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I found a patent filed by Microsoft:

https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2021145886

That seems to claim protection for the hinge mechanism of the Surface Laptop Studio. As I see this patent is still pending.

I know that Acer's Ezel laptops have quite similar hinges, and found (only) this patent from Acer:

https://patents.google.com/patent/USD820828S1/en?q=Acer+hinge&assignee=Acer+Incorporated&page=1

Which is quite lacking compared to Microsoft's, but as Acer claims on their site, their hinge is patent protected.

In the patent filed by Microsoft the claims seem to me to be very general about the design, and seem for me to claim the (at least) the protection for the same solution Acer has already been granted patent protection for.

The main reason I'm digging this topic is because I'm hoping for cheap copies of the aforementioned laptops. As far as I know if Microsoft hasn't actually patent protected the hinge of the Laptop Studio and managed to get it on the market without licensing Acer, the technology is freely available for other manufacturers, so cheap copies will might come, but this speculationis out of the scope of this site I guess, so my question remains the one that's in the title.

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  • Please edit the title/question to something answerable. We can’t read Microsofts mind. Maybe “Is there something new in the Microsoft application given the Acer patent?
    – George White
    Oct 7, 2022 at 16:12
  • You are right, I've changed the title.
    – Ketto Egy
    Oct 8, 2022 at 11:02

1 Answer 1

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The Microsoft link is an application, not a patent. We won’t know what claims Microsoft will get until and if a patent gets issued. Also, in my opinion, Microsoft's hinge is quite different than what is shown in the Acer document which is a design patent, not a utility patent. A design patent is about the ornamental design of an article of manufacture. While it represents prior art, it isn't patenting the mechanism.

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  • I think Acer might have another patents for their actual Ezel hinge that I haven't found, which indeed looks less complicated than the one in the application filed by Microsoft, but works just as described in Microsoft's application's main claims.
    – Ketto Egy
    Oct 8, 2022 at 11:07
  • @KettoEgy The hinge shown in the Acer design patent is a simple four bar linkage. I’m not confident it would be eligible for a utility patent.
    – Eric S
    Oct 8, 2022 at 19:19
  • I did some digging and found some more links for Acer Ezel patents under the citations section of this one: patents.google.com/patent/USD942975S1/en?oq=D942975. I haven't checked them all, but one is a utility patent for the Ezel hinge that is of abandoned status. I can't get to any conclusions regarding my wish at the end of the question, if someone does pls share it here.
    – Ketto Egy
    Oct 8, 2022 at 21:33
  • @KettoEgy Not to be pedantic, but an abandoned application is not a patent. The citation you are referring to is a patent application. Many applications never get granted. The fact that it is abandoned is suggestive that the examiner did not find it merited granting and the applicant couldn't overcome the examiner's objections.
    – Eric S
    Oct 8, 2022 at 21:48
  • Sorry I forgot to check the status. I'm no patent expert, just curious why this technology is not more widely adopted.
    – Ketto Egy
    Oct 10, 2022 at 6:07

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