Apple Wins Patent For “Slide To Unlock” Gesture; But Still Gets Ripped Off By Espier Launcher On Android Market

Few days back, Apple won a patent for the “slide to unlock” gesture.

Apple had applied for the patent back in 2005, claiming the exclusive rights to unlocking a touchscreen device by tracing a preset pattern or gesture with a finger. 

Here’s a excerpt from the patent:

“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”.

We can still remember Steve Jobs describing how the iPhone can be unlocked when he unveiled it in January 2007:

“To unlock the phone, I just take my finger and slide it across. Wanna see that again? We wanted something you couldn’t do by accident in your pocket. Just slide it across – BOOM.”

It is not clear how this patent will impact Android as Google also offers a “slide to unlock” gesture to unlock an Android based device, but as you can see in the video below the patent hasn’t stopped folks behind Espier Launcher (Android Market link) from copying iOS interface including the “slide to unlock” feature and releasing it on the Android Market.

We’re quite sure it is not going to go down too well with Apple.

[via Patently Apple, @stroughtonsmith]