Feb 17 AT 7:55 AM Anthony Domanico 39 Comments

Google files for patent to combat Apple’s Slide to Unlock


In an attempt to circumvent Apple’s hotly-debated Slide To Unlock patent, which has resulted in a few lawsuits with many more likely on the way, Google has filed a patent of their own for a lockscreen that looks fairly similar to the one found in HTC’s Sense UI.

The filing, titled “Input to Locked Computing Device,” gives hints as to what may be coming next out of Mountain View. Imagine a standard homescreen, with a 5 row x 5 column grid. Google’s lockscreen features a large on-screen button which takes up the entire bottom row of the device that a user can press to simply unlock the device to get to your homescreen. The rest of the rows comprise other actions you can do right from the lockscreen, and you can simply slide one of those icons to the big button in the bottom row to immediately launch into that action. Actions range from calling a contact to launching applications, and we assume these would be user-customizable.

We’re potentially getting way ahead of ourselves here, as what Google did yesterday was simply filing a patent for a potential new kind of lockscreen. This does not mean that we’ll ever see Google’s lockscreen see the light of day, and the patent office could reject it as being too similar to Apple’s previously granted patent on slide to unlock. I’m no lawyer, but I reckon the likelihood of Google being denied the patent is slim, and this may very well be the lockscreen featured in Android 5.0 (or 4.1), which may or may not debut as early as next quarter.

Take a look at the conceptual drawings in the gallery below, and let us know what you think of Google’s potential new lockscreen in the comments. For further info, hit the source link to check out the USPTO filing in its entirety.

Via: Engadget

Source: USPTO

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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