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Posts Tagged ‘ smartphone ’

Samsung Patents Focus on Nanotech and Augmented Reality

Posted: Friday, Dec 5, 2014 @ 7:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »
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Posted in: Authors, Companies We Follow, Electronics, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Multimedia, Nanotechnology, Patents, Samsung, Smartphones, Software, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Samsung headquarters in South Korea.

As of this writing, Samsung has entered some turbulent waters in the ocean of smartphone technologies, and the company may shake-up the administration of its mobile business because of an unforeseen drop in profits. Samsung is trying to protect its mobile business in the United States through the court system as it’s recently petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission to block sales of Nvidia mobile graphics processing chips on patent infringement claims. Other restructuring efforts within the corporation, including the takeover of Samsung Engineering by Samsung Heavy Industries for $2.5 billion, have run up against opposition from shareholders.

The corporation is also in the middle of some major restructuring, having just announced the sale of four Samsung Group firms for about $1.72 billion, including defense technology developer Samsung Techwin. Innovation in personal computing services are still strong at the company and technologies like the EyeCan+, which allows users to access computing functions by moving their eyes, will continue to support revolutionary Samsung products and services. Recent comments from the CEO of virtual reality developer Oculus VR should be a harbinger of greater investment in augmented and virtual reality on behalf of Samsung.

Still, despite what else may be going on at Samsung we can always count on the fact that they will be filing and receiving patents. Our recent look at Samsung for our Companies We Follow series found plenty of innovations that many consumers around the world can look forward to in the coming months and years. Nanotechnologies utilized for the creation of light-emitting diodes and liquid crystal displays have been protected for the company recently, as a number of patents we explore below show. Other areas of strong research and development activity within the company includes robotics, alternative energies and virtual reality systems, each of which we discuss in further detail today.



A Brief History of Google’s Android Operating System

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014 @ 9:30 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 2 comments
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Posted in: Authors, Companies We Follow, Google, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Mobile Devices, Patents, Samsung, Smartphones, Software, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

In October 2003, a group of young computing experts came together to establish a software development company that would go on to revolutionize the cellular mobile phone as we knew it. The product they would create would establish incredible dominance in the field of mobile computing. In the third quarter of 2014, global shipments of Android-based mobile devices reached 268 million, greatly outpacing the rate of sales for iPhones, Android’s closest competitor. By the end of 2014, sales of Android devices this year alone could exceed one billion. During the second quarter of 2014, Android controlled an incredible 84.7 percent market share of the global smartphone industry, well ahead of iPhone, Windows Phone and the BlackBerry. Android has even been dominating in the sphere of tablet computers; about 62 percent of the nearly 195 million tablet computers sold during 2013 were Android devices.

In our ongoing coverage of popular consumer electronics leading up to Black Friday, we’re taking some time today to profile a brief history of Google’s Android operating software for mobile devices. Android was not the first entrant into the market and while there are those who might argue that Android hasn’t perfected the mobile platform, especially in the eyes of devout iPhone fans, it is tough to argue its popularity as evidenced by the incredible sales statistics listed above.

Interestingly, the Android operating system was not initially designed to be used on mobile phones. If the original plans of the inventors worked out, we would be talking about smart cameras and not smartphones. Compared to operating systems for other mobile devices, the Android operating system has been updated an incredible number of times, resulting in a web-based service which is remarkably different than the original version of this mobile operating system.



iPod, iPhone and iPad – A Brief History of Apple iProducts

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Smartphones, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Early on in his career with Apple, Steve Jobs conceived the idea of a personal computing device that a person could keep with them and use to connect wirelessly to other computer services. Almost 25 years later, Apple and Jobs would upend the world of personal computing by launching the iPhone smartphone, and a few years later a tablet computer counterpart, the iPad. According to the most recent sales figures available from Apple corporate analysis website AAPLinvestors.net, the iPhone has achieved lifetime sales of 590.5 million units; Apple has also sold 237.2 million iPads in just over three years since the release of that product. The iPhone has retained mass appeal despite the presence of the iPad and Apple has even reverted to soft launches for new iPad products, evidence of the incredible hold that the iPhone still maintains over Apple’s core consumer base. In the near future, both the iPhone and iPad may exhibit bendable or rollable displays using plastic OLED screen technologies developed by LG Electronics, one of the suppliers of electronic components for the iPhone and iPad.

We’re inching closer to the holiday season and in today’s coverage of popular gadgets ahead of Black Friday, we’re taking an in-depth look at the development of Apple’s line of mobile computing devices from concept to reality. This story involves one of the most storied characters in the world of technology development and his long struggle to bring about his vision of a personal computing device.

It’s impossible for many people to go through their day without either interacting with their own mobile computing device or seeing someone else use theirs. Although the iPhone is certainly not the only smartphone on the market, its influence on the market cannot be denied. The electronics products developed by Apple and released during the 2000s restored the company to its earlier greatness in personal computing, perhaps even surpassing its heydey in the 1980s. Our readers may be interested to find out that Apple’s first mobile computing device came out many years before the iPod, the company’s first major commercial gadget success of the 2000s. It wouldn’t be until the end of the first decade of the 21st century, however, when Apple would finally launch the product that Jobs first imagined while taking a stroll through the research facilities of Xerox in the late 1970s.



