It is indeed a useful patent, so the translation of “patent” as we use it in Dutch is correct. The design patent, which you refer to, is a design right in Dutch.
I completely disagree that this should not be eligible for a patent in the US. On the one hand, because obtaining patents is not necessarily easier in the United States, and on the other hand, because to determine whether something is patentable, you have to look a little further than what is stated here in the article (which is already rather brief ).
The claimed (and granted!) invention (in response to @ultimasnake above) is as follows:
1. An electronic device consisting of:
A communication unit capable of communicating using an electronic pen; And
The processor is configured to:
Determine the status of the electronic device,
Determine the status of the stylus,
When the electronic pen status is determined that the electronic pen is connected to the electronic device and input from the electronic pen is received through the communication module, perform a function related to the electronic pen based on the specified status of the electronic device, and
When the state of the electronic pen is determined to be that the electronic pen is disconnected from the electronic device, a user interface is displayed, in response to receiving a command from the electronic pen, to direct functions executable using the electronic pen in the state in which the electronic pen is connected to the electronic device.
So the last two sentences seem to be the most relevant for understanding what should be new: The processor (read: tablet or phone) determines whether the pen is connected to the device or not, performs actions if the pen is stuck, or indicates what actions can be performed if The pin is not secured.
Interestingly, the “chamber” into which the pen can reach is not part of the claimed invention at all. So the title of this Tweakers article isn’t entirely clear: Yes, the patent shows a degree, but no, that’s not what the patent (essentially) means at all.
This wouldn’t be possible, because as @ultimasnake correctly pointed out: it already exists. In fact, in this patent grant proceeding, the patent office referred to an older patent application from Samsung itself: And it’s this one. A portable device with a stylus and a compartment for it was already known. This earlier application (also granted later) was initially about controlling the device with the stylus when the stylus was stored.
The patent that Tweakers is writing about now So he adds that the pen can be used for control when it is stored, but it triggers an indication of the control function when it is not stored but used.
I imagine that a button on the stylus could put your tablet to sleep, for example, while the same button when the stylus isn’t stylus would open a dialog first. By the way, I came up with this example myself, but the patent might say something else.
In short: The patent shows a storage compartment for the pen, but doesn’t claim it. This was already known. In contrast, the patent actually claims that the pin controls the device differently when the pin is connected than when it is not.
This is a fairly liberal interpretation of the patent, which is helpful for interpretation, but not legal accuracy. If you plan to make choices based on this, consult a US patent attorney.
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