As reported by 9to5Mac, Apple has been granted a patent for their “Slide to Unlock” feature from iOS devices. The United States Patent & Trademark Office has officially posted the patent on their site for all to see. This gives Apple the reassurance that no one except them will ever be able to use “Slide to Unlock” on their devices.
Apple explains the patent with the following statement:
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. The device displays one or more unlock images with respect to which the predefined gesture is to be performed in order to unlock the device. The performance of the predefined gesture with respect to the unlock image may include moving the unlock image to a predefined location and/or moving the unlock image along a predefined path. The device may also display visual cues of the predefined gesture on the touch screen to remind a user of the gesture.
More information on this patent can be found on the USPTO search engine by typing in patent number 7657849.