Samsung’s ‘Smart Pause’ feature, which stops on-screen scrolling when you look away, is being challenged. A Canadian University claims the technology was pinched from them, and they’re pursuing legal action as a result. Samsung has reportedly declined to license the feature, which was offered to them upon launch of the Galaxy S4.
Queens University is the learning institution in question, here, and have some interesting precedent. They note in court documents they were in talks with Samsung as early as 2004 along with non-profit company PARTEQ. Samsung is said to have ben interested in their ‘Attentive User Interface’. Though not named ‘Smart Pause’, the similarities are eerie.
The ‘Attentive User Interface’ has the ability to track eye movement, and react with a specific action — like halting scrolling when you look away. The technology was patented in March of 2003, and Samsung is said to have stopped licensing talks in January of 2004. The ‘Smart Pause’ feature didn’t make its way to Galaxy handsets until 2013, a full decade after the original patent.
So what took so long to bring litigation? Via a website set-up for the litigation, Queens University makes it sound as if talks had resumed, and fell apart again. “Queen’s University offered Samsung the opportunity to license the technology to create such return on investment. Samsung chose not to do so, and therefore it has no right to use our intellectual property.” Court documents go on to point out “Despite its indisputable knowledge of Plaintiffs’ patents and the technology described therein, Samsung has not purchased or licensed any rights to the intellectual property protected by the Patents-in-Suit”. It’s not clear how much the plaintiffs are seeking from this.
VIA: Phone Arena