New report analyzes touchscreen technology patents

May 30, 2012 — Touchscreen displays were popularized by Apple Inc.’s iPhone, and respond to user behavior on a system of multi-touch and soft-touch technologies. Next-generation touch technology is developing for tablet PCs, smart TVs, and other applications.

Figure 1. Capacitive touch sensor case (Pattern Image). SOURCE: Displaybank.

Smartphones typically use projected capacitance (PROCAP, PCAP) touchscreens: a tempered window, touch sensor, and flexible printed circuit board. However, various touch sensor technologies exist, and each company uses a different method to detect touch input. Apple’s glass/glass (GG) method forms an X-axis sensing electrode on the upper surface of a glass substrate and Y-axis sensing electrode on the lower surface of glass substrate. Other phone makers use glass/film/film (GFF) and new methods are under development — G1F and G2 — that improve permeability and display thickness.

The technology development results of capacitive touch sensor-related leading companies and new players are being published every day through patent applications (patent information). If patent information is well used, the flow of related technologies, prior art and the issues of prior art, and new ideas can be found, and patent dispute can also be prevented by identifying claim of issue-expected patent.

Displaybank’s “Capacitive Touch Sensor Key Patents Analysis – Pattern Design, Patterning, Sensing, Etc.” examines overall patent application trends of capacitive touch sensor related technology and analyzes touch sensor related key patents of major controller IC companies in-depth.

Figure 2. Top 20 patent applicants for capacitive touch sensors. SOURCE: Displaybank.

In quantitative analysis, 677 Korea, Japan, U.S., and Europe patents were selected and examined, such as annual/regional patent applications and applicant trends, and company-specific key patent status and the main points of patents, technology development, and key patent cases are analyzed in in-depth analysis by eliciting 74 patents of major controller IC companies: Synaptics, Atmel, Cypress, Melfas, Hitachi Display, LG Display, Samsung Mobile Display.

Access Capacitive Touch Sensor Key Patents Analysis – Pattern Design, Patterning, Sensing, Etc” at

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