RIM patent for vaguely different slider phone, new BlackBerries coming?

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rim_slider_trackball_keyboard_patent.gifI get a bit cheesed off with the number of technology patents being filed, with seemingly small variations on a similar theme.

Take the latest from Research In Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, which details a “Hybrid Portrait-Landscape Handheld Device With Trackball Navigation and Qwerty Hideaway Keyboard”.

Yes, indeed, we’ve all seen devices with keyboards that slide out from under the phone, but apparently this one is different because it’s got a trackball on it.

Woop!

Don’t get me wrong, I love the ideas, but does every variation have to have a patent slapped upon it? Apparently so — it gives so much more scope for suing other companies down the line.

For consumers with more important things to worry about, it could bring a line of new, souped-up BlackBerries, though this really is just the concept at present.

Now, could I patent my own design, a bit like this, but with a joystick instead of a trackball?

(Via BlackBerryCool)

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Andy Merrett