Inventing the Smart Phone: Why the ‘Trolls’ Were Saviors

Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2014 @ 10:00 am | Written by Dr. Rocco Leonard Martino | 21 comments
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Posted in: Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Troll Basics, Patent Trolls, Patents, Smartphones, Technology & Innovation

Dr. Rocco Leonard Martino, inventor of the CyberFone, the first Smart Phone.

A major car company is running commercials about companies that started in a garage.  Amazon, Apple, Disney, Hewlett Packard and the Wright Brothers all started in a garage. The advertisement extols innovation, and the modest roots of great discovery and great companies. By implication, it hopes to align the public image of its cars coming out of a garage with these very successful companies.  But the car company ad is wrong.  It is highly unlikely these companies would ever get started in today’s hostile environment for the small innovator or company.

Let me tell you why.  This is a first hand account of my experiences with inventing the Smart Phone.

It became obvious to me in 1994 that the voice transmission over traditional telephone systems could be done using computers linked to telephone, cellular or internet networks. That was the origin of the concept of a smart phone utilizing the computer in support of multimedia traffic.  I called it the CyberFone, filed for patents in 1995, and built models during that same period to demonstrate to interested parties, including the patent office.  I expected accolades for coming up with a useful idea, and proving it could be done, but that never happened.  Some thought the screen was too small, others thought the concept of touch would never catch on, or that no one would want to make phone calls using a computer.  One great business genius told me it was a software world and that no one was interested in hardware.  That was a ridiculous statement.  How could software run without a machine?  Apple became the most valued corporation in the world by combining hardware and software.



What Your Smartphone Would Be Without Patents

Posted: Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 @ 8:01 am | Written by Roger Martin | 7 comments
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Posted in: Authors, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Smartphones, Technology & Innovation

Each morning as I wake up, I roll over and reach for my smartphone.  I don’t have to reach far because I charge it overnight on my bedside table. As I pick it up and scroll through the emails and news that came in overnight, look at my calendar for the day and check the weather, I yawn and stretch and finally put my feet on the floor.  Walking out of the bedroom and toward the kitchen to get my coffee, I’ll keep reading and browsing through items that interest me, and deleting the messages that don’t.  After letting the dogs out, I’ll sit down at the table with my mug of hot coffee and my smartphone and continue getting informed and organized until the mug is empty.  I might check Facebook, Twitter, watch a YouTube video or two, and check the traffic along my route to work.  Maybe I’ll even text my workout partner and let them know I’m running a little late this morning.  Because I’m a creature of habit, I’ll repeat this routine day after day without thinking much about it.  It probably sounds familiar to you.

But the other morning, I did stop to think about it.  I asked myself how this device called the “smartphone” – which didn’t even exist as a product category five years ago – could have become such an integral part of my morning routine.  Why do I always keep it charging on my bedside table at night instead of the other room?

The short answer is patents. But here’s the long answer to tell you what I mean.



Qualcomm Patent Update: Widespread High-Tech, Computer Innovation

Posted: Thursday, Jan 9, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 10 comments
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Posted in: Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Mobile Devices, Patents, Qualcomm, Smartphones, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Qualcomm Incorporated is a major player in the manufacture of digital wireless devices and associated telecommunications products and services. This technology developer produces an array of semiconductor products, like their Snapdragon processors, that power many of the smartphones and tablet computers available in today’s electronic device market. Recent comments made by company officials at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas indicate that the corporation is moving beyond a smartphone focus to work on improvements to tablet and even vehicle connectivity.

It’s been a little while since our last check-in with Qualcomm for our Companies We Follow series, and the new year finds the corporation developing a number of innovations that involve a variety of interesting computing systems. Each of these inventions is described fully in either a patent application or issued patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and assigned to Qualcomm. Fans of Qualcomm’s mobile device products will also notice some conspicuous improvements to the company’s current smartphone components.

What is clear every time we look at Qualcomm is that the company’s innovation profile defies easy characterization because Qualcomm simply innovates, and innovates and innovates. For example, today we begin looking at a patent application that could very well bring the value of having a massive scope of retail products available for purchase online directly into brick-and-mortar stores. This computing system would allow a store to detect that a shopper is comparing prices online through a device and then provide a discount offer that could entice the customer into buying the item in the store. Then we briefly discuss other interesting patent applications that relate to a mobile video terminal that could assist in patient physical therapy, as well as a system of reducing a device’s processor power to control internal temperature.



Apple Seeks Patent on iPhone No-contact Mode

Posted: Friday, Nov 1, 2013 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA, is synonymous with consumer devices, and it currently holds a great market position within the electronic device industry thanks to two incredibly popular product lines, the iPhone and the iPad. Recently, Apple announced the the development of the iPad Air, an electronic tablet that some feel is a harbinger of the development of an iPad Pro version for business applications. Apple is also a well-known influencer in the music industry, thanks to its development of audio recording software. Many industry speculators expect Apple to come out with a 65-inch ultra high-definition television set that incorporates wireless connectivity with other device.

