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Re: US20080316176 A1

Is this invention novel and patentable?

1. A laptop computer system having an extended touchpad functionality, the system comprising:

a base having a media bay, the base housing a microprocessor based computer system; a keyboard having a plurality of keys, the keys communicatively coupled to the microprocessor based computer system;

a display screen connected to the base via first and second hinges such that the display screen is moveable between a closed position and an open position, the display screen communicatively coupled to the microprocessor based computer system to drive the display screen; and

a touch-pad disposed in the media bay, the touchpad being extendable and retractable with respect to the media bay, the touch-pad being (i) configured as a drawing tablet and (ii) configured to control the cursor movement and placement functions on the display screen, wherein the touchpad is disposed on either a right or left opposing side of the base having the media bay and the touchpad has a form factor substantially the same as a USB I/O powered device.

Fig. 2

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1 Answer

According to the USPTO's PEAR database, the application was abandoned as of May 2011. The examiner rejected the claims based on obviousness in light US 5949643, which disclosed something similar. The patent disclosed two separate embodiments: one with an extendable touchpad, and another with hinges connected the screen to the base. The examiner felt it would be obvious to combine the two.

The big question is when Google Patents will include the USPTO file wrapper so we don't have to use the terrible PEAR site to get that information.

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