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Apple Wins Patent For iPhone ‘Slide To Unlock’ & Keyboard ‘Character Popping’

Often times when I write about new patent filings here on GoRumors, commenters complain about the frivolity of these patent applications and how Apple is among the companies that files a number of such trivial patents. Many a time, these commenters have pointed out to the company’s patent filing for the iPhone’s “slide to unlock” feature as an example of trivial patents.

Three years after Apple filed for patent to this technology, the USPTO has finally conferred the patent to Apple. In a series of two patents titled “Animated graphical user interface for a display screen or portion thereof“, the United States Patent & Trademark Office has awarded Apple the rights to make use of such a ‘Slide to Unlock’ feature as well as the characteristic ‘character-pop’ that appears when you type a message using the iPhone’s keyboard.

iPhone Slide to Unlock

iPhone character pop

These are not very significant considering that not many other companies have similar animations on their devices, but raises the interesting question of whether software patents are really worth it.

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Comments

Comment from Dennis
Time August 17, 2010 at 11:51 pm

I think you miss the point. There are no trivial patents to Apple. They will attempt to apply this patent to ALL smartphones, which will eventually cost the consumer as manufacturers pass the cost of legal defense into the cost of the device. Intellectual property rights is a HUGE legal area and Jobs will hire the best and brightest to ensure his claims prevail. This ain’t trivial or over till Stephen sings.

Comment from Paul
Time August 18, 2010 at 4:43 am

Maybe i’m missing something but this seems like it would affect android extensively. the graphics may not be the exact same but the phones on android still slide to unlock and the on screen keyboard has keys that pop up. why wouldnt apple go after them and anybody else who did the same thing for infringement?

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