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Google counters Apple with patent on Android pattern unlock

updated 02:50 pm EST, Fri November 18, 2011

Google patents its own Android unlocking gesture

Google has followed Apple's footsteps in getting a patent at the USPTO for the unlocking gesture for touchscreen smartphones running its Android operating system. While Apple has patented a slide to unlock gesture, Google uses a more involved pattern. The patent is called Touch Gesture Actions From A Device's Lock Screen.

The wording of the patent reveals that the pattern doesn't require a predefined start point, so users can unlock their devices without even looking at the screen, so long as the pattern drawn matches what they initially set. The gestures could also perform functions without unlocking the phone, such as silencing the ringer without taking it out of their pockets, Google explained. Different gestures can perform different actions, though Google didn't specify how many would be supported.

Duelling patents from Apple and Google show the two just as eager to permanently establish the features of their mobile platforms. Google has often been accused of not taking patents seriously but, with its newer applications, appears to be clamping down and protecting its own rights. [via 9to5Google]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Difference between...

    A S S
    A 5 5

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    We may need to consult Kama Sutra about this one

    What do you think?

  1. facebook_George

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2011


    This will be hilarious

    When people forget their unique swipe motions. "Let's see up, right down left. No, up, down, left ... damn, it's trash."

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sounds to me...

    like they gave them a patent for the same thing as Apple. Apple's patent was for a method to unlock the screen by dragging your finger over a graphic and wasn't limited to a swipe. It would seem that Google's method is the same, only the graphic is a series of dots.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    illustrates the ridiculousness

    of the current state of software IP rights and patents.

    It's just a method. If cell phones were cars, would Ford try to patent the method of turning on the car with the ignition key???

  1. godrifle

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I got dibs on gesturing in a circle for unlocking, and reversing the circle for locking.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who was the idiot

    that started all this nonsense with the patent on the "Slide to Unlock"?... Oh yeah.

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