Normally, Apple patents tend not to affect the industry too much. However, the one that was granted today will probably hit it like an asteroid.
Apple today won its slide-to-unlock patent. Big deal, right? Well, yes, that is right. Sliding-to-unlock is used in practically every modern mobile operating system. Android, WP7, and webOS all use the technology in one way or another, and that's the problem for those OSes right now.
This patent is really loose, which means that any direction used to unlock the device is now owned by Apple. If you thought Apple was already way too sue-happy, then get ready for the firestorm that is sure to be brewing inside the Cupertino headquarters.
I hate that Apple has to single out all the small stuff in its products, mainly because most other companies share some of those things. It cuts down on competition, and that's never good.[9to5Mac]