Google Files Patent For New Lockscreen Method – Finds Work Around For Apple’s “Slide-To-Unlock”


So, we all know Apples is filing patent applications like it’s their business. This is what they’ve been using for legal ammo as of late, attempting to block the competition and not giving consumers the final say in what they will or will not buy. Well, the questions has come up quite a few times, “Just where the heck has Google been in all of this?”

While I originally assumed that perhaps the internet search giant just didn’t “play ball” that way, today we’ve learned that ‘ol Googs has made a trip by the patent office, filing for a new patent of their very own. The patent in question is “Input to Locked Computing Device,” new method for unlocking a device from Google and their way of circumventing Apple’s “slide-to-unlock” patent — something Apple has been using to attack Samsung for allegedly violating.

The diagram shows a method for unlocking that looks similar to HTC’s Sense 3.0 lockscreen where you can drag icons and jump straight to the chosen application, or even executing shortcuts like directly calling a specific contact or shooting them an SMS. Let’s hope we’re looking at Jelly Bean’s new lockscreen, coming soon to an Android device near you.

[USPTO | Via Patently Apple, Engadget]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Apple will go after Google for the patent application drawing.  It looks just like a fruitPhone with 6 extra buttons…

    1. what are you talking about? it looks like the g1.

      1. Not quite… A G1 has a menu button above the trackball and only 2 buttons on either side.

        1.  so it’s not exactly the same but it still looks similar! certainly more like the g1 than THAT phone.

        2. I too thought that it looked like the G1

      2. Mytouch 3G anyone???

        1. Yeah that is closer than the G1.  Just square it off to match the fruity case and you got it.  Good catch.

    2. a fruitphone top and bottom bezel size have width

  2. Software patents are stupid. One click purchase. Cheesy.

  3. i wonder if Google has patented their pull down notification bar. If not, they should do it so…


  4. All i can say is…….finally

  5. ” If awarded, you can expect to see a new lockscreen in Android in the future, possibly even headed to Jelly Bean if the USPTO can get on the ball.”

    They don’t need to wait until they are awarded the patent to use the technology…

  6. Very good.  I commented somewhere yesterday that either Google or one of the manufacturers needed to patent some cool screen unlock system that would screw Apple over if ever they wanted to change their lockscreen to something more sophisticated.  This patent is an example of a much better lockscreen.  I realize this patent business is getting silly, but right now it seems this is the court in which the game needs to be played.

  7. Finally something not invented by Apple.

  8. USPTO is NOT going to be on the ball for summer 2012. My patent applications from 2007 are just getting approved this year.

    1. Apple didn’t get Slide to Unlock granted until last year though (despite applying in 2005)… you can use it prior to the patent being granted.

  9. This is so Crapple can go and suck some balls…..Andy should Cook it and give it to Tim…

  10. They should have patented smartphone multitasking. They would have left all their competitors in caves.

    1. windows mobile did it before google/apple.

  11. I use and love Widget Locker with six sliders; it saves steps and is enhanced even more when combined with ADW Notifier which puts notification bubbles right on the sliders.

    On a separate note, Google may in the end benefit from Apple’s litigation offensive.  As game systems (i.e. Sony), appliances, and in-car units look for operating systems to run their products, Android may become the path of least risk as most patent battles will have already been fought and developing in-house OS’s will undoubtedly trample on existing intellectual property.  Combine this with low development costs and customer familiarity, and Android is the clear choice.

  12. oh no, apple are going to sue google for “patenting”. i hope apple didnt patent the “patenting” haha 

      1. i respectfully disagree

      2. JulianZHuang’s comment is indeed hilarious..

  13. Was just thinking a few hours after reading the moto slide to unlock court case in germany.. Why don’t they patent the HTC sense method (Don’t like Sense but love that unlocker)…

    Must say Goog, that was damn quick, patent filing and leak to press a few hours after my thought ;)

    All this patent crap’s annoying me. Roll on Venus Project where everyone works together instead of against eachother!

    1. Yeah, but it will take months upon months before the USPTO even sees this application -_-

      1. I read that it had been granted. Doesn’t it say that Google already applied for it-
        Filed:August 6, 2010

        EDIT: I found the link…

  14. Did they not patent the circle style unlock like ics?

  15. Or we could just resolve the whole thing if a judge would throw out their ridiculous patent. Slide-to-unlock has become a standard, and Apple can’t stop other companies from using it anymore. They are allowed to charge a reasonable fee, but they can’t stop it.

  16. It’s Internet, with a capital “I”. I’m not typically the grammar police but for someone who’s job wouldn’t exist without the Internet, the least you can do is spell it correctly.

    1.  Just as well you’re not usually a member of the grammar police since “who’s” should be “whose”. If you’re really a stickler for grammar then it’s a bit hypocritical to pull up other people when you make mistakes yourself. As it is, most of the world is actually switching to treating the “internet” as a common noun rather than a proper noun so this is a moot point.

    2. More recently, a significant number of publications have switched to not capitalizing the noun internet. Among them are The Economist, the Financial Times, The Times, the Guardian, the Observer and the Sydney Morning Herald. As of 2011, most publications using “internet” appear to be located outside of North America, but the gap is closing. Wired News, an American news source, adopted the lower-case spelling in 2004. Around April 2010, CNN shifted its house style to adopt the lowercase spelling. As Internet connectivity has expanded, it has started to be seen as a service similar to television, radio, and telephone, and the word has come to be used in this way. For this type of use, English spelling and grammar do not prescribe whether the article or capitalization are to be used, which explains the inconsistency that exists in practice.

    3. Well don’t I feel like a dumbass. Next time I hop on my soapbox I’ll be sure not to do it so late at night. :) I’m a copywriter and the company I work for still uses “I” in their style guide. I honestly wasn’t aware that using “i” was an accepted practice.

  17. So instead of “Slide to Unlock” it’s “Drag to Unlock”.  Brilliant!

  18. I think I have a solution for the problem but i don’t know how can i tell that to google. if anybody knows how contact me with my email.
    [email protected]

  19. It’s about damn time! Google needs to start fighting fire with fire and getting vague patents too.

  20. I bet Apple wish they thought of the drag-to-unlock feature. I can see an app dock with a unlock area on their devices. But, now it is Google’s. Great things is, Apple can legally use it as long as they release the source for that part. :p

  21. when is jelly bean gonna be released

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