Rapid increase in patent applications related to rollable touch screens
It seems that it will not be long before you can unroll your smartphone screen like a scroll and use it with a wide screen when desired. As rollable touch screens are a type of touch screen that can be rolled up and can thus be either easily carried or enjoyed as a wide-screen, they are expected to be increasingly incorporated into smartphones, TVs, wearable devices, notebook PCs, and game consoles.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office, a total of 153 patent applications for rollable touch screens have been filed over the past eight years ('12-‘19). After starting with three cases in 2012, six cases in 2013 and then three cases in 2014, the number of applications increased steadily, from 15 cases in 2015, to 29 cases in 2018 and then to 55 cases in 1919.
Rollable Touch Screen Annual Patent Application Trend
* Technical category: G06F3 (computer input means), Keywords: Rollable touchscreen, etc.
Looking at the patent application trend ('12~'19) by detailed technology field, 58 applications (38%) in relation to touch detection sensors, such as touch electrodes, sensing methods and structures, took the highest percentage, followed by 39 applications (25%) regarding processing touch data such as noise rejection and correction of touch data, 26 applications (17%) for interfaces, 15 applications (10%) for housings, 9 applications (6%) for touch layer protection, and finally 6 applications (4%) related to touch plate materials.
Patent Application Trend by Detailed Technology Field
According to the distribution of patent applications by applicant, large companies (76%) are leading such patent applications, followed by small and medium-sized companies (12%), university research institutes (4.5%), individuals (4.5%), and foreign companies (3%).
Patent Application Distribution by Applicant for Rollable Touchscreens
Ahead of the future launches of rollable smartphones into the marketplace, patent applications seem to have increased as a result of large companies such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics focusing on research and development in relation to rollable touchscreen technologies.
Among applicants with multiple applications, 38 cases were from Samsung Display, 37 from LG Electronics, 20 from Samsung Electronics, 17 from LG Display, 4 from AHA Information Communication, 4 from Sumitomo, 3 from Dongwoo Hwa Inkem, and 2 each were from LG Innotek, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and Youngnam University.
Distribution of Applicants with Multiple Applications for Rollable Touchscreens
The Chief of the Computer Examination Division of the Korean Intellectual Property Office said, "Despite the economically difficult situation due to Covid-19, now seems to be an important time to take a stronger lead in this technology by proactively securing new markets for rollable touch screens through technological innovation, research and development, and the securing of intellectual property rights in related fields".