2 (3?) New BlackBerry Patents

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BlackBerry GUI Patent

Ignoring for the moment the BlackBerry belt-clip patent, RIM has rolled out two more interesting patents for your perusal this fine Monday morning.

First up, Patent #20060183477 describes a GUI for detecting and selecting all available wireless networks. Seems straightforward enough, but we have a query: isn’t this essentially the same thing as selecting “Networks: Scan For All Available Networks” in the Options menu of OS 4.1?

Next is Patent #20060181435, which seems to depict a method of determining which character the user desires from a specific key by using “sensing technology.” This could be an update to SureType for non-QWERTY users, or could possibly even be a bypass of SureType altogether. The patent abstract seems intentionally vague to cover all of RIM’s bases.

But don’t take our word for it. Read the patents yourself:

#20060183477:

A method for selecting a wireless network for a wireless device comprising: receiving a command from a user through a clickable thumbwheel and a graphical user interface (“GUI”) presented on a display of the wireless device to scan for and identify available networks; displaying a choice of the available networks on the display; and, receiving a command from the user through the clickable thumbwheel and the GUI to switch operation of the wireless device from a current network to an available network in the choice of the available networks.

#20060181435:

The invention is directed a method for use in conjunction with a keyboard of a mobile communication device for determining which of several characters designated by any one of a number of particular character keys is intended by a user, comprising the steps of sensing depression of a character position select key; sensing depression of one of said character keys; and designating depressions of said character key to indicate a character corresponding to a unique combination of said depressed character position select key and said depressed character key.