Do these patent judges not know anything about tech or even bother to look for prior art. My Windows 6.0 phone pre-dates the iPhone and that has an icon to unlock the screen. This is getting ridiculous.
Motorola's Android handsets are infringing Apple's slide-to-unlock patent, in Germany at least, though an appeal may be lodged. Apple hasn't said it will enforce the Munich ruling - a permanent injunction - as it would need to post a bond against failure at appeal, but the judge is clear that Motorola needs to find a different …
it has an icon? is that it? do you have to swipe your finger across the screen to drag the icon and so unlock the screen?
because, if you had _read_the_article_ it says that "Motorola's Xoom tablet, as that uses a drag-finger-outside-circle unlocking which is sufficiently different from Apple's approach"
So having an icon to unlock the screen is also not the same thing as the iPhone's "drag to unlock" finger swipe motion.
Of course I've read the article, otherwise I wouldn't have seen the icon at the bottom of the screen that I need to press in order to comment. Hang on - Apple might have a patent for that too, El reg watch out, you'll be banned in Germany. Oh and in case you didn't know, yes, Windows Phone does have an icon you need to drag across the screen to unlock, but there's can go left as well as right.
This, in spades.
The concept of a bolt being thrown/retracted to lock/open something is very old news. Just because a graphical idiom is used to perform the action electornically should not be patentable in any sane work.
Copyright the graphics used? Yes, up to a point (one slidey button thing is going to look pretty similar to other slidey button things)
Trademark it? Hrmm...maybe but doubtful.
Patent? No - sod off.
I have an idea...I am going to patent a "tumbler" graphic that one rotates left/right to enter a code that unlocks the device. No one has ever done that before. There is no prior art. The patent is all mine. ALL MINE!!!!!!!!
I do like that tumbler concept, like a safe dial. Race you to the patent office - no wait I have scruples, silly me. Good luck to you Sir.
But yeah, common sence is something that frankly should not be patentable and is one area that just seems to get worse. I blame the history of XORing to get a mouse on the screen.
"a safe dial"? NAY! This is electronic and thus totally patentable. Hush, you!
In fact....I'll patent an arbitrarily sided polygon.
The sad thing is...some lawyered arsewipe will probably patent my "original" idea and make bazillions, despite the fact it is utterly without merit.
I would, but i have no intention of seeking protection from other uses while I create and sell the product I have patented, as I have no intention of making it.
You know, what the patent system was invented for!
If I chose to patent it, then I would be no better than the myriad companies now just patenting anyoldshite (C) and then waiting to find somebody to sue!
This is just getting silly. Motorola / Apple / Samsung / etc need to stop these pointless patent disputes and just agree that some things are just an industry standard. Goodness knows where we'd be now if some bored patent lawyer in the 80's decided to patent drop down menus or shortcut icons.
Just reading Florian Muller's blurb he suggests that "If MMI wants to play it safe in Germany, it implements embodiment #3 (the slide-to-unlock circle) across its entire product range. That one was cleared by the regional court and is safe at least until the end of the appeals proceeding."
So it seems there's already a solution.
"Google also patents their screen lock mechanisms"
Perhaps its out of necessity, given Apple seem more interested in putting money into their legal team than their development team at the moment, otherwise Apple will just patent every possible lock screen type to block Google from having a lock screen at all...
The bolt on my back gate.
I hope google's face unlock patent (assuming they have one) prevents Apple ever doing it cos you know they wish they'd 'invented' that one.
Slide to unlock is also bloody obvious on a touchscreen if you ask me, hardly an 'innovation'. They may as well claim to have patented drag-and-drop
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Patents refer to something new, novel and non-obvious.
For a patent to be worth a grain of salt there must be a market for the device/component described within the patent.
The most marketable devices are those which people "wonder how did I survive without that?"
An example might be.. digital cameras - they revolutionised the way we take photographs. No need to spend a fortune at the developers (that put my cousin out of business), you can take as many pictures as you want (thousands on a 16gig card), see the results on a computer and print your own selected images.
That process seems obvious NOW, but at the time the hardware/software was developed it was revolutionary.
When people say an invention is obvious it always makes me ask... "Why didn't you do it first then?"
Note in 3.x+ that there is no slide lock mechanism. You have to pick up a ball and drop it onto an action. The ball moves up and down but it just so happens the action is to the right or left of the ball so it's effectively still a slide lock. I don't know if patent worries prompted how the screen unlocks but it is distinctly different. Doubtless Google patented this.
The whole concept of a patent on a slide lock is repugnant. It is an obvious solution given the constraints of a device which works off taps and swipes.
If you knew how to read patents instead of just Android fansites you'd see Apple's patent includes a moving widget (the square sliding thing), the Neonode doesn't it just has some arrows pointing in the direction to slide the finger. Boom instant difference, patent averted.
Your examples reek of desperation.
Sliding a button to unlock things is probably hundreds of years old. Why exactly is doing this with pictures in some way worthly of the protection of the law and therefore the armed forces? This is as brain dead as the Amazon one-click patent.
I assume some folding stuff in an envelope was involved.
> Just google 'lock mechansims' then do a quick sketch showing the 'virtual' representation, patent please :-)
You have the wrong idea about what a utility (not design) patent is. Try reading one some day.
