Remember Apple’s much famous, although-silly-at-this-point-in-time patent, Slide To Unlock? Apparently, Nokia’s got one patent by the same name, as well.
I don’t generally blog about companies being granted patents, because a lot of times, they are just plainly silly, vague. This one though, is something interesting. Not just because Apple and Nokia now have this patent in their name, but also because Google has applied for a patent that’s eerily similar to Nokia’s idea.
While Apple’s concept of unlocking is entirely different from Nokia’s, the name is the same, which is sort of confusing. I’m wondering how could the USPTO grant Nokia a patent with the exact same name. But that’s about it.
Now on to Nokia and Google. Nokia had filed for this patent back in 2007. Oh yes. Back in the days of the first iPhone. Which is mind boggling, considering Nokia had an app named Bubbles, launched as a Beta app, from the Nokia Betalabs, only somewhere in early 2011 (if my memory serves me right). And until then, or perhaps even a bit later, not one Android OEM implemented this in their phones. I first saw it on a HTC Android, with Sense 3.0. So yeah, it’s more than safe to say Nokia has been the real innovator, and yes, Google filed for this patent in late 2011. If Google manages to get the patent, too, I’ll never trust the company, and USPTO, ever, again. It’d be just ridiculous if that happens, because we know who has been first with this.
And just as a sidenote, this Bubble-style (dragging from the unlocking area to launch an app) is something that came with Ice Cream Sandwich update. And it’s a neat little feature. Won’t be surprised if the Finns go on and sue the OEMs and Google. Stop that Open Source bullshit, already.
PS: I like Android, and currently am hating Symbian.