Apple’s latest patent that it was awarded with is sure to irk many in the industry. The patent, which deals with the “Swipe to Unlock” feature, contains broad and sweeping statements that will surely favour Apple in any courtroom situation.
Possessing two patents dealing with this gesture apparently was not enough, and this third patent virtually means that the “Swipe to Unlock” gesture is now exclusively Apple’s to use. Why, you may ask? Take a look at some of the statements used in the patent application:
“…continuously moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display in accordance with movement of the detected contact.”
“…movement of the unlock image from the first location to an unlock region…”
Earlier patents by Apple describe of a “predefined path” which many iOS users would be familiar with. However, the removal of that path makes interpretation of this pattern vague, and easily manipulated by law. According to The Verge, the patent grants Apple exclusive use of moving an image to a general and unspecified “unlock region”, which makes the coverage of this patent “expanded” and very much in Apple’s favour.
As The Verge suitably puts it, today’s patent workaround may be tomorrow’s infringement.
(Source: The Verge)