Feeds

Google swings new mobile unlock patent punch at Apple

Android overlord designs two-icon widget

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Updated Here's a potential way out for Google after Apple's recent win on its slide-to-unlock patent in Germany. A patent application for unlocking mobile devices that Google filed in August 2010 was published earlier this month – which means it will now form full prior art for other patent applications worldwide.

The paperwork details a method for unlocking a computer with user inputs including touch. It may eventually provide Google's phone partners with some relief from the legal onslaught.

Google's new unlock patent, credit US Patent Office

A German court ruled yesterday that Motorola's Android phones were infringing on Apple's patent on using a slide motion to unlock the screen on a mobile device. Motorola will appeal and claim it will not affect sales of current devices, but it raises the danger that other Android phones in Germany would be vulnerable to the same ban.

Google's pending patent application covers using touch to take a computer device from a locked to an unlocked state. It could give the next generation of Android phones a legally-safe unlock option and offer much needed relief for Motorola, Samsung and HTC from the headache of Apple's persistent lawsuits over the feature.

Google filed the blueprints back in August 6, 2010, 11 days before Apple was awarded the slide-to-unlock patent on 17 August 2010 which has caused so many lawsuits in the past 18 months.

Google's new unlock patent, credit US Patent Office

The uniqueness of Google's new unlock idea comes from bundling the unlock command with a second command to launch an application. To open the device, the user might drag an icon (say email) over the unlock button and simultaneously unlock the phone while firing up their email account.

The patent application also comprises a voice-recognition-to-unlock method. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.