U.S. Patent Stories August 16, 2012

USPTO publishes Google’s ‘Speak to Tweet’ patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark office just published a Google patent for “Speak to Tweet,” which is a service that allows users to communicate on Twitter by dialing an international phone number and then leaving a tweet by way of voice message. Google developed “Speak to Tweet” in response to the 2011 Egyptian revolution Internet shutdown.

Patentbolt explained:

In January 2011 Google acquired a small company called SayNow. Google, with the assistance of their newly acquired SayNow team worked night and day with Twitter so as to quickly develop a product called “Speak to Tweet.” The service was developed to help people stay connected in times when they were unable to find a viable Internet connection. The inspiration for this application was born during the Egyptian revolution. As a reaction to protests in Cairo, the Egyptian government shut down the Internet throughout that country on January 26, 2011. Technically, Speak to Tweet (or speak2tweet) is a communications service that allows users to leave a “tweet” on Twitter by calling a designated international phone number and leaving a voice message. Recently, the US Patent Office published the patent that’s behind the Speak to Tweet service.

Head of the Google Cultural Institute Steve Crossan originally filed the patent application in Q1 2012. Check it out here.

[Image via Patentbolt]

U.S. Patent Stories June 18, 2012

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office first published Samsung’s patent about a dual-display smartphone in September 2011, but now a second patent application on the subject recently surfaced that advances on the previous design.

According to PatentBolt, the two patents detail the device’s functionality by describing how both screens can display several apps simultaneously, such as showing a picture on one screen and chatting in a window on the other panel. The device could further feature capabilities for “television (TV) watching, on-line game service and on-demand video service are communications or applications that may be provided to users,” or even voice communication, SMS, and mobile banking. The dual screens could also seamlessly join to create one larger display.

Samsung’s older patent explained many of the above functions, but a problem with manufacturability weighed down the likelihood of this product ever becoming known. One of the main drawbacks to the original design is its hinge, but a large part of Samsung’s newer patent concerns a better hinge solution.

The strength of the new hinge will allow the unit to stay in place, so the user can consume content while recharging (and without the need for a separate docking station). The entire concept provides “the plurality of display units which rotate stepwise,” according to PatentBolt, by way of an advanced multi-axis hinge. Moreover, Samsung now uses the term “multidisplay” instead of “dual display.”

The South Korea-based manufacture apparently believes consumers need a portable communication device with a “multidisplay.” Its latest patent application for the device filed in Q4 2011 in the U.S., and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published it in Q2 2012.

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