Skip to main content

Microsoft Awarded Patent for Dual-Screen Tablet

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.

  • rodney_ws
    This doesn't seem worthy of a patent. I suppose I should go patent 3 and 4 screen tablets then.
    Reply
  • I would love to own this, instead of the annoying iPad.
    Reply
  • jednx01
    That could be sorta cool actually. You could get a lot more screen space with more portability. :)
    Reply
  • aznguy0028
    In other news, the patent system has been broken for years so that almost every obvious idea under the sun deserves a patent.
    Reply
  • drakenviator
    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.
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    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.
    Reply
  • Milleman
    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.

    Reply
  • seriousazn
    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? -_-
    Reply
  • house70
    they should have done this instead of Kin...

    Bill,
    please come back!
    Reply
  • Kelavarus
    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.
    Reply