Feeds

Google swings new mobile unlock patent punch at Apple

Android overlord designs two-icon widget

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
HANA has SAP cuddling up to 'smaller partners'
Wanted: algorithm wranglers, not systems giants
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.