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.

[via SlashGear]


  1. Best-case scenario: both companies have valid patents in the subject and decide that rather than getting in a battle they merge the feature into AOSP.

    Worse-case scenario: nothing happens for 5 years while this winds its way through the courts.

    • Uh, you need to do a little research on how the software patents system works. The current system makes it almost impossible to find patents that might be relevant to your product. And if you even try to check for patents that might be relevant, you are liable for treble (triple) damages if you do infringe (which you are essentially guaranteed to do, since you are pretty much guaranteed to not find the patents).

      So, to put it in short, the current patent system punishes companies who check to see if their technology is already patented by someone else. So companies generally do not check. So it is unlikely that Samsung knew the technology was patented, and it is likely that LG is also violating some Samsung patents.

      That is why pretty much everyone in the business is suing everyone else. Everyone is violating everyone elses’ patents. There are hundreds of thousands of patents that apply to any smartphone, many of them so vague it is almost impossible to tell exactly what they protect and what they don’t.

  2. Lg need to find their own software development and implementation of features. The Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 brought many of these features to today’s market place. All Lg did was create a total copy cat device as the Galaxy Note 2 in their new Lg Optimus G pro. Copying the Note 2 design, software, screen size and various other elements which is sadly clear. Everyone knows Lg is piss poor in software development and can’t even do basic updates to their product line. Trust this LG doesn’t want to be court cause they will be destroyed. They are so far down in the android market place it’s comical. I wouldn’t touch or take anything made by LG for free.


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