I've got an engine that I wrote that I use for my games. The GUI stuff (windows and buttons and such) currently just work with the mouse, but I am adding keyboard/gamepad support for all of it. I am trying to decide what to do about text input. I can go a classic route with a big qwerty layout or even just a terrible "line of letters" or something, but I also liked the look of what they have in Steam's Big Picture Mode.
That got me wondering if that sort of thing is patent-able (which it is, as far as my research told me). That lead me to wonder if that could be a problem here. Since I'm writing it all myself it can obviously look and work however I want, so I could make something similar that is "different enough", if I could figure out what constitutes "different enough".
The main reason I want to use something like this badly enough to come ask about it (and Google around for the past few days) is that, since it is a UI thing, I want it to be easy to use and (preferably) recognizable. If Steam popularizes this easy-to-use (at least I think it's great) design, I would much rather use it or something similar to it, and not something much less useful (a big qwerty block).
So, is this a valid concern, or just silly?