gets a real judgement on this after many appeals, Android will have destroyed the iPhone, just like Windows destroyed the Mac. Gotta love the USA.

        I think what the original poster is saying is ultimately true though – it’s not rocket science and you shouldn’t be able to patent digital versions of real life things that exist. Such as ebay patenting the auction process online. I mean, seriously USA patent approval guys? What if someone had patented the idea of using a password as a digital “key”? We’d have had no innovation for 20 years when computers started needing that kind of protection. DUMB. It’s like the companies that have been patenting existing lifeforms. Unbelievable and scary – corporations will rule our lives people!

  3. This patent will be overturned, as prior art existed before Apple even patented it. The slide to unlock feature was present in Windows CE in 2005. This was shown by Samsung in their trial in the Netherlands, and this claim by Apple was dismissed there. It’s only a matter of time before the same happens to this Apple patent in the US. I highly doubt Microsoft has any concerns in this regard. In fact, I would be highly surprised if Apple tries to pursue enforcement against Microsoft on this one since Microsoft’s own product from yesteryear has shown prior art which can easily overturn this patent. See article here for more info:

    1. It is well known that Apple spent years developing the technologies used in the iPhone. It is clear that Apple invented the slide to unlock feature in the early 00’s but only revealed it when the iPhone was ready in it’s entirety. Fortunately for Apple, US patents operate on the first to invent rule, not first to demo or sell.

      1. LOL yeah that is the mentality here a lot of the time… someone else does something first and it is marginalized, the claim is made that Apple improved the original idea so that makes it “OK” and surely Apple had the exact same thing in a closet somewhere at least 10 years before. Sh*t I bet Woz slammed this out on the Apple II and they just had it waiting for the technology to catch up to the idea!

    2. The Neonode doesn’t demonstrate what Apple claimed in their patent application, so it doesn’t demonstrate prior art. You have to read the claims of a patent. The rest of it has no bearing on patentability.

    1. So its just like this place, only for a different operating system and company.

      Interesting… I don’t go there btw. As much as I think this site is nothing more than a delusion in many respects, I very much enjoy some of the regular posters here and this is the only company lovefest I visit online.

    2. I follow many different tech sites with an open mind and try to decide for myself what is real and what is fantasy. Did you even look at the video? Fantasy? I think not. (And remember, by the same token some people also think MDN is strictly Apple fantasy. Sometimes it is, and many times it’s not.).

  4. This is exactly what is wrong with the patent office right here.

    There is nothing novel about this, its basic graphical instrumentation. The fact that you drag a graphic which in turn calls a procedure to unlock the phone is not an “invention”.

    WTF is next ? Swipe to send email, swipe to scroll etc ? Its all the same thing at a software level.

    In fact apple was not even the first company to do this. Neonode in Sweden released a Windows CE based phone to market early in 2005 with slide to unlock, only they called it swipe to unlock.

    Basically the patent office is becoming nothing more than a place where you pay a fee to claim ‘ownership’ over an idea (existing or not does not matter apparently) and then you can use that to extort money from your competitors.

    What a farce its become. It will be interesting to see the USA become the last place on earth that software developers want to do business in with the direction we are going.

    Maybe Richard Stallman isn’t as crazy as I have believed all these years. The guy has been sounding the alarm on this kind of ludicrous crap for years now.

  5. The cloners and MS will say that Apple patent is invalid. For example. Ballmers zipper slides up and down to open and unlock. He needs two fingers or maybe a handful to grab the zipper, but its slide to unlock and to open his pants to release his pollutants? LOL

  6. I do recall Steve demonstrating the original iPhone and thinking the application of “Slide-to-Unlock feature was novel and brilliant in its simplicity. Unlike the pinch-to-zoom feature, I had not seen this idea used on any prototype touchscreen demos previous. Also, the fluidity (bounce) added to scrolling was unique and not done before the iPhone.

    Apple will have a tough time defending it though as the concept of slide-to-unlock is as old as the deadbolt. And, as we saw years ago vs MicroSoft, patent courts can be amazingly fickle when the most of the population is complicit and benefitting from such theft.

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