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Google Files Patent Application For New Lockscreen Interface, Thumbs Nose At Apple

Coming off a decision in German courts that Motorola is in fact infringing on Apple’s device unlocking patents, it looks like the only way to get them off their backs is to create something completely new. That should work, right? That is the exact route Google is making, as they have sent in a patent application to the USPTO which could change the way users open their smartphones, tablets, and even computers. The application is titled, “Input to Locked Computing Device.” It is sort of hard to decipher all of the legal jargon, but what we can tell is that there will be multiple options or interchangeable options you can have on your lockscreen and you will drag an option into a certain action at the bottom of the screen to unlock the device.

This is the first initial step in a long line of steps that would allow this feature to become a reality and a permanent fixture on devices. We will need to be patient and await the USPTO’s decision on Google’s application. Does it sound interesting though? It definitely looks neat.

Via: Engadget, USPTO

  • Dammit Google, Pull-Down Notification Bar!!!

  • Looks very similar to the HTC Sense lock screen…

  • Mule0331

    I hate Apple! But in all reality, isnt this still “sliding to unlock” as Apple claims to have invented?

  • Mr Lite8907

    You know a rather cool way to unlock your phone is to turn the screen on then touch and hold any finger on any part of the screen and shake your phone to unlock it. Also, you can change the shake sensitivity on your phone so as to not seem all awkward.

  • Anonymous

    I hate this patent nonsense and would love to keep using the amazing default lock screen in ICS

  • Guest

    Really! How about an option for NO LOCK SCREEN!

  • Anonymous

    This is a great idea ! besides the standard unlock and camera options it looks like we will be able to choose a few more options. Every time Apple does something to force a change Google just makes it better. Now can they come up with something for auto correct?

  • Animate

    This is kind of like what TouchWiz does on my Vibrant. If I have a missed call or msg there is a puzzle piece that I move into the open slot and it unlocks to the respective notification.

  • Guest

    doesn’t apple have a patent on filing a patent??  so this will be another law suit!

  • Anonymous

    this is the sense 3.0 lockscreen…

  • Anonymous

    well it seems like Google’s patent was filed August 6, 2010 however Apple’s was filed September 30, 2011, I don’t know how they were granted this before Google but I assume Apple has way much more lobbyist and better Lawyers than Google.

    • Jim Ortmeier

      The 2011 date for Apple was not when it was filed, but when it was accepted. Btw, all of the other tech blogs reporting on this story also mention that Google filed this in January of 2009, and it’s still pending. This story makes it sound like Google just now filed this, so they really should correct this so it doesn’t mislead the readers. Anyone listening?

  • Anonymous

    Google should just patent the process of powering on a “computing device” by using a human hand.

  • Anonymous

    Apple: We have come up with a new lock screen idea, and it will be magical. (Shows Google’s lock screen patent filing)

    Lawyers:  Umm, you realize that’s someone else’s patent.

    Apple:  Look at the shape of the phone, we could totally claim prior art on this one.

    • Firant

       Crap, you’re right — it’s a rectangle with rounded corners — this is clearly a derivative work. /snark

  • Very HTC Sense 3.0 like.

  • i too called emily on 09/07/1998 at 12:00….. i should sue!

    • Anonymous

      But you got no answer because she was with me.  Giggity.

  • Anonymous

    That awkward moment when mock-up of the phone looks like an i*hone

    • That awkward moment when someone can’t tell the difference between the HTC G1 & iPhone. 

    • Looks like an Eris to me. I don’t remember an iPhone having that many buttons.

      That awkward moment when you thought the iphone had more than one button.

      • James

        All of you are wrong, it’s an HTC Magic

        • Anonymous


    • BartJJ

      That’s a g1, about as far from an iPhone as you can get…

    • Anonymous

      Are you a German judge?

    • Anonymous

      That awkward moment when you open your mouth in public and people start to point and laugh.

    • Anonymous

      That even more awkward moment when everyone is wrong…more buttons than an i*phone AND the G1 and not even close to the same shape as the Magic.  Suggit!

  • T1392

    Maybe it’s like Samsung & their lock screen on there Galaxy phones when & if you have a message a message puzzle piece appears and you finish the puzzle like that. I doubt they’ll make it a puzzle lock screen but something of that concept.

  • Michael Forte

    Silly Google, don’t you know Apple owns the world?

  • PC_Tool


    Hi, MIUI. 

  • jake creed

    Google also filed a patent in 2009 for the pull down notification and if approved would be able to screw apple really good and potentially take a lot of that money apple has. 

