The Samsung Group of Seoul, South Korea, is a multinational conglomerate comprised of an incredibly diverse array of subsidiaries and affiliates. The corporation, however, is best known for its depth of intellectual property development in electronics technologies, especially mobile phones and semiconductors. Samsung’s personal electronics products are sold all over the globe, and the company is trying to increase its presence in the Indian consumer market with the release of the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. The company is banking on increased demand for tablet computers, evidenced by its decision to end sales of laptop computers in European markets. In America, consumers will be able to purchase the Samsung Gear S smartwatch device, which offers 3G connectivity, sometime this fall.
Samsung, and especially it’s subsidiary Samsung Electronics Co., is responsible for an incredible amount of innovation. IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series turns now to scope out the recent technological developments expressed in recent patent filings assigned to Samsung and published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Recent patent applications show a focus on developing an array of mobile technologies. Below, we’ve shared technologies for adjusting device displays for left-handed users and improving the quality of experience when sharing content between devices. We also noticed an application disclosing an intriguing method for helping patients make better purchase decisions regarding health management devices.
The patent portfolio held by Samsung represents one of the largest holdings of intellectual properties in the world, and recent weeks brought another constant stream of U.S. patent grants assigned by the USPTO. Mobile technologies were again a common thread among the technologies recently patented by Samsung Electronics and other subsidiaries. One patent protects a system of providing anti-virus protections to smartphone devices through a remote server. Another patent we explored discusses methods of improving data transmissions between devices through near field communication networks. We also noticed an intriguing technology involving a wearable glasses apparatus that accommodates better selection among multiple field of views.
Samsung’s Patent Applications: Mobile Devices, Health Management Devices and Context-Aware Services
Especially since the 1990s, Samsung has built a much more global presence, mainly on the strength of its semiconductor and electronics products. The corporation has taken strides to establish what it sees as a culture of Open Innovation, which in Samsung’s vision involves global consortium participation, relationships with top universities and building successful overseas research facilities. Samsung has applied its technologies with a very wide range of partners to make its position in technology markets even stronger. For instance, the company was recently named the innovation partner of the Frankfurt Book Fair, held in October of this year, where its technology will be used to showcase the convergence of mobile tech and publishing industries.
The success of Samsung’s Galaxy mobile electronic devices is evidence of a great deal of corporate innovation in this technological field, a fact which is corroborated by the number of patent applications that we saw regarding mobile technologies. Methods of reducing the amount of system resources needed to allow mobile terminals to access broadcast services are described within U.S. Patent Application No. 20140289721, which is titled Method and System for Updating Firmware of Terminals in a Broadcast System. The patent application would protect a method of updating firmware in mobile terminals in which content fragments created by a broadcast service can be transmitted to a mobile terminal. The content fragment includes a terminal provisioning element that enables targeted terminals to receive a firmware update. The background section of the patent application notes that the convergence between mobile communication service and Internet Protocol (IP) standards will play a major role in the next generation of mobile communication technologies. U.S. Patent Application No. 20140289657, entitled System and Method for Real-Time Adaptation of a GUI Application for Left-Hand Users, describes methods of adjusting graphical user interfaces (GUIs) designed for right-handed users to accommodate left-handed users. The invention involves an application that identifies device controls which may differ from the perspective of right-handed and left-handed users and then changing the coordinates of those controls. This invention is specifically designed to improve accessibility to touch screen devices, like smartphones or tablet computers.
The electronics engineering activities of Samsung are not limited to mobile devices alone. U.S. Patent Application No. 20140289423, titled Method and Apparatus for Improving Quality of Experience in Sharing Screen Among Devices, and Recording Medium Thereof, discloses a method of sharing screen content among devices that detects the class of a shared content, determining a quality policy based on that class and transmitting an encoded screen image that achieves the proper quality. This would allow content to be encoded for sharing with a tablet computer or a personal computer that takes into the state of the device and not just the state of the network when sharing content. Samsung is also preparing itself for what it sees as the next generation of information storage media and cable broadcasting with the innovation outlined in U.S. Patent Application No. 20140289763, filed under the title Method and Apparatus for Reproducing Content. The patent application would protect a method of receiving a message from a server sent while reproducing content and determining an operational mode of a user terminal related to the message. This technology is designed to greater increase the speed of developing multi-function devices like set-top boxes that provide functions for Blu-ray discs and Tru2way digital cable broadcasting.
Medical innovations created by Samsung are a topic we’ve seen before in our previous coverage on IPWatchdog of this corporation’s research and development activities. Techniques for improving consumer recommendations for health management devices which are suitable for their situation and compatible with their other technology would be protected through U.S. Patent Application No. 20140288950, titled System and Method for Recommending Health Management Device Using Mobile Device Connectivity Information. The method that would be protected involves the use of a health management device recommending server that can determine connectivity information of a client device. The server can then transmit recommendations for health management devices based on the connectivity information collected from the client device. This technology is designed to help those who may not understand the connectivity of their client device, especially senior citizens, and might purchase a health management device which does not offer connectivity to their client device, reducing the practicality of the service.
