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Apple Wins Patent


Whenever a company comes up with a unique idea they often seek to patent the idea, preventing others from being able to legally use that concept. This is recently what happened with Apple and one of their phone features. Specifically, Apple has been granted a patent for a touch screen mobile phones feature that helps to lock and unlock the device. This can be accomplished by tracing a set pattern with one’s finger.

Originally Apple applied for this patent back in December of 2005 and has since been fighting their rivals over this specific feature. Some have even made accusations of theft to other smartphone operating system creators. However, many companies already currently use this same technology on their devices. Apple has vigorously fought against this usage, being involved in multiple lawsuits.

The impact of this patent grant could be widespread affecting Android designs. Many of these already feature similar designs for unlocking the phones. Presently, Android phones made by HTC and Samsung feature similar methods of locking and unlocking by using gestures. These include such methods of wiping a lock screen, placing a puzzle piece on the phone or pulling a ring. What will happen no one knows for sure but all eyes will remain focused to see what implications this will have for Android who has long been a foe of Apple.

Apple is seeking to further restrict others’ use of similar technology. They want users to have the capability to control features from across a space by using 3D gestures. Another patent suggests that Apple is already working on a projector that would use physical gestures to move a projected image. This particular patent pertains more to the gestures themselves. This method would utilize the device’s front facing camera to help use this feature. This patent was filed much later than the patent recently awarded. The latest patent submission has come in during 2010.


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