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There may be few moments more frustrating than the one in which a cellphone slips from the user's hand. The sinking feeling the user may have while watching the device drop to the ground comes from knowing that the screen will likely crack, especially if the phone has a delicate touch-screen. This may mean spending hundreds on a new phone or months trying to carry on important tasks through a spider web of cracks until time for an upgrade. Butter-fingered cellphone users in Texas can rejoice because, according to recent reports from patent law analysts, new technology may be on the way.

Motorola just received a patent for a self-healing phone display. The design describes a screen made of a "shape memory polymer" that can repair its own cracks. Apparently, the polymers respond to a variety of stimuli, but the phone screens will likely respond to heat, which will cause the material to reverse any damage or deformity. Phones designed with this technology will include a repair button that users can press to activate the process. Then, by tapping the damaged area of the screen, the user can indicate where repairs are needed.

Although the news of this technology may be exciting, it does not necessarily mean the company will be producing phones with this type of screen in the near future. Getting the patent simply means Motorola's design is protected from others who may seek to gain from it. This allows the company to pursue the development of the product and perfect it until it is marketable.

Seeking a patent is complex and requires many decisions to be made before the process even begins. One does not have to have the powerful presence of a company like Motorola to seek a patent. In fact, the protection of patent law can be valuable to an entrepreneur or inventor at any level. Seeking advice and assistance from a Texas patent attorney can be the first step.

Source: CNBC, "Motorola has come up with the idea of a self-healing smartphone screen", Arjun Kharpal, Aug. 17, 2017

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