Bit more complicated than that.
> Only large organisations can afford it.
Not really, it costs about £10K. Put your savings into it. Hey if it's truly a genius idea you'll make millions. Boom, instant retirement.
Good luck my fellow geniuses, seize that Eureka moment.
I was under the impression you can't patent an idea, only a novel way of implementing it. Since the implementation of said idea is (in my opinion, of course) both obvious and trivial to someone having ordinary skill in the art, it would seem to me that the patent should not have been granted.
Let's face it, most people can come up with great ideas, it's only if the actual implementation of them requires an inventive step that patents should come in to play. I'm generally against software patents due to ongoing farce around them, however I would probably concede (if pushed), that certain very limited software patents could be reasonable. One example would be font hinting and anti-aliasing. It's all very well saying "I've had this idea of making fonts look good on a screen", but actually it took some effort to invent an algorithm to do the job.
I see your garden gates/sheds/briefcases and raise you a public toilet.
Slide to lock/unlock and a graphical representation of the status (engaged/vacant)
(especially those you used to put an actual penny, 1d, in for those oldsters who remember)
As others have commented, why is a virtual representation of well known, and old technology patentable? The "method" is well known and understood.
Maybe I can patent a mousetrap painted sky blue pink? I'm sure no one has made one of those before.
Darn, I should've patented moving the arm in a circular fashion until the flat of the hand loudly contacts the signal-recipient's cheek to indicate that they're WAY out of line. Seems bit late now.
I stand by my opionion that people who attempt to patent gestures will be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.
Personally I find the slider a pain to use especially when driving. All I needed to do with my old non-smartphone was to press a button when it rang and the call came through the hands-free. These days I have to either fumble to slide my finger across the screen or turn on the not-so-reliable voice recognition facility that drains the battery at an alarming rate or just break the law and drive dangerously.
Let Apple have their slider and bring back the good old button for everyone else.
I saw something about this on All About Android (a TWiT Network weekly video podcast), and it sounded a lot more like Apple were out to patent the use of a sliding GUI element to transition from one state to another, not merely unlocking. Is this the case, or were they only granted an injunction based on slide to unlock?
I still believe there are far too many lawyers involved in the tech industry, making it an utter abomination for engineers everywhere.
Patents are a good idea in principle, since they in theory protect and reward the people who invest in the R&D and genuinely invent something new, but these stupid obvious patents only exist for one reason, to restrict competition in the marketplace. Relying on patents like this to keep your place in the market is the last gasp of companies who are been out-innovated by their competitors.
Section 101 of the U.S. Patent Act sets forth the general requirements for a patent; for an invention to be patentable it must be:
statutory, new, useful, and non-obvious.
Another part on the US patent law is that all prior art should be disclosed (sorry, I’ve lost the link to that), so Google this: Neonode N1m Windows CE based phone from 2004/2005, Jobs only demonstrated the unlock gesture in Jan 2007
In reality crApple are just using the system that is in place at the USPTO, so the real question is why is the US patent process so broken? Because the software industry took over the USPTO in 1994 when Clinton appointed Bruce Lehman to the USPTO. Lehman is not a patent lawyer, he is an IP lobbyist.
Digging through www.opensecrets.org and influenceexplorer.com you can see that Lehman has worked for a string of lobbying firms that have major software companies as clients. It was under Lehman’s leadership as Asst Sec & Commissioner of the USPTO, that the USPTO interpreted the courts as requiring the USPTO to grant software patents in a broad variety of circumstances despite the fact that the U.S. Congress has never legislated specifically that software is patentable. Some of the lobbying firms that Lehman worked for are also make political donations, just look at the amounts Swidler, Berlin et al donate as “Campaign Finance”.
Lehman is also chief author of the DMCA.
Does anyone still wonder why the US patent system is so broken?
Comments like yours make me think if APPL is really a good investment.
Seems the money will be on Reynolds Wrap, as people like you will be stocking up a lot of tinfoil.
ps - The Neonode N1m has a slide gesture to unlock but the implementation is very different. Nice try. Such biases just tell me you're as morally corrupt as you accuse others to be.
Accused of bias by a fanboi.......... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
What does your post even mean?
UK shoe sizes start at Child's 4. Goes up to adult 13. SNR = 4:13
US shoe sizes start at Child's 5. Goes up to adult 13. SNR = 5:13
Euro shoe sizes start at 22. Goes up to around 49. SNR = 22:49
Sounds like pretty good content on an internet forum.
Here is a company making billions of dollars a year from selling MP3 players, mobile phones and computers, none of which they invented.
The worlds greatest company at selling other peoples hard work, invention and inspiration.
And their contribution to the advancement of technology?
Rounded corners and sliding fingers across a screen.
Pathetic... they should be ashamed of themselves.
CM7 has an option (and I've also seen this on my firend's phone with whatever firmware the maker shipped it with) where there's a 3x3 grid of circles, you drag your finger across the circles in some pattern (to "set" the password) then the unlock is to drag your fingers in the same pattern later. Of course, if your "pattern" is a left-to-right swipe... well, that's just some coincidence isn't it?