You have a software-only touch screen? What do you touch it with if it's not tangible?
General Purpose Computing Devices should not count as the apparatus in "Method and Apparatus For ___" that all software patents use as a loophole.
Why not? Bearing in mind that a general purpose computing device won't help with novelty or nonobviousness, why should it not be a good limitation that anchors an otherwise abstract idea?
... Except that you didn't bear that in mind:
I can implement this slide to unlock bullishit on paper: A greeting card, for example. It's implemented on my damn door, Already. Those are examples of hardware tied to the software. The idea of sliding to unlock something is not new or innovative. Applying it to general purpose computing devices with general purpose touch input screens whereby dragging or "sliding" is a well understood, non inventive input method is asinine, obvious at best.
You're confusing three different statutes. Patent eligibility is under 35 USC 101 and defines what subject material is potentially patent eligible - processes, machines, articles of manufacture, compositions of matter. You're trying to conflate a rule under that with 35 USC 102 or the requirement of novelty, or 35 USC 103 or the requirement of nonobviousness. There's no need to do that, and it muddies the waters - 35 USC 101 is specifically about whether something has patent eligible subject matter, period. A wheel, for example, is neither new nor nonobvious, but it's definitely a machine. Similarly, a process that is implemented on a computer is definitely a process, regardless of how new or old the computer is. Those considerations come next, under the other two statutes.
The software patents were supposed to depend on some specific hardware capability that was unique to the hardware, not re-implementable on every other device with a damn touch screen and CPU -- Say, in a factory where software controls a special robotic arm.
Says who? The Supreme Court hasn't, and neither has Congress.
Personally, I think all the software patents should be tossed out. Even if the software depends on some specific hardware construction, then the specific hardware construction should be what's patentable -- There are no needs for software patents. Software is just a recipe made of math.
Recipes are also patent-eligible subject matter, provided they're new and nonobvious (the latter being the really tough one for any combination of existing food components).
But here, you get to the right place:
To put it another way: If it's so damn general purpose that I can create op-codes and "run" the software on graph paper with my mind being the "apparatus" following pen-up, pen-down, erase, and compare instructions, then it shouldn't be patentable. Patents were never meant to stop people from thinking!
That's exactly right, and that's the reason why abstract ideas and algorithms aren't patentable. It's also the reason why laws of nature aren't patentable - you can't patent the law of gravity, even if it was just newly discovered, because you can't get an injunction to keep people from being bound by it. Similarly, you can't get an injunction to stop someone from thinking.
But this patent requires hardware. You can't possibly infringe it by thinking, because your mind is not a touch screen connected to a computer processor - and broad generalizations of what it means to be a "processor" aside, the patent is limited to computer processors. You can do your graph paper version all you want, and you'll never ever infringe the patent. It doesn't attempt to stop you from thinking, so it doesn't run into that perfectly-valid thoughtcrime justification.