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