Apple Applies for “Face Unlock” Patent, Sound Familiar? (Updated)

by: AlexanderDecember 29, 2011

Okay let me start off by saying all these patents that everyone is applying for is getting a bit ridiculous. Apple has applied to the USPTO for another technology patent, which Apple is not even using but is one of the biggest features in Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich. Apple’s application describes the patent as a brand new technology that allows a user to unlock a device by using the features of their face.

I am not really to sure about Apple’s reasoning in going after this patent, maybe they want to stop Android from using Face Unlock so they can add it in iOS 6? Or maybe they have been working on something similar behind closed doors and want to get the patent before Google does, so they can implement the feature in later updates to their iOS devices? There are many possibilities.

We do not know what Google is planning to do about this, and why there is not a website dedicated to Google’s patents, I have no idea. But as always when we learn more we will be sure to pass it along to you.

What do you think is Apple’s reasoning is behind applying for the “Face Unlock” patent? Let us know your opinions in the comments.

  • WTH!!! OK now this is blatent stealing! Apple needs to be boycotted for the under-handed business practices!

    • SamsaraGuru

      Couldn’t agree with you more Willie. Pretty soon we are going to hear that Apple was actually responsible for the creation of God; all the universe and all that is in it – and due royalties from all who reside therein.

      It was Stalin who said that if you tell a lie big enough people will believe it because they will find it impossible to believe that anyone could make up something so huge and unbelievable.

      Apple and “Uncle Joe” share a strong intellectual common bond.

      Oh well, even Stalin found out eventually that no matter how vicious you are eventually you die and everything you tried to hold together through violence and force falls apart – and the same is true of corporations of similar ilk.

      • Anonymoose

        I guess you’re right. If you tell a lie big enough, the person who said it becomes Joseph Stalin and not Joseph GOEBBELS.

  • ๏_๏

    Notification bars, now Face Unlock? Apple, this is reason #10903471 why I hate you!

  • JohnHyke

    Apple’s patent application was originally filed in Q2 2010. This was before the Android 4.0’s public unveiling. There was no patent released for Android’s Face Unlock prior to this Apple patent. Therefore there is no evidence that Apple copied Google. So any assumption that Apple copied Google is biased and unfounded.

  • JohnHyke

    Correction: Apple’s face recognition technology patents were filed earlier, in 2009; well before any known Android patents.

    • WhoIAm

      Filling for a patent doesn’t count for crap if you have nothing to show for it…Android already implemented and released this technology for public use in Android 4.0, where is Apple’s 2009 Face unlock? Unfortunately, the patent system is so broken that Apple can get away with more blatent patent trolling…

  • s-v

    whatt? :-|

  • Lacphong03
  • Chidio

    Android/google is pathetic, APPLE came up with this idea and filed for the patent in 2009. Google is probably trolling Apple patents and trying to beat them to market with the product. Then all you Android idiots think Google came up with the idea and try to call out Apple. It’s pathetic, you guys remind me of the Republican party with your misinformation and bad logic. This is clearly yet another Apple idea that Google stole, but you’re too dumb to see it. And just wait, when Apple finally does introduce the feature in iOS, it’ll be done way better than in Android anyway.

    • kamal g.c

      chidio donkey fallow… don’t be so, ridiculous.. use the common sense..

    • EddieT

      actually, you are wrong.
      “Apple first SUBMITTED the paper work June 29, 2010 not 2009” (from
      The government takes a long time before paper work becomes an actual patent. It remains to be seen if Apple actually created any software to do this or if it was just an idea.

      “United States patent laws do not require you to have a prototype in order to apply for a patent, all that is required is that you be able to describe the invention so that others could both make and use it.” (from
      “the average patent application pendency is 24.6 months [2.5 years]” (from

    • john

      Apple has the patents of all even
      the man who violated your mother

    • Tekka

      Shut up! You sound retarded..That is all.

  • Guys, I have updated the post with the information talked about in most of the comments below. As I said in the updated part of the article, Google also purchased a Facial recognition company around the same time Apple first applied for this patent. It was only made public yesterday that Apple had applied for it.

  • GeeBird

    I know this incites the wrath of A-Pull fanboyz, but applying for a patent on technology being developed by your competitor is a lame move. In other words, it’s typical A-Pull behavior. To A-Pull there are two kinds of innovation, stuff they bought and stuff they stole. And they want to keep anyone else from using either kind.

    • qwerty

      why are you writing a-pull… its harder to write that than apple lol .. you are weird

  • Simple. They are a bunch of fags that can not beat their competition, so they are trying to do it by buying up other people’s ideas.


  • S8256e

    Apparently Apple is gone paranoid due to their inability to produce anything “insanely great” of late. The only option open to Apple as they see it is to block others from developing anything competitive. What happened to Steve Job’s “Good artists copy, great artists STEAL” mantra? Apple was built from stealing, among others, Xerox’s “windows” and touch technology. One only wonders what Apple would have been if it were not for pirating other’s works! Well, it would have been just that, an apple. The practice of suing everybody and everything stinks.

  • Guest

    As WhoIAm alluded to, this is prior art. You can’t patent something that someone else has already put on the market.

    Unless the people working at the USPTO all left and monkeys are running things.

    • J .

      Tell that to everyone in Australia who liked to make UGG boots for a meagre living and family tradition but they can’t because a foreign country patented the UGG boot 100+ years after rural Australians started doing it.

      They shouldn’t even be worn outside the house so that patent and the fact that some people think celebrities look cool walking down the street in them, makes me vomit profusely.

      Apple will do anything to make a profit, but after all these years, have they really given that much back to the technology industry and community?

    • Anonymoose

      PROTIP: The people working at the USPTO all left and monkeys have been running things since Ronald Reagan allowed patents on ‘business processes’ in the 1980s.

  • Wael Karram

    WTH!!!!!!!!!! come on Apple I guess next thing is to patent Android and Linux maybe GNU also,the Internet and Open Source! FU!!

  • newnerd
  • William

    I wish Palm would get a strangle hold of Apple.

  • Lucas

    I like Apple for their easy to use technology. Another reason i like Apple is there high quality products. But lately i feel like Apple is just acting like a little child because they didn’t get there way with their supposed innovations. And i think that if android wasn’t there then Apple would become a monopoly and get shut down. Apple needs to grow up and find that there just going to have to deal with Android getting new features first! So Apple please stop this non-sense so I can feel comfortable to buy your products again.

  • Cj

    All you Droid fans are stupid. When Android copied almost everything from iOS you guys don’t even call it copying, you think Droid came up with it on their own. But now that Apple didn’t even copy Droid, you’re dissing the company that every single technology competitor compares themselves against. The company that revolutionized every single market it entered. The company that made piece of shit Android even a possibility. Because without Apple, you wouldn’t have Droid where it is now.

    • Said like a true IOS fan :)
      I was like this guy. then i got a galaxy s3. looked at my iphone 2 days later and was like how did i use this junk.
      Its hard to see how an item is copied when it craps all over what it supposedly copied from, its like saying a modern jet is copied from the first wrights brothers plane. they both are planes, both fly. but one has advanced with technology and not just re-released every year with one or two new features claiming to be a new amazing device.
      Apple are great at marketing, but too bad not much else.

  • saurabhaj

    Good Apple,
    one day Apple will come with only patents,
    but not functions,
    slide Face to unlock