Apple has been granted a patent that covers the ‘unlocking’ of a smartphone screen by sliding a finger across the display or entering a pattern. The original application was filed in June 2009.
Devices using rival operating systems, including Android and Windows Phone, currently use similar techniques. However, these rivals would not need to make changes if a legal case proved the patent to be too broad or too obvious.
Earlier this year Apple was granted a patent that covered multi-touch use of a screen.
The news comes as Apple’s iPad 2 has been criticised for a security lapse that apparently allows its ‘smart cover’ to bypass the on-screen lock.
[More details: US Patent; BBC News; BringYourOwnIT.com]