Intellectual Property Analysis of Durham Logistics, LLC Motion-Aware Smart Phone Portfolio
In 1992, the release of the IBM Simon Personal Communicator signaled the emergence of a new class of mobile device, the “smart phone.” Smart phones demonstrated capabilities that went above and beyond simply making phone calls, capabilities that blurred the line between the telephone and the personal computer. Since those first early iterations, multi-functional devices have become increasingly commonplace in the consumer market. Some of the most recognizable devices in this space include the Palm Pre, the RIM Blackberry, various Google Android devices, and the Apple iPhone. The iPhone, in particular, set the standard by which future smart phones would be judged, fueling innovation across the entire market. From web browsers and cameras to downloadable applications, many features are now deemed to be standard on smart phones that have come to market. Smart phone hardware manufacturers incorporate technologies such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), WiFi chipsets, and accelerometers into their products to provide added functionality that integrates seamlessly into the user interfaces and features of the smart phones themselves. The systems that incorporate these various features are foundational to the success or failure of a smart phone in the consumer market, and as such, are of understandably high value.
Durham Logistics, LLC currently possesses intellectual property concerning motion-aware smart phones with priorities dating back to 2000. This intellectual property describes a method and apparatus for controlling an application on a device via physical motion or movement. Such a method is an intuitive alternative to interacting with a button, trackpad, or other interactive control mechanism on a device. While it is not transparent to the market what commercial intent Durham Logistics, LLC has for these patents, it is reasonable to assume that they will pursue sales or licensing models. Entities interested in Durham Logistics, LLC’s holding would likely also be interested in similar innovations that lie in the public domain, some of which are listed in the following section.
As of April 2010, according to the electronic output of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Public PAIR system reports on patent assignment, Durham Logistics, LLC holds 20 granted U.S. patents and 9 pending U.S. patent applications. Of these properties, 2 U.S. patents concern aspects and components of motion-awareness in smart phones.
Analysis of the Durham Logistics, LLC patents have led to the identification of a number of innovations from multiple assignees residing in the public domain due to abandonment or expiration that also concern aspects of a motion-aware device technology similar to the one described.ShareThis