Samsung has a bad reputation for (supposedly) copying Apple, so today's news probably won't come as any surprise. Remember last year when Apple received a patent 0n the faux page curl in iBooks?
Even though many were amused by that patent, Samsung apparently can't stand that Apple one-upped them in this way. The Korean gadget maker has just filed for their own patent on a method to turn the page in an ebook.
US Patent Application number 20130104017 was posted to the USPTO website last week, and as you can see from the images that Samsung included with the patent they really do want to patent the page turn:
The patent is attached below, and in spite of how absurd it might sound I think there's real substance here. Samsung's patent includes more than just a description of turning a page. The patent also describes a process for making a faux page turn that closely resembles how a real paper page would behave when you turn the page.
Samsung even gets into the physics od how a paper page might crumple when being turned:
Call me a geek if you want, but I find that impressive.
The patent goes on to describe a number of different on screen gestures that you might use to trigger a page turn including dragging from a corner, sliding a finger down the side of the screen, and swiping from the edge to the center of the screen.
When Apple got the patent on the page turn I didn't cover the story. Like many I thought it was just an absurdity which was more than adequately covered elsewhere.
But this patent is another matter. This has enough detail that it might deserve a patent - if not for the fact that I have seen similar faux page turn screen tricks (examples).
Several of the images that Samsung included with the application remind me of other faux page turn tricks I have seen in other reading apps. The ones that spring readily to mind are the Nextbook ereaders and Android tablets I have used. These gadgets were made by the Chinese gadget maker Yifang, and I swear that the reading apps used a similar page turn, and so does the reading app on the Nook HD+ (video).
Neither looks quite the way that Samsung laid it out in the images above, and the Nextbook devices didn't use all of Samsung's tricks, but there was enough similarity that I think you would need a patent lawyer to explain the difference. And that may have been what Samsung was going for all along.
Can Samsung really get a patent on such a common trick?