The World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO, has assigned a number of patents for foldable devices to companies such as Samsung, Intel and Corning (maker of reinforced ‘Gorilla glass’). Clearly the race to the foldable device market is on, with dozens of companies applying for patents to multiple aspects of the manufacturing process.
Samsung received a series of patents for “a foldable display including a plurality of display units having an arrangement structure that effectively uses the available space of the foldable display”. The full description and drawings are here: 1, 2, 3.
Corning is best known for it’s ‘Gorilla glass’, chemically strengthened glass, used in the smartphones, tablets, notebooks and wearables. It has a high overall crack-resistance, making it resistant to damage from everyday use. However, in flexible displays, no glass is used, but organic light emitting diodes are printed on a plastic substrate. Corning has now received a patent for ‘flexible glass’, which can be bent to a certain degree. This is obviously a defensive move by Corning, who may see their business threatened by glass-free displays of the future. The patent can be found here.
Finally, chipmaker Intel received patents for a range of foldable devices. The above render was made on the basis of the patent by a Dutch tech news site.
WIPO published the patent from Intel Corporation for a ‘Electronic device with foldable display panels’. The illustrations show a versatile foldable smartphone that unfolds into a big tablet, consisting of three display areas. A stylus pen will operate this foldable device.