Monitoring user activities to provide personalized services of various kinds was a focal point for a few other patent applications which caught our eyes during our recent search of Samsung technologies. Electronic devices which can display information which may be of interest to a user based on previous activity patterns are described within U.S. Patent Application No. 20140289248, which is titled Display Apparatus and Method for Displaying Information Regarding Activities Thereof. This would protect a display apparatus with a storage configured to collect user activity information and analyze activity patterns to determine a plurality of time periods associated with certain activities. This would allow a device to display applications of interest to a user based on time periods during which a person typically uses the application. Location-based services are an area of development for many mobile technology manufacturers that we feature in the Companies We Follow series, and Samsung has recently tried to increase its intellectual property holdings in this area with the filing of U.S. Patent Application No. 20140287781, entitled Apparatus and Method for Generating Context-Aware Information Using Local Service Information. The method which would be protected through this filing is comprised of identifying the location of an electronic device and presenting context information using the device location and other sensing information of the electronic apparatus. The invention was developed in an effort to find ways for predicting more accurate contexts for context-aware services, such as presenting traffic or rest stop information while driving on a highway.
Issued Patents of Note: Mobile Anti-Virus, Near Field Communications and Wearable Gadgets
The breadth of intellectual property development that we see occurring at the various companies of the Samsung Group, especially the Samsung Electronics Co. subsidiary, is a major reason why we try to feature this company as often as possible in this series. In 2013, Samsung Electronics Co. was the recipient of 4,676 U.S. patent grants from the USPTO, 2nd-most in the world that year behind patenting giant IBM. It’s difficult to adequately profile the immense amount of innovation being protected by this company, but we did continue to see more mobile device technologies, including both hardware and software inventions, being protected by Samsung. Patents for mobile technologies assigned to this company also reflect Samsung’s burgeoning interest in wearable gadgets.
A user interface for wearable glasses offering electronic device functionality is part of the focus of U.S. Patent No. 8842169, entitled Display Apparatus Which Displays a Plurality of Content Views, Glasses Apparatus Which Synchronizes With One of the Content Views, and Methods Thereof. The patent protects a display apparatus that can process and generate a number of content items in a multi-view mode; the system also involves the use of a sync signal regarding the plurality of content views. According to diagrams attached to the patent, the technology is designed to allow a user of a wearable glasses apparatus to more easily select between available content views on a television display. A solution developed for the increased safety of certain electronic device batteries is disclosed and protected by U.S. Patent No. 8841035, titled Flame Retardant Electrolyte Solution for Rechargeable Lithium Battery and Rechargeable Lithium Battery Including the Same. The solution protected by this patent consists of a lithium salt, a carbonate-based solvent, a fluorine-substituted carbonate-based solvent, an ionic liquid and a phosphazene solvent. This solution is an improvement on conventional fire retardant solutions used with lithium battery packs in portable electronic devices, which sometimes have the effect of deteriorating the cycle-life characteristics of the device battery.
Another technological improvement to display devices, although specific to devices with a thin film transistor using an oxide semiconductor as an active layer, is expressed within U.S. Patent No. 8841666, simply titled Display Device. The technology is meant to address a shortcoming in flat panel displays where hydrogen gas used in passivation processes may cause deterioration in the oxide semiconductor active layer. The patent protects a display device with a thin film transistor formed on a substrate that has a hydrogen blocking layer positioned between the oxide semiconductor layer and the passivation layer.
Some intriguing computing system innovations which are highly applicable to mobile device technologies were discussed in other recently issued Samsung patents that we decided to explore today. Better security measures regarding operating systems used by smartphones and similar devices are described within U.S. Patent No. 8844030, which is titled Anti-Virus Protection System and Method Thereof. The patent protects an anti-virus system which is comprised of requesting data stored in a server to be sent to a service server which can determine whether the transmitted data contains a virus or whether the first server providing the data violates a predetermined policy. This reduces the computing resource strain of providing anti-virus solutions to mobile devices. Dynamic visualizations of applications based on locally-available resources is a technology protected for Samsung through U.S. Patent No. 8843631, issued under the title Dynamic Local Function Binding Apparatus and Method. The dynamic function binding apparatus of this invention is implemented through a remote service and contains a service list of local services which can be received at a mobile terminal. The patent also protects a service binding processor that can bind extracted local services to the visualization of an application at runtime. This innovation has been developed to encourage the use of Global Positioning System (GPS)-based applications by increasing access of virtualized applications to GPS data from a client.
Communication systems utilized by mobile electronic devices are another focus of Samsung innovation, and our final patent that we profile today discusses improved data management systems in short range communications. U.S. Patent No. 8843060, which is titled Method and System for Managing Data in a Near Field Communication Network, protects a method of managing data in a near field communication (NFC) network across a plurality of devices. The method involves a request received by a device for sending context data to a second device within a close physical proximity; the context data includes information on managing Bluetooth applications for initiating a peer-to-peer communication network across devices. The invention is designed to improve the exchange of dynamic context information across NFC networks, which can only support the transfer of static data.