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Microsoft Awarded Patent for Dual-Screen Tablet

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 25 comments

Gone but not forgotten.

Microsoft killed off its fascinating dual screen tablet, the Courier, in April of this year and, while the company said in a statement that it would be evaluated for use in future offerings, Redmond also stated, "We have no plans to build such a device at this time."

Disappointed, we came to terms with the fact that Microsoft's 14-inch (2 x 7-inch touch screens) digital journal would never come to pass. However, a recent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office leads us to believe Microsoft was definitely serious about the Courier. Despite the fact that Robbie Bach told TechFlash in May that the Courier was never a device, rather it was a project and incubation leading to innovations that could find their way into other Microsoft products, this patent filed in January suggests Microsoft was, at one time, committed to a product that looked strikingly similar to the Courier.

Microsoft received the patent this week and TechFlash reports that this kind of patent is good for 14 years, so Microsoft has until 2024 to do something with this design.

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  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , July 2, 2010 1:41 AM
    I would love to own this, instead of the annoying iPad.
  • 14 Hide
    aznguy0028 , July 2, 2010 1:49 AM
    In other news, the patent system has been broken for years so that almost every obvious idea under the sun deserves a patent.
  • 10 Hide
    rodney_ws , July 2, 2010 1:41 AM
    This doesn't seem worthy of a patent. I suppose I should go patent 3 and 4 screen tablets then.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    rodney_ws , July 2, 2010 1:41 AM
    This doesn't seem worthy of a patent. I suppose I should go patent 3 and 4 screen tablets then.
  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , July 2, 2010 1:41 AM
    I would love to own this, instead of the annoying iPad.
  • 7 Hide
    jednx01 , July 2, 2010 1:49 AM
    That could be sorta cool actually. You could get a lot more screen space with more portability. :) 
  • 14 Hide
    aznguy0028 , July 2, 2010 1:49 AM
    In other news, the patent system has been broken for years so that almost every obvious idea under the sun deserves a patent.
  • 6 Hide
    drakenviator , July 2, 2010 2:03 AM
    According to the US patent office:
    "There are three types of patents
    * Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof;
    * Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and
    * Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant."

    I don't see how this really is "original" as it seems like a rather logical step in the eventual designs of portable electronics. Just look at the Nintendo DS that has been out since 2004. Either way I think a patent for dual screens is questionable.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 2, 2010 2:05 AM
    At least we know now know that Microsoft was serious. In a few years, given the advancement in mobile computing - this can become a reality. I sure do hope that I'd be able to own this one day.
  • -1 Hide
    Milleman , July 2, 2010 2:09 AM
    How can this get approved? Nintendo and PSP have been using folded screens för decades. The US patent system is rotten and more resembles to gold digging for whatever anyone may come up with, regardless similarity to existing innovations. Is this the smell of the future? Corporations owns everything you see in life. A word, a sentence, food, recepies, your childrens genes.


  • 1 Hide
    seriousazn , July 2, 2010 2:25 AM
    ic...patent something you aren't planning to make, so that in 10 years you can jump on a company that has long forgotten about your leaked dreams of created this masterpiece? -_-
  • -1 Hide
    house70 , July 2, 2010 2:27 AM
    they should have done this instead of Kin...

    Bill,
    please come back!
  • 1 Hide
    Kelavarus , July 2, 2010 3:00 AM
    MillemanHow can this get approved? Nintendo and PSP have been using folded screens för decades. The US patent system is rotten and more resembles to gold digging for whatever anyone may come up with, regardless similarity to existing innovations. Is this the smell of the future? Corporations owns everything you see in life. A word, a sentence, food, recepies, your childrens genes.


    Inappropriate image. Go read 1984.
  • 1 Hide
    digitalrazoe , July 2, 2010 3:10 AM
    Ok wait ... they tease the public with a ^&^%& product - ditch it .. but cock blocks EVERYBODY by submitting and being GRANTED a patent ? I think one of the rules is that it MUST become a product for atleast a year! Two words come to mind but children read this forum!
  • 1 Hide
    LORD_ORION , July 2, 2010 3:14 AM
    WTF, so apparently you can patent a laptop turned sideways?
  • 1 Hide
    SAL-e , July 2, 2010 5:00 AM
    Quote:
    We have no plans to build such a device at this time.

    "But we have plans to sue anybody else who builds such a device in the future."

    Glad to see how patents "promote" innovations in real world.
  • 0 Hide
    arlandi , July 2, 2010 7:10 AM
    rodney_wsThis doesn't seem worthy of a patent. I suppose I should go patent 3 and 4 screen tablets then.


    maybe you should. doesn't matter whether you really build it or not...
  • 1 Hide
    wintermint , July 2, 2010 7:40 AM
    Didn't Toshiba make one?
  • 0 Hide
    omikron48 , July 2, 2010 7:51 AM
    When are they coming out with triple screen ones with 3D?
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , July 2, 2010 10:31 AM
    Lucky I didn't file a patent for dual monitor too.lol
  • 0 Hide
    wizardprang , July 2, 2010 1:20 PM
    I hope that they're not planning on "camping" on the idea and then suing the hell out of anyone who uses it.

    Patents were never intended for Corps to get "dibs" on new ideas and then sit and wait for someone else to actually do something with it (are you listening NTP?)
  • 0 Hide
    tolham , July 2, 2010 1:34 PM
    i'm going patent having 2 keys next to each other then start suing keyboard manufactures for royalties.
  • 0 Hide
    bamslang , July 2, 2010 1:38 PM
    house70they should have done this instead of Kin...Bill,please come back!


    While I agree about the Kin... you're addressing this to the wrong peron.
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