At the heart of Apple’s complaint is the allegation that the Android OS Samsung uses on its line of smartphones infringe upon a number of Apple-owned patents. Apple said rather bluntly that Samsung has slavishly copied the look and feel of iOS.
In light of that, Apple last week won an iOS patent that may or may not be used to bolster its case against Samsung and other Android manufacturers. Apple a few days ago was granted a patent that covers a variety of unlock methods as they pertain to smartphones, including Apple’s ’swipe to open’ implementation it uses on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad.
The patent in question, US patent number 7657549, states:
A device with a touch-sensitive display may be unlocked via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display. The device is unlocked if contact with the display corresponds to a predefined gesture for unlocking the device. The device displays one or more unlock images with respect to which the predefined gesture is to be performed in order to unlock the device. The performance of the predefined gesture with respect to the unlock image may include moving the unlock image to a predefined location and/or moving the unlock image along a predefined path. The device may also display visual cues of the predefined gesture on the touch screen to remind a user of the gesture.