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Discussion in 'iPhone' started by thenerdal, Oct 26, 2011.
I believe Apple tried in a few counties to sue for that patent and they submitted fair amount of prior art evidence and the judge tossed out the case and invalidated the patent.
It is a broken system but my understanding is it is a crap patent and Apple knows it. It would be quickly invalidated if Apple ever tried to sue with it.
2 years before the iPhone
Additional tidbits as food for thought:
For the actual patent documentation go to http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm and enter the patent number, 8,046,721
This references an earlier patent, #7657849 filed Dec 2005.
Both seem similar; each is titled "Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image"
I think the N1m was out in March 2005 or so, which would be less than the 12 months mentioned given the date the patent was filed. I'm not sure the iphone release date is relevant here.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the courts.
and yes, the patent system definitely needs rework, it hasn't kept up with the very short product cycles in todays world.
While the phone was less than 12 months before means it was pretty much feature locked a long time before hand and would predate Apple Patents.
Immaterial when they "did" it, it's when it was used in a sold product that matters.
not to discredit something with prior art or show it a simple and logical (both of which invalidated a patent.
Sold only tells you when it was sold. Does not tell you when it was invented and first used.
Invented and first used is the killer part of it. So the patent was filed in 2005. But said design was from before that killing the patent. It shows that slide to unlock is simple and logical.
Splitting hairs perhaps, going off on a tangent definitely , but honestly it doesn't matter when it was invented. In order to be considered prior art it must be publicly known, which typically means in a product that has been sold or in a patent application. If you "invented" something 10 years ago, wrote up detailed documents about it, even built a prototype - but kept it in a desk drawer and never publicly displayed it - then your invention is not a valid example of prior art in the context of a patent dispute.
Generally I'm not a fan of linking wikis but this article is pretty decent:
The N1m was the second version. The original N1 with slide-to-unlock was first shown off in 2002 at CeBIT, and first sold in 2004.
As for "gestures to unlock", that was quite popular with touch PDAs back around 2000. Lots of research was done, and a bunch of companies (some of which are still in the mobile security business) sprang up with unlock gestures of their own.
After a few years, as people figured out that hand "grease" left a trail on the screen, unlock gestures fell out of favor as a security method.
Apple's got a new patent for unlocking in any random direction.
Only Android devices use this, none of the Apple devices have this. Isn't that stupid?
Not stupid look prior to the release of the original iphone. Phones used resistive touchscreens and the best phones at the time were blackberry's and windows mobile. The stupid thing is that it took this long for them to get the patent, considering the original concept for the first android phone was a qwerty keyboard like device similar to a blackberry (copy much?). Unfortunately Eric Schmidt (one of the founders of google) was on the board at Apple around 2007, until his venture into mobile caused a conflict of interest. Amazing how when the g1 was announced it changed from a basic qwerty keyboard phone (similar to a blackberry) to a mostly touchscreen device with an app store. Similar to another phone at the time, oh right the iphone 3g.