Apple patents new manufacturing technique for a "curved touch sensor"
U.S. Patent No. 8,603,574 has been awarded to Apple for the process that deposits a conductive thin film over a flexible substrate while it is in a flat position. Once it is ready, the substrate is attached to a forming substrate and heated. Bottom-line? A curved touch sensor with no deformities and containing a thin film toughened by the high temperature annealing.
The advantage to using the process in the patent is that it allows for all parts of a curved glass display to be curved. Currently, some devices might only give off the appearance of being curved by using a flat substrate with a dome-like cover on top. This might give off a curved appearance to the user, but it also might lessen the touch sensitivity of the display because of the distance between the screen and the electrodes embedded in the thin film. Apple's manufacturing process would allow the curved display to be responsive.
The patent was originally applied for back in 2010 when curved screen handsets were just a gleam in manufacturers' eyes.
Apple's patent covers the manufacturer of curved touch sensors
source: USPTO via AppleInsider
1. android_hitman (Posts: 592; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)
Probably Sammy and LG are already sued.
29. Ashoaib (Posts: 1838; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)
OMG.. again apple headache... who the hell US patent is? seems like they award everything to apple... apple is not a screen manufacturer, so it should not be given patent of anything which it is not manufacturing
2. toiletcleaner (Posts: 184; Member since: 10 Oct 2012)
The new iFlex made by Lg invented by Apple
4. suneeboy (Posts: 155; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)
The application was submitted 3 years ago. Before we ever even heard of a flexible display. Apple is annoying because a patent they applied for was approved?
5. PBXtech (Posts: 973; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)
This isn't about flexible screens, it's about curved screens. The Nexus S was released around the same time this was sent to the patent office.
I guess what I'm not understanding is Apple doesn't make their screens, why do they submit for a patent for something they purchase instead of manufacture? Maybe they were hedging their bets that they might one day be producing their own components.(?)
6. darkkjedii (Posts: 10969; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Well said bro, fanboys are annoying too.
30. rusticguy (Posts: 2826; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
Exactly... fanboys like you who pretend to be neutral.
8. Finalflash (Posts: 1675; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)
Yea, it is classic patent troll behavior when a technology is announced and the troll immediately tries to get a patent in any way possible that barely touches the concept without any of their own work in producing it. In this case, screen manufacturers said "hey, we will be aiming to produce flexible displays like this concept here". Apple goes, "We need to patent something about that asap so we can start trolling, they'll probably use these screens with touch displays, so lets patent touch on curved screen". Thus this patent was born. Since everyone is doing this it is okay for them too though. It is just how the patent system works and when everyone is a troll, no one is a troll (other than the upstarts that get screwed but hey, we only bow to the trolls, no one cares about the little guy).
11. buccob (Posts: 1395; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
No, they are annoying because they almost never MAKE what they patent...
It would be nice to see an actual prototype of their many patents that they use only for suing
13. Sauce (unregistered)
If they made a phone of everything they patented, holy sh*t....
17. buccob (Posts: 1395; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
And that is exactly the problem... they only patent to sue others and prevent innovation...
Instead they should patent, make prototypes and monetize the product of their patents... not just sue.
16. donfem (Posts: 525; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
The thing I find annoying mostly is the Patent office allowing this nonsense.
24. _Bone_ (Posts: 2123; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Wrong, Samsung showed off it's flexible screen 3 years ago, which probably means they've been working on it at least 5 years before that, cause that's what it takes to come up with something that radical.
7. androiphone20 (Posts: 1419; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)
Despite the negative opinions (which I do enjoy), this technology could be just in time to be used on the smartwatch
9. PBXtech (Posts: 973; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)
That makes sense, patent doesn't have to be for phones or tablets.
10. Finalflash (Posts: 1675; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)
It is for any touch screen, there is no such thing as a good "specific" patent and Apple knows this well at least. But doesn't matter if it is used on a smart watch, they first need to give smart watches a purpose or use before it having a curved screen starts to matter.
12. PBXtech (Posts: 973; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)
I don't know how curved phone/tablet/smartwatch screens are made. If SS and LG uses a completely different method, this patent isn't going anywhere except the Apple vaults. I'd be willing to bet though, SS and LG do use different methods.
As for the purpose, all they need to do is put the Apple logo on it. I think the whole smart watch concept is in the infancy stage, but that won't stop Apple from selling a boat load of them. Maybe what the technology needs is for Apple, SS, and Sony (and others) to sell that boat load so a healthy competition forms and the platform takes off. Personally, I'm waiting for a week long battery before I jump onto that band wagon.
14. Sauce (unregistered)
19. c.hack (Posts: 505; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)
Apple doing more R&D for Samsuck to copy next year.
21. wando77 (Posts: 282; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)
Are you mental???? Apple just put an idea on paper and you think theyare amazing. Samsung nand Lg etc are the ones with the skills to bring this tech to life. Without samsung, lg etc apple would be nothing.
22. ihavenoname (Posts: 1375; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
Samsung and LG are innovation kings now, Apple makes solid products, but they are not as revolutionising as in 2007.
23. wilsong17 (Posts: 865; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)
are you apple fan that blind who is the one releasing flexible and curve screen
is samsung and lg omg where is apple making finger scan oh god
25. willard12 (Posts: 764; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)
A drawing on a napkin and a trip to the patent office is now considered R&D?
20. wando77 (Posts: 282; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)
Pretty sure lg and samsung will have been working on flexi screens longer than 3 years if one has already been released
27. JC557 (Posts: 1032; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)
You can also add Sharp and Sony to that mix as well. I think Sony was toying around with the idea long before Apple filed this patent.