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Move Over Apple – Samsung Files For a Patent on Page Turns

samsung page turn patent 1 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:

samsung page turn patent 2

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:

samsung page turn patent 3

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.

samsung page turn patent 4

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?


patent (PDF)

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joe schmoe May 1, 2013 um 9:08 pm

"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." This claim needs citations. Are there examples we can look at?

Nate Hoffelder May 1, 2013 um 9:15 pm

You’re right, this does need citations. But one problem I have is that no one seems to have documented this feature.

That’s why I’m working on a post that details which apps have faux page turns. I’m going to show what they look like, too.

Until then, here’s a video that shows someone turning the page on the Nook HD+:

Nate Hoffelder May 1, 2013 um 10:45 pm

And here is a different app with a similar page curl:

Google Play books on Android:

And here is a developer that offers it for license:

The Kobo app on the iPad also has a page curl option.

joe schmoe May 1, 2013 um 11:42 pm

Thanks Nate. These do look similar to the drawings.

Thomas May 2, 2013 um 9:22 am

Am I the only one who turns off page turn animations? I see no reason to slow down my page turns just for some vague approximation of what a physical book looks like.

Nate Hoffelder May 2, 2013 um 9:29 am

I always turn off the page animations if I can.

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Eve C May 4, 2013 um 3:26 am

I don’t think this is a big enough feature to quibble over patents!

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