    Story on phandroid.

    • QtDL

      Why hasn’t that happened already?!? Didn’t Apple just put the pull down notification on their last iPhone?

      • jake creed

        Patent hasn’t been approved yet. Once it is, I think google can go and hit apple especially with apple adding the pulldown to Mountain Lion in the summer.

        • QtDL

           How many years does it take to approve a patent?? Clearly more than 2.

          • jake creed

            No idea, seems apple gets approved quicker than everyone or they pay off the right people.  Google needs to start paying people off.

          • Please no, they don’t need to sink to that level….*shudder*

          • Noyfb

            aqpple would be dick’s and just make it a side pull notification and say its easier on the thumbs to side swipe it left to right or right to left or a pull up notification, oh crap, i’d better patent these ideas, [email protected]……. : )

          • Anonymous

            Then how do you change screens?

        • Duh

          mountain like isn’t pulldown. nice try though

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think Google can sue since it’s part of an open sourced software. They can, however, try to force Apple to release the source code for iOS 5 to the public under some sort of GPL rules (that or remove it), and this could be grounds for an injunction if Apple doesn’t comply. Could be interesting, but in any case I don’t think Google could get money for it. They could possibly give Apple a hard time, though, and that’s mainly the point (to have a retaliatory strike against Apple, since Google doesn’t instigate patent disputes).

      • The reason these patents are so ludicrous and dangerous is that the idea and mechanism are what is protected, not whatever particular bit of coding it takes to make it happen.  I can guarantee that Moto’s lockscreen is not coded the same as Apple’s yet they were found in violation of the patent.
        Should the notification pulldown patent be granted, it will indeed force Apple to either pay Google a licensing fee or to remove the feature from their devices.  Similarly, this will give Android licensees protection, so long as their particular lock screen or notification pulldown is covered by the relevant patents.  If you notice, the lockscreen one is already very similar to those used by Samsung, HTC, and ICS stock.

        • Anonymous

          Again, the code for Android is open source, so I don’t think they could get any licensing fees (you can’t be forced to pay for something that’s free). They could, though, get Apple to have to either open source their code (never gonna happen) or change their notification system or else risk having their products banned.

          • Firant

             Again, you are wrong.  Code is copyright — Patent is process.

            You can absolutely patent a process and then license it to a particular open source implementation — anyone not living within that license (which need not be identical to the open source license whatsoever) is fsked.

          • Balls

            feels good correcting people on the internet right?

          • Feels good being a jerk on the internet, right? GTFO.

      • Facts

        Google has instigated patent disputes against their server technology. They don’t build anything else themselves so of course they haven’t done it in those areas. They just leave their proxies HTC, Samsung and Moto to get sued. Google is a clown company. In 2017 when their PageRank patent ends they will be Yahoo. 

        • It’s important to point out that PageRank is a relatively insignificant factor (of very many) of their ranking algorithms. If you think PageRank is that significant to Google’s search superiority, you’re sadly mistaken.

          • Tony Sullivan

            It is the only part that is under patent. The only other thing that makes Google results better is the amount of data they have collected. I wrote my thesis on search and Google is in trouble when the patent expires. This is why Google bought Moto and is trying to develop other revenue streams with Android and Google+

    • JB

      I was actually just thinking of this. Googles lockscreens may be generally the same idea as apples but at least our lockscreen are all different styles. Their pull down notification bar is almost identical to googles… 

    • ByeGoogle

      They won’t take any of Apple’s money. Apple would rewrite the code before giving Google anything. Besides Google was just found to hack Safari mobile browsers to enable tracking even when the user enabled privacy controls. hahaha, congressional anti-trust hearings on the way. 

        • ByeGoogle

          “Could” being the operative word. I could become president. I could win Google in a poker game. You could be Larry Page. Let’s wait till something happens as opposed to could happen. K. Thanks

          • My understanding is that unless they come to another agreement, Google is essentially demanding a percentage of sales and are fully entitled to it. It is also my understanding that the patents referenced are patents core to the iPhone and are absolutely required for an iPhone to be an iPhone, and can’t simply be reworked.

            So where you see “could” I see “will”. You’d also do well to keep your emotions at bay when reading and commenting on articles. Your username and comments scream “emo quit”.

  • Curtis Haynie

    This looks like it could be very interesting.

  • Gaffer

    Oh I love Google.

  • Anonymous

    Gotta say, i’m not really feeling this… i rather just unlock my phone as quickly and efficiently as possible, instead of having to put a puzzle together…