“The main battleground between Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. in the global smartphone market is moving from courtrooms to the laboratory, amid a race for patents on atom-thick technology for the next generation of devices,” Jungah Lee reports for Bloomberg. “Graphene is sort of like the high-tech version of cling wrap. It’s a transparent material that conducts electricity so it can be stretched across glass surfaces of phones or tablets to make them into touch screens. Thinner, stronger and more flexible than current technology, it’s ideal for futuristic gadgets like bendable smartwatches or tablets that fold up into smartphones.”

“The potential has Samsung, Apple and Google Inc. amassing arsenals of graphene-related patents, in part because sales of so-called wearable computing devices is predicted to rise 14 fold in five years,” Lee reports. “Samsung has 405 published applications, according to a 2013 report from the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office, which said the South Korean company appeared to be ahead of its rivals. In the U.S., Samsung has 38 patents and at least 17 applications using the word ‘graphene’ in the summary of its invention, according to data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Apple, based in Cupertino, California, has at least two patent applications with the office related to the material. Companies from International Business Machines Corp. to Foxconn Technology Group have also registered graphene patents.”

“Graphene is so thin that when Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov from the University of Manchester won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for their work on the material, it was classified as two-dimensional,” Lee reports. “The material is a single layer of graphite, involving tightly bonded atoms in a hexagonal lattice, making it strong and flexible. Along with its transparency and conductivity, that makes it ideal for bendable touchscreen displays.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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