Considering some if the fury Apple gets over some of its patents, It'll be interesting to see how people respond to this news.One of the treats that immediately set apart the first version of Android from Apple’s iOS software (besides the notification center invoked with a pulldown gesture) is the pattern unlock feature on the lock screen. Whereas Apple opted for a slide gesture (“We wanted something you couldn’t do by accident in your pocket”, said Steve Jobs at the iPhone unveiling), Android introduced a concept of drawing a custom shape to unlock your device.
And while some Android manufacturers replace this built-in capability with their own enhanced solutions, pattern unlock is in fact a norm on most Android phones. Apple, of course, patented its Slide to Unlock thing and yesterday the United States Patent & Trademark Office granted the search giant a patent for Android pattern unlock.
Google was also granted another patent titled “Automatic Derivation of Analogous Touch Gestures From A User-Defined Gesture” (patent ID: 20110279384) which specifically details methods to decipher custom gestures drawn anywhere on the lock screen, regardless of their shape, size, position, etc . The search company credits James B. Miller et all with the pattern unlock invention. To retrieve additional information, type in a patent number of 20110283241 into the USPTO search engine here. Another drawing from the patent grant is right after the break.