This week in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we’re going back to California to highlight some of the more interesting patent applications and issued patents assigned to Apple from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. As always, Apple has plenty in play here, and it’s easy to see the corporation’s focus on its line of handheld devices, including tablets and smartphones.

Our featured patent application today will be music to the ears of many iPhone owners by keeping that device silent at important times. This application would protect a system of designating parameters that would prevent a message notification to be forwarded to a device owner, such as sleep hours or if the phone is in a designated meeting room. Other patent applications discuss a construction method for iPads that better prevents light leakage, a task progress indicator that can convey rich details about a task as well as a method of embedding memorabilia from an author’s book signing into an electronic book file.



What is the future of BlackBerry?

Posted: Sunday, Oct 6, 2013 @ 9:05 am | Written by Gene Quinn & Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Authors, Companies We Follow, Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Trolls, Patents, Research in Motion, Steve Brachmann, Technology Transfer

BlackBerry Limited, formerly known as Research In Motion, is a telecommunications company headquartered in Waterloo in the Canadian province of Ontario. Known for its flagship product, the BlackBerry, RIM has severely reduced its market presence in recent days and the main shareholder has even announced that the company will go private soon, removing its stock from public exchanges. Although the company still services many millions of electronic device owners, its future seems to be cloudy at best.

In IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we typically take a look at companies on the forefront of technological development. However, today we want to take a look at Research In Motion to profile a former giant in the industry before it slinks off further into obscurity. We discuss possible roads down which RIM may travel in order to make itself profitable in the next few years. We’re also featuring the companies patent applications and issued patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to get an idea of the portfolio it will still be able to protect.

BlackBerry has a lot of patent applications still going through the USPTO system, as far as we can tell all of them dealing with mobile devices or communications systems in one way or another. The company is also still amassing a portfolio of US patents. Recent patents that are intriguing in the technological sector include a few patents that improve the ability of mobile device users with limited keyboards to input text commands. Another issued patent creates a navigational tool for a mobile device that plays an audible feedback when operated. Still another patent of recent vintage displays a notification light when an event is upcoming.

This all begs the question, however, about what the future holds in store for BlackBerry. Will they regroup under private ownership? Will they morph into a licensing juggernaut? Might they give up being a manufacturing company altogether and turn their considerable portfolio on the industry? Will the patent portfolio be auctioned off to the highest bidder?



Battling Trade Secret Theft in Taiwan

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 @ 7:45 am | Written by Chris Neumeyer | Comments Off
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Posted in: Asia, Authors, China, Chris Neumeyer, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Trade Secrets

Here we go again.  Last week, police detained three employees of Taiwanese smartphone-maker HTC, raided their homes and offices and seized their computers and cellphones to search for evidence, as HTC is accusing them of stealing sensitive technology to sell to HTC’s competitors.

The three men – a vice president of product design, director of R&D, and senior designer – are accused of stealing secrets relating to HTC’s Sense 6.0 smartphones, which are scheduled for launch later this year.  The accused purportedly formed design companies in Taiwan and China and began speaking with Chinese phone-makers about selling them the stolen secrets.  They are also accused of defrauding HTC out of more than US$300,000, by use of forged documents, apparently to raise capital for their new venture.

Taiwan has seen similar cases before.  In 2012, the nation’s second largest LCD panel-maker, AU Optronics (AUO), sued two of its former high-level executives for stealing trade secrets, which they took to their new employer, a major competitor in China.  In 2011, Taiwan IC-design company, MediaTek, sued a former employee for stealing secrets and sharing them with his new employer.  And, most famously, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) battled with its Chinese rival, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), for almost a decade over allegations that SMIC poached numerous employees, who stole critical information that SMIC used to illegally manufacture competing products.



Qualcomm: Diversified Innovation and Aggressive Patenting Leads to Success

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 @ 10:05 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Qualcomm, Smartphones, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Qualcomm Incorporated is a San Diego-based manufacturer of semiconductors often found in iPhones and similar devices. Qualcomm is also one of America’s leading technology innovators. As you will see below, Qualcomm’s innovation is not limited to semiconductors; they engage in a wide range of innovation and have an aggressive patent protection plan that routinely sees them in the top 10 in number of international patent applications filed. See 2012 top filers page 3.

But innovation has not been occurring at Qualcomm simply for the sake of innovation. Since 2010, Qualcomm’s quarterly sales have increased each year by 31 percent. On the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, Qualcomm is the third-fastest growing large technology company in America as of 2013. Other Qualcomm operations involve the medical industry, for which they’re developing a wireless monitoring system for children with asthma, and video gaming, as many in the industry believe Qualcomm and Amazon are working together to build a console.

Today in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we’re returning to take a look at one of the nation’s most successful technology developers. Three Qualcomm patent applications and issued patents published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office recently have focused heavily on mobile device improvements. Two applications pertain to device cameras: one would protect a system of automatic picture taking at events, and another would improve location mapping services based on recognizable venue features. A third patent application we explore here would allow mobile device users to send text messages to 911 or other emergency service providers.