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.
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.