Feeds

Google swings new mobile unlock patent punch at Apple

Android overlord designs two-icon widget

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
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.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.