LG and Samsung are looking to go to war not only in the mobile phone marketplace, but in the courtroom as well. LG claims that Samsung has infringed on its eye-tracking patent with its Samsung GALAXY S 4. The Samsung GALAXY S 4 has the “Smart Pause” feature that pauses videos when your eyes aren’t looking at your phone’s screen. When it detects that your eyes are looking back onto the screen, it will resume playback.
The “Smart Pause” feature frustrated LG because it too has a similar feature called “Smart Video”. It was planning on bringing the feature to its LG Optimus G Pro next month via a “value pack update”, and to its other high-end devices in the future. The Smart Video feature does exactly the same thing Samsung’s Smart Pause feature does. Exactly the same thing.
LG says that it applied for the eye-tracking patent in 2009, as well as several other eye-tracking patents back in 2005. Samsung replied, saying that it used its own technology to develop its Smart Pause feature. Along with the video pausing capabilities, LG is also enabling an eye scrolling feature that’s similar to Samsung’s Smart Scroll. There’s probably a high chance that one of the two companies will claim patent-infringement on that feature as well.
It does seem pretty evident that there’s some sort of infringement going on here, especially seeing as both Korean companies are offering the same, innovative features at exactly the same time. LG will not be able to do anything to Samsung until the Samsung GALAXY S 4 launches next month. When that happens, we’ll find out what’s really going on and if this is a matter of coincidence, or if there really are spies amongst the companies.