The Apple Smartwatch offers a unique feature related to the Apple ecosystem called Auto Unlock. Using this feature, Apple users can easily unlock their MacBook and iPhone without having to enter a password or ID. This feature was first announced by the company in June 2016.
Now, according to a report by Apple Patently, SmartWatch MobileConcepts LLC is suing the Cupertino giant over patent infringement for automatic unlocking. The patent referenced by SmartWatch MobileConcepts LLC is Patent 10,362,480, entitled “Systems, Methods and Devices for Ensuring User Access to Secure Electronic Systems”. The patent was purchased by the firm from members of the Ortiz family.
According to the report, it is similar to patent trolling to force the Cupertino giant to fork out for money through a settlement or litigation. For those who don’t know, a patent troll is a derogatory term used to describe a business that uses patents and the court system to make money.
However, for SmartWatch MobileConcepts LLC, things may not go as planned, as the aforementioned patent was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on August 11, 2016, while Apple announced this feature during WWDC 2016, which took place from June 13 to 17, almost two months before the patent application. It is not yet known how the court will resolve this issue, so stay tuned.