Samsung has new patents for six types of “mini-notch”

Facing several patent lawsuits, Samsung is preparing for 2019 with six different registrations for notch models on smartphone screens. The patents were granted on 10 December 2018 and show various Samsung Galaxy smartphones with notch. In some cases, the notch is partly integrated in the upper bezel.

The new formats provide circular or semi-circular cutouts at the top of the displays to include a front camera. These new notch formats differ from the screens already presented by Samsung, known as Infinity (O, U and V) precisely by the cut formats. Two models show the front camera being placed directly under the bezel. In two other designs the notch is partly integrated in the bezel. This way an even larger screen surface can be realized.

It is possible that these cutouts are for “non-Infinity” screens that do not have such thin edges on the sides. We can, therefore, expect the Korean to use these new options on incoming smartphones, such as some of the new Galaxy M family phones – ranging from premium intermediaries to entry phones.

Even with these patents, it is not possible to say when or how Samsung might implement these new notch or notch formats. It may even be that the company never takes these ideas off the paper, which is the case with most patents registered by large global companies.


LG Electronics joins Korean FTC in lawsuit against Qualcomm

LG is the latest smartphone maker to join the KFTC (Korean Fair Trade Commission – South Korea’s regulatory authority for economic competition) and other companies in the lawsuit against Qualcomm. The group has already sued Qualcomm in 2016, when Qualcomm was expected to pay a 1.03 trillion won fine ($917.4 million) for abusing its patents back then.

Since Qualcomm disagrees, the KFTC filed a lawsuit and other companies joined including Apple, MediaTek, Intel, Huawei, and Samsung – except Samsung pulled from this initial stance after it announced a cross-license partnership with Qualcomm. While Samsung’s withdrawal was bad for the lawsuit, LG’s new stance strengthens the KFTC’s case again, particularly with LG being a Korean company.

According to Business Korea industry sources claim that LG chose to participate in the legal efforts against Qualcomm due to shaky negotiations between LG and Qualcomm in the US. Qualcomm’s ongoing legal fight with Apple recently resulted in Apple’s iPhones being banned in China and possibly Germany. The chip-maker alleges that Apple incorrectly used two key Qualcomm patents without paying royalties. The affected devices include all iPhones from the iPhone 6s to the iPhone X, all of which were banned from being sold in China.

As Business Korea notes, LG also does business with Qualcomm, so it will not be strange if the company takes a step backward in this move. Qualcomm and the KFTC are still years away from reaching a final verdict.


Facebook has filed patents to predict user’s future locations

Facebook has filed new patents that promise to “guess” users’ locations. One of the patents titled “Offline Trajectories,” proposes predicting users’ “location trajectories” based on data from last location where the person logged into the network.

As described in the patent application, this feature would use machine learning to analyze metadata associated with users who already found themselves in whatever geographic location that you’re heading toward.

For example, in case the user is on his lunch break at work, like his company colleagues, Facebook would make a calculation of the likelihood that the person will go there and in case the application is right, it would show ads referring to the places of the region, including said restaurant.

If you’re headed into an internet dead zone where Facebook can’t make any money off of you, Facebook could use its predictions to give itself a heads-up about the dire drop-off and make sure it prefills what otherwise would have been your content time-out.

The other patent has a longer title – “Predicting Locations and Movements of Users Based on Historical Locations for Users of an Online System” The patent application says that those location chains could be used for applications such as “advertising to users based on locations and for providing insights into the movements of users.” It could even differentiate movement trends among those people who live in a city and those who are merely visiting that city.

Yet another of its patents, titled “Location Prediction Using Wireless Signals on Online Social Networks,” – uses NFC (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G) signals to survey a full spectrum of audiences and determine behaviors and actions before, during and after they are made. For example, if a group of people that are close the user decides to have a coffee after lunch, Facebook can make a prediction that the user too will do the same, and that he will be doing so because he has finished his lunch.

As with all patent applications, there’s no guarantee that this particular one will be used by the company.

Brazilian PTO publishes its annual report on Intellectual Property

The Brazilian PTO published its annual activity report containing statistical data on the production of the office during the year 2018. It is possible to verify the Institute’s significant productivity gains. For example, the number of patents granted projected for 2018 rose 75% compared to last year. In trademarks, the increase in registrations was 48% and, in industrial design, 53%. The increase in production is also reflected in the fall in backlog: 8% reduction in patents, 47% in trademarks and 75% in industrial design, when comparing this year’s projection with the end of 2017.
In terms of trademarks, the stock of applications pending for examination was reduced from 358,776 at the end of 2017 to 189,122 at the end of 2018. Up to December, 205,896 new applications were received, with a growth of approximately 10.6% in relation to the previous year. The time between filing and the technical examination of trademarks was reduced from 48 months in opposition applications and 24 months in unopposed applications to 13 and 12 months respectively.
Regarding Industrial Designs, the stock of applications pending for examination was reduced from 9,288 at the end of 2017 to 2,353 at the end of 2018. In the period, 13,350 decisions were issued, with growth of approximately 45% over the previous year. 6,201 new orders were received.
In 2018, the Board of Patents, Computer Programs and Topographies of Integrated Circuits (DIRPA) achieved the index of 55 technical decisions per patent examiner in full production. The maintenance of this production was the result of the consolidation of successful initiatives to stimulate productivity, such as remote work, which currently covers 30% of the total number of examiners.
The full report (in Portuguese) can be found here.

: World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) published its annual report on Intellectual Property

The World Intellectual Property Organization released on Monday (03/12) its annual Intellectual Property Indicators Report, including global data on grants and applications for patents, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications and other intellectual property rights regarding the year 2017.

The number of patent applications worldwide was 3.17 million, an increase of 5.8% over the previous year, while the number of trademark applications was 12.39 million, and industrial designs, 1,24 million.

According to the report, 84.5% of total patent applications in 2017 belonged to the following five institutes: China, the European Patent Office, Japan, the United States, and South Korea. In trademarks, the Asian institutes had 66.6% of the total amount of applications, followed by Europe (17.7%) and North America (6.4%). Together, Africa, Oceania, Latin America, and the Caribbean represented 9.2% of applications.

This year the report also included, for the first time, statistics on the publishing industry, whose revenue was $ 248 billion in 2017. The United States sold 2,693 million copies of published titles, followed by the United Kingdom (647 (617 million) and France (430 million).

*Translated and adapted from the BPTO’s official web page. You can find the original publication here and the original report from WIPO here.