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Google files patent for back panel touch controls

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Google files patent for back panel touch controls
A while ago, Google realized that it wasn't making too much headway in trying to get patent law changed, or getting silly patents invalidated, so the company did the only thing that was left: it started trying to patent its own "innovations" which were probably just logical conclusions based on existing work (you know, like 99% of all patents). Well, it looks like Google newest filing is a patent application for back panel touch controls.

Before we even bother to explain the text of the patent application, we'll describe it in terms of "prior art", that silly devil that is supposed to invalidate patent applications, but often doesn't for some small reason. The patent application is basically for the touch panel that you'd find on the back of a PlayStation Vita

Of course, it's possible that this patent will be found "unique" because Google's application is for a touch panel on the back of an Android smartphone or tablet, that will allow you to perform various functions (turning an ebook page, media controls, etc), and more importantly can distinguish between normal holding contact and touches intended to control the device or app (which sounds similar to Apple's iPad mini thin bezel tech.)

Not surprisingly, Apple filed a similar patent back in 2006, before the iPhone even existed, but that patent was never approved, so maybe the USPTO won't bother with this one either (fingers crossed!)


38 Comments
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posted on 08 Mar 2013, 21:19 1

1. avin007 (Posts: 139; Member since: 28 Feb 2013)


Aww....now google is also going the apple way

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 21:20 21

2. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6736; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Apple uses patent too stomp competition and sue others.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 10:22 1

36. Zero0 (Posts: 583; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


As long as Google doesn't abuse this patent, I'm cool with it.

It might have just been a "I'll patent this before Apple does" move, to protect Android from more Apple lawsuits over things Apple didn't invent.

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 21:56 23

8. rajagopalan.k (Posts: 35; Member since: 17 Dec 2012)


while google uses it to just stay without being sued by i-diots

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 22:19 1

13. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4167; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


That wasn't funny nor clever.

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 00:36 4

20. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


It sure was a serious comment so you are right it wasn't funny nor clever. Perhaps you never realized (oh do BOTS ever realize anything?) that you made a wise statement going against your "1 Infinite Loop"

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 08:37 2

27. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)


Taco is just jealous

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 12:33

32. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4167; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Taco? This is PA, not Taco Bell.

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 22:18 2

12. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4167; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Too bad the Sony already has something like this with the ps vita,

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 23:57 4

17. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3024; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Err...yes, we read the article on which you're posting your comment.
But let's face it, PS vita aint a phone nor a tablet, it's a GAMING CONSOLE (in case you don't know /s).
This is a nice idea, however, i don't see a practical use of this if the device is touch enabled. Don't you people think so?

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 00:08 2

18. Whateverman (Posts: 3233; Member since: 17 May 2009)


That never stopped Apple from patenting things they didn't come up with. Besides, Motorola did it way back in like 2009.

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 07:02

24. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Yea they do, so I agree. The world must be ending tonight.....

Anyway... if Apple's patent history showed us anything....Google will be granted it. Then it will be made invalid in a few years.

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 22:40

14. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


I hope not......

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 11:38

31. Bernoulli (Posts: 1586; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


Why? I missed the whole point or my English isn't that great, but what does this patent bring to the table again?

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 21:25

3. nikenturd (unregistered)


Well at least the way I see it, a very useful patent...quality over quantity

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 21:35 8

4. Daftama (Posts: 575; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Someone seriously needs to sue Apple..they need a wake up call..

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 21:39

5. TheLolGuy (Posts: 483; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


I have the Vita, and while the back touch controls capability hasn't been leveraged to it's full potential there are more opportunities for use in mobile devices.

Still, that can complicate things with cover manufacturers and people who feel like they want/need a case for their phone. If the back-touch controls become optional, then many won't adopt it and it'll become forgotten and underutilized.

Also, I imagine swiping and making gestures on the back of the phone could make your grip unwieldy. Unless they do combo gestures with the front and back so you don't get too loosey with your grip.

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 21:39

6. tusshharish (Posts: 342; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


what an idea!!!!!!!!

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 21:48

7. phljcnth (Posts: 295; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


That could possible mean non-removable battery. Oh, I love Sammy.

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 21:59

9. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Well ThE Motorola back flip also had this technology.... Or something similar on that matter

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 22:11

10. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Back panel touch controls? But what will happen if I dropped the phone by accident?

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 22:16 1

11. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


Did everyone just forget that the playstation vita already has this?

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 23:15

15. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 444; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


Havent you read the article?

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 23:39

16. rallyguy (Posts: 574; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


What a worthless biased article.

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 09:05

29. pixel8or (Posts: 41; Member since: 10 Jun 2010)


Worthless, not so much, but biased, absolutely!! "fingers crossed" since it's Google. "We could only hope" if it was Apple...

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 00:09

19. Topcat488 (Posts: 1173; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)


How many people will have sore fingers using this sh!t... From mostly all the video I've seen, the person had to squeeze the phone so hard, that you could see the straining in his hand... Just to flip the page or something... I'd hardly use this. Just my opinion.

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 00:37

21. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


So now Google joins the fray/ Looks like they are preparing to be next Patent Trolls when their earnings fall. Come thumb me down kids :)

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 07:01

23. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I dont see how this is preparing them to be patent trolls. Its odd tho since the Vita has back controls tho. I think a tablet from a few years ago had it too.

What one does with the patents determines if they are or attempting to be patent trolls.

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 07:06

25. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


The tablet was the Notion Ink Adam.

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 06:02

22. snoopy5 (Posts: 7; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


i will concerned about if i put my phone in the way that back panel facing the table,will activate those functions?lol...

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 08:37

26. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)


Doesn't Moto backflip have this exact thing?.....

oh wait! Google Owns Moto

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 08:50 1

28. pookiewood (Posts: 626; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)


First Sony stole my idea and now Google? No way!!!! LOL! Man I thought if this before the Vita came out. I'm just glad to see this come into use. (didn't patent or anything I just thought about it along time ago)

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 09:12

30. predator93 (Posts: 122; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


I think similar technology was already shown in the Yota phone prototype.

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 17:40

33. a961009 (Posts: 116; Member since: 04 Aug 2011)


Isn't this is pantech vega no.y?

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 17:40

34. a961009 (Posts: 116; Member since: 04 Aug 2011)


I mean vega no.6

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 17:41

35. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


like I said Apple dictates and rest simply follow..

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 12:17

37. Jango_Fred (Posts: 55; Member since: 17 Dec 2008)


How is this a patent-able idea? What, do you think RCA filed for a patent when they said..."Hey, I have a novel idea, everyone is putting their channel knob on the right side of the TV...WE should put ours on the LEFT!!!" Earth shattering research there.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 03:41

38. DHILLON_ARSH (Posts: 66; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


SEEMS INTRESTING BUT IF UH SEE PRACTICALLY NOT A GOOD IDEA....

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