July 13, 2006

In a patent application published last week, an inventor at Sony Ericsson has disclosed a cell phone with a unique twist – a swivel screen. U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 10/905,373 (Publication No. 20060148543, entitled “FLIPPER PHONE CONFIGURATION”), discloses a “mobile terminal” comprising a housing with two portions, the first portion (comparable to a flip-phone cover) with an opening that contains a module which is “movably disposed in the opening of the first portion of the housing,” allowing for two distinct positions (like screen-in and screen-out) to occur. The 16-claim application mentions several types of cell phones, including “flip” phones, “jack-knife” phones, and “slider” phones, and states some disadvantages to the different styles, including inadequate screen protection and the concealment of the screen and the keypad portion when a flip phone is closed. Fig. 4 of the application (the thumbnail image appearing above) discloses a mobile terminal, partially to fully open, with the screen swiveling between the two positions. The application does not disclose whether or not the screen would have the capability to automatically swivel as the phone opens or closes. According to its website, Sony Ericsson does not currently offer a phone with this technology.

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 10/905,373: LINK
Gizmodo Article: LINK
Mobile Magazine Article: LINK
Sony Ericsson Product Website: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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