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Phones

Did BlackBerry Just Patent the SideKick?

By Chuong Nguyen March 5, 2008, 9:26 am

The latest version of the Sidekick features a screen that swivels over a landscape-oriented full QWERTY keyboard and a trackball for navigating through the menus as well as alerting users of messages as the trackball does light up. Recently, Microsoft had acquired Danger, the company that manufactures the Sidekick for T-Mobile in the States. The SideKick is also known as the Hiptop in other parts of the world. However, it looks like Rearch in Motion (RIM), the makers of the BlackBerry, recently filed for a patent application that describes the Sidekick/Hiptop concept.

According to UnwiredView, RIM's patent application is for a phone with a sliding QWERTY keyboard and trackball navigation. The sliding QWERTY keyboard was a concept that was popularized in the first generation Sidekick and later adopted by HTC in its phone, including the "Wizard," the "Hermes," and now the "Kaiser" otherwise known as the TyTN II.

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While I understand companies tweaking things and filing patents to protect their intellectual property, I find nothing innovative about the recent BlackBerry patent application as these concepts have done tried and done successfully by other companies, in particular Danger and HTC. I don't think RIM should be granted the patent in this case.

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