Android

HTC gets a patent on face unlock, patent wars could get nasty

Htc-face-unlock-patentThe patent wars just got a little more interesting. Although Samsung was the first Android manufacturer to put out a device with Android 4.0's face unlock technology, HTC has just been granted a patent for "unlocking a locked computing device [by] obtaining biometric information utilizing the computing device." 

Reading further into the patent, we find that it more specifically involves a "facial profile," suggesting that this really does have to do with face unlock. What that means, then, is that HTC could potentially target other Android manufactures like Samsung for using the technology, simply because no other manufacturers use face unlock yet. This doesn't seem too likely to happen, but would be quite a change from the current Apple vs. Android battle.

Making things even more interesting is the fact that Apple has also applied for a patent on a similar technology, which if granted could further complicate lawsuits. More than likely, Apple won't get the patent, but still the potential for numerous lawsuits is a bit concerning.

When I reported on Apple applying for a face unlock patent, I said that I didn't think the idea should be patented, and I stand by that opinion. I really don't think that HTC or anyone else should be getting this patent or using it to sue others, and I hope HTC doesn't misuse their patent like some other manufacturers might.

[SlashGear]
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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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One thought on “HTC gets a patent on face unlock, patent wars could get nasty

  • It seems that if Google is already providing this in Android, Apple has already applied for patent and HTC has as well, that perhaps this is “obvious” and no patent should be granted to anyone. Seems we’ve had face unlock on PCs and laptops for years, how’s it not obvious to bring that same technology to phones?

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