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Samsung files patent for drawing-style unlocking method

South Korea's tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. filed a patent for a new way of unlocking smartphones by freely drawing lines on screens, the country's patent agency said Thursday.

The world's top smartphone maker said the new method is based on catching intersecting points of lines drawn on the screens, allowing users to set a wider choice of codes compared to Samsung's current system of connecting designated circles.

"The feature allows users to unlock (smartphones) in a more convenient way," Samsung said in its patent filing. "As patterns are not restricted to an area, spot or shape, users can unlock screens more freely than before."

The patent was filed by Samsung in September 2012 and was disclosed by the state-run Korean Intellectual Property Office on Thursday.

Global tech firms have been sharpening unlocking technology as their newest features on smartphones as security has become a major concern for users.

Last month, LG Electronics Inc., Samsung's smaller local rival, showcased its "Knock Code," an updated smartphone feature of its previous "KnockOn," which allows users to unlock devices by tapping the screen several times. The previous version only allowed turning on and off of the devices.

Sony Corp. and Nokia Corp. earlier also rolled out devices with tapping-style features.

Samsung's latest Galaxy S5 smartphone, slated to be released in April, adopted fingerprint screening to boost its security, which is also anticipated to be applied to mobile transactions. (Yonhap)