Apple Awarded Patents for “Slide to Unlock” and “Keyboard Letter Pop”

“It’s got multi-touch (…) and boy have we patented it!” – Steve Jobs

That is what good ol’ Steve Jobs said at WWDC 2007 when he announced that Apple would be releasing their very own phone (It’s called the iPhone, if you don’t know already). Jobs and his team innovated in several technologies when they made the iPhone. The software (and hardware, to an extend) was years ahead of its time. In order to protect their innovations, companies like Apple apply for patents.

iphone slide to unlock patent(image via bredgur)

The application for the patents was applied back in 2007, but it was only yesterday when Apple actually received them.

Two patents were awarded:

  1. The Slide to Unlock feature through you which you unlock your phone for general use. Android and HTC Sense use similar tech in their phones.
  2. The Keyboard Letter Pop. That feature where, when you tap on a letter, the letter pops up to show that the iPhone has received the input. This feature has become ubiquitous with virtual keyboards (Android and WP7 use this)

iphone keyboard letter pop

This is depressing news for the companies in the Android and Windows Phone 7 camp. They will either have to face law-suits from Apple Inc., or pay hefty amounts of dollars to Apple for using similar technologies in their smart-phones.

Either way, Apple wins.

[Redmond Pie, via TUAW]

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