Printed from

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 Electronista Staff


  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Difference between...

    A S S
    A 5 5

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    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

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2002


    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

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    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

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006



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

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    Who was the idiot

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

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Neurio Intelligent Home Monitor

The recently released Neurio Intelligent Home Monitor is a piece of hardware that, when integrated into a home's breaker box, monitors ...

Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro (Early 2015)

Although the new darling of the Apple MacBook line up is the all-new MacBook, Apple has given its popular 13-inch MacBook Pro with Ret ...

Seagate Wireless

It seems like no matter how much internal storage is included today's mobile devices, we, as users, will always find a way to fill the ...



Most Commented


Popular News