Apple Applying For Anti-Jailbreaking Patent

August 23rd, 2010 at 10:33 am

Apple products like the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch have become popular targets for jailbreaking. It is a term used to refer to a means of making these products work using third-party apps and codes not approved by Apple. Since Apple has been known all along as a company that intends to keep tight control over what is being used in their products, opening up such closed systems has become an interesting challenge for some. But legality issues have always cropped up regarding the subject.

A recent ruling by the U.S. Copyright Office says that jailbreaking iPhones is okay. This means that Apple can’t do anything with people jailbreaking Apple products or consider them violating US copyright laws. But then, Apple may be trying to fight off jailbreaking from another front- by applying for a patent that will kill jailbroken devices.

Apple has apparently applied for a patent that would render any jailbroken Apple devices useless. The said patent is titled “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device.” This said patent application covers security measures that would include identifying an unauthorized users of electronic devices. When talking about unauthorized users, this may apparently apply to those who engage in jailbreaking.

The said patent was filed last February of 2009 and has just been recently published. It describes possible measures to determine and identify activities which may indicate suspicious behavior and safety measures that can be used to restrict the functions of electronic devices in question. Other safety measures described in the patent also include possibly using the device’s camera to capture the identity of the unauthorized user as well as geotagging of the device’s surroundings.

It seems that Apple may be trying its best to keep some level of control over their products. But it seems that this may also work against them if approved. It is estimated that around 10 percent of Apple iPhones have been jailbroken and it seems that this patent application targets such people. But what would the other 90 percent of iPhone owners think about this? The fact that it can easily become a sensitive issue should be something that Apple should try to consider.


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