Verizon Trademarks Reveal LTE “Video Messaging” Handsets?

Verizon has been on a trademarking tear lately, applying for 18 of them which mention “video messaging” and the “transmission of voice, data, image and video” among the capabilities of the devices seeking protection, since October 5th — including 12 in the last week alone. These also happen to be the only trademarks mentioning “video messaging” that Verizon has ever applied for. The last time the company went on a trademarking streak remotely like this, late last year, all four of the marks ended up becoming feature phones. However, prior to that run, Big Red received well over a dozen marks that never turned into anything; in other words, it’s unlikely that all or even most of these 18 terms will become LTE-capable video-calling devices. In fact one of them, Crux, has already been released as the Pantech Crux, and it possesses no front-facing camera that we’re aware of. That being said, the brandings seeking protection are:

– Squadron

– Crux

– Explosive

– Hyperstream

– Suplex

– Fastcast

– Breakneck

– Sightline

– Slipknot

– Hypnotic

– Perception

– Animal

– Invention

– Charge

– Thunderbolt

– Xtra

– Sabertooth

– Commando

Still, we have to believe that a few of these names — whose filings also mention more standard features like cameras, media players, and over-the-air navigation and downloads — will end up as LTE-equipped feature phones, perhaps intended to bring video calling downmarket from the handful of smartphones which currently offer it. Besides the Epic 4G and EVO 4G on Sprint and T-Mobile’s MyTouch 4G, no domestic handsets can currently do video chats over cellular broadband (without jailbreaking them, anyway). Verizon launched its 4G LTE network earlier this month, but doesn’t plan to offer compatible phones until early next year. We’ve heard of at least two smartphones, from LG and HTC, that will be among the first devices on the carrier with front-facing cameras.

Source: USPTO

Image: Ars Technica

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Evan Blass
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