Items tagged with USPTO

A relatively recent trend in the smartphone space is to implement dual cameras on the backside of the handset, which enables some nifty depth-of-field effects through hardware (rather than software alone). Some phones even wield four rear cameras, like Huawei's Mate 20 Pro. Well, LG apparently has aspirations of boasting the most cameras on a single phone, with a patent filing pointing to four times as many rear camera sensors as the Mate 20 Pro. That's right, LG filed a patent that discusses a 16-camera arrangement, which would be the most ever on a smartphone if it comes to fruition. How can there possibly be room for that many camera sensors? The answer is in the insect-like design. They're... Read more...
There are a couple of challenges facing smartphone designers at the moment. One is the notch at the top of the display, a concept introduced by Andy Rubin and his Essential Phone, and later popularized by Apple and its iPhone X. The other being able to embed a fingerprint sensor into the display itself. It looks like Samsung is working to tackle both challenges. Samsung is not a fan of the notch, a concept it's repeatedly mocked at the expense of Apple. That's why the company's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9—it's two most recent flagship handsets—emerged with a full-length border across the top. However, Samsung is definitely interested in offering a truly bezel-free phone. Great news!... Read more...
There is another wrinkle in the ongoing dispute between Apple and Qualcomm over the issue of patents used in the former's iPhone devices. Previously Apple claimed Qualcomm was "unfairly...charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with," and more recently, the company accused the chipmaker of "selecting asserting its patents," only targeting Apple devices containing Intel chipsets. Now Apple is trying a different legal tactic—it is asking the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to invalidate four of Qualcomm's patents. It's an interesting legal maneuver, and one that would render moot the dispute of whether or not Apple is infringing on Qualcomm's patents... Read more...
Imagine if your smartphone could identify cracks in its display and then heal itself, much like your own body does when its suffers a scrape or bruise. It may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but perhaps it is not all that far fetched. Motorola has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for that very thing, and how it works is pretty interesting.Motorola notes in its patent application that smartphones are becoming more prevalent and that one of the drawbacks is how easily touchscreen displays can suffer damage. In many cases, a cracked or shattered display panel renders the entire phone inoperable, depending on the extent of the damage.... Read more...
It has been more than four years since the introduction of the HTC First, otherwise known as the Facebook Phone. It ultimately flopped and since then we have not heard from Facebook about taking another stab at the hardware market, but never say never. A patent application filed by Facebook with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) outlines a "modular electromechanical device" with a processor module and other interchangeable parts. "The modular electromechanical device includes a chassis and a plurality of functional modules that can be connected to the chassis," Facebook explains in its patent application. "Each module is associated with a different functionality. The functionality... Read more...
Innovation is not dead in the smartphone space, folks. Perhaps no company knows that better than Samsung, which has been changing the way we think of smartphone displays over the past few generations of handsets. The curved edge design proved so popular that both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ have adopted it in place of flat panels. Looking ahead, Samsung's next flagships might sport a wraparound display that covers both the front and back. Samsung is laying the groundwork for such a design. It was recently awarded a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a smartphone with full wraparound display that covers the front, back, and edges of the handset, and it detailed... Read more...
Using Windows Hello, a feature Microsoft introduced with Windows 10, you can log into your system (assuming it's compatible) with your face or your fingerprint. It's a nifty alternative to hammering out a password, but it could also be more secure. In an effort to make it so, Microsoft was recently granted a patent related to iris recognition that could be used in future Windows devices, including smartphones, tablets, 2-in-1 systems, and so forth. Microsoft's patented technology also includes "liveness testing," which means the iris recognition process would be able to tell when there is a real eyeball staring into the camera versus a photograph of an eyeball or some other form of "spoof data."... Read more...
We’re inching closer to the release of the Samsung Galaxy S8, which is destined to be one for the best-selling smartphones of 2017 if we go by the performance of its predecessors. Leading up the launch, Samsung has filed for a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seeking protection for the name, Galaxy S8. The trademark was officially applied for on January 12th, 2017. It is widely expected that Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S8 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, and launch it shortly after. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been getting what we confidently feel is the best look yet at the upcoming Android flagship. Samsung has removed the dominant... Read more...
Microsoft may have closed the door on its Lumia family of smartphones, but that doesn’t mean that the company has given up on phones altogether. Mobile represents a huge opportunity for a company like Microsoft — an opportunity that up until this point it has largely squandered. However, a new patent filing reveals that Microsoft could still have a few more tricks up its sleeve; in this case, a folding smartphone. If such a design were to make it to production, it would likely adopt Surface branding, joining the likes of the aerobatic Surface Pro, Surface Book and Surface Studio. Entitled “Mobile Computing Device Having A Flexible Hinge Structure”, the patent shows a smartphone with a side-mounted... Read more...
One of our least favorite things to do is type out anything lengthy on a virtual keyboard, like those found on smartphones, tablets, and so forth. With that in mind, you'll have to excuse us for not being stoked about a recently discovered Apple patent for a "configurable force-sensitive input structure for electronic devices." The patent describes a laptop keyboard that replaces traditional physical keys with a special touchpad. If Apple were to implement something like this on, say, a future MacBook model, it would sort of be like typing on the iPad's virtual keyboard, though a little more advanced to provide some haptic feedback and other tricks. As described in the patent, Apple's fancy touch... Read more...
In a Twitter post on Monday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) confirmed that Michelle K. Lee is the organization’s new director. Lee once worked as a legal counsel for Google and now goes down in history as the first woman to lead the USPTO, filling a seat that has technically been vacant since 2013 (Lee was already serving as acting director). According to Reuters, Lee won the position by an unrecorded voice vote in the full Senate a mere week after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved her nomination. As such, she now officially leads a federal agency with more than 12,000 employees, though she's pretty much been in charge for over a year since former IBM... Read more...
A big shout out goes to Amazon for forever changing the way we think about photography. You see, Amazon was recently granted a patent that, in short, describes taking photos of subjects and/or or objects against a white background. Brilliant! Wait, what's that? Photographers far and wide have long known about this technique and used it extensively in the past? Well, that changes things -- give a huge shout out to Amazon's legal team for somehow wording the patent application in such a way that the USPTO thought this was a brand new idea worthy of patent No. 8,676,045. "A subject can be photographed and/or filmed on the elevated platform to achieve a desired effect of a substantially seamless... Read more...
Apple has snagged a patent from the USPTO for what amounts to Siri, evolved. The “method and apparatus for building an intelligent automated assistant” appears to be a situation where your whole home or office is littered with sensors that track where you are and what you’re doing while always being at the ready for voice commands and gestural input. The patented system would include message-passing between sensors as well as features such as language, activity, and time recognition with task automation, culled in part from events “collected from a user's environment”. In other words, the system (let’s assume Apple will call it “Siri”) will try... Read more...
Apple's just been granted a rather interesting patent for an "Electronic device display module," which is really a fancy way of describing a clever dual-sided laptop display with a solar panel on back. The front of the lid would house your typical LCD, though the backside would be constructed from electrochromic glass atop photovoltaic cells and touch sensors. In other words, it's a solar panel. The idea, of course, is that the lid would pull energy from the sun to charge the laptop and/or offer longer battery life. That's not all Apple has in mind, however. As described in the patent filing, the light energy gathered could be used to illuminate the logo. Apple also envisions the rear of the... Read more...
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