RIM gets granted a keyboard and text prediction patent

/ 4 years ago

Samsung and Apple are rapidly expanding their patent portfolios, and going after anyone who infringes upon them in the slightest way. Add to that the immense dominance both Apple and Samsung have over the smartphone market in terms of their growing market shares, and things don’t look that good for other Smartphone vendors like RIM.

It’s been long overdue, but RIM has caught a slight break. RIM have acquired a solid patent for their new smartphone keyboard as well as for a new form of logic based predictive typing. The patented system, rather than simply looking for typos, actively tries to predict what you’re trying to type by examining the context of the words or common expressions.

With this patent acquisition RIM protects itself from other companies looking to start some patent wars, as well as giving RIM the possibility to go after other companies and seek some royalties or competitor bans of their own if they feel other companies steal this innovation from them.

The description of RIM’s new patented innovation can be read below:

A handheld electronic device includes a reduced QWERTY keyboard and is enabled with disambiguation software. The device provides output in the form of a default output and a number of variants. The output is based largely upon the frequency, i.e., the likelihood that a user intended a particular output, but various features of the device provide additional variants that are not based solely on frequency and rather are provided by various logic structures resident on the device.

The device enables editing during text entry and also provides a learning function that allows the disambiguation function to adapt to provide a customized experience for the user. The disambiguation function can be selectively disabled and an alternate keystroke interpretation system provided. Additionally, the device can facilitate the selection of variants by displaying a graphic of a special <NEXT> key of the keypad that enables a user to progressively select variants generally without changing the position of the user’s hands on the device.