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The patent wars. Yes, it is just as real as the browser wars, and all other tech wars out there. It is nothing new either, with mobile companies suing each other left and right in past few years. It even reached a point when we needed a graphical representation of companies suing each other, as we couldn’t keep track of things any more!
According to mobile analyst Chetan Sharma, though, the future is looking bright for Samsung. At least in terms of patents received. We know just how dynamic the mobile market is, and it is imperative for companies to make sure that they hold the intellectual property rights to potential money-making technology. If they want to survive, that is.
And when it comes to hoarding patents and keeping them sacred (so the competition can’t pull one on them), Apple and Samsung are at the forefront of the battle. Sharma took a look at the patent world in the United States and Europe, and found out that Samsung has gained an advantage over its main competitor. According to his report, there were more than 7 million mobile patents awarded in those areas in 2012. That’s a whole lot of patents, but they didn’t all go to Apple and Samsung, obviously. Brands such as Sony, Microsoft, RIM, LG, Qualcomm, Ericsson, Panasonic, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia are still active in this regard, although to a lesser degree.
Among some of the patents are gentle hints at the features and new UI’s we’ll likely see with the Samsung Galaxy SV and other key new phones. For example-the patent below shows how Samsung intends to visualise folder management for future phones.
When applications are grouped in a folder they appear stacked on the main app screen. Folders can then be opened by tapping on the folder or by pinching the folder to open a pop out screen with the folder contents. Within the folder you can then scroll vertically. The focus on this and some of the other recent patents seems to be multitasking. An area BlackBerry have marketed heavily with the new BlackBerry Z10.
What does this mean for the future? For consumers, this might just mean that we will be seeing better products from Samsung in the future. Having gained mobile patents for God-knows-what, and considering its constant struggles with Apple, Samsung will probably go all out to attract mobile gadget enthusiasts to their corner. Seeing quite a handful of people switching from Apple to Samsung phones in my circle, I can’t help but be curious. Still, I don’t believe that that Apple will lag far behind, patents or not. After all, it still has one of the most brilliant designers alive.
[Images via pattifridayphotography & andromeno]
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