Patent number 8607977 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a keyboard unit for use to input data to a portable terminal, and more particularly, to a keyboard unit which is capable of being used as a cradling unit for the portable terminal.
"In general, a portable terminal refers to a portable information device, such as a cellular phone, a smart phone, a notebook computer, an MP3 player, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a tablet personal computer (PC). Such a portable terminal includes a data input unit and a data output unit, in which the data input unit typically employs a keypad or a keyboard having a plurality of keys, and the data output unit employs an LCD or AMOLED display device, or the like.
"A stylus pen for inputting data, a cradle for inclinedly supporting a display unit, a small keyboard for convenient data input, a USB for storing desired data, etc. are examples of accessories for such a portable terminal Among the accessories, a user should carry the cradle for inclinedly supporting the body of the portable terminal A conventional cradle may be formed integrally with the portable terminal, or separately manufactured and carried together with the portable terminal Considering the portability of the terminal, such a cradle is configured to be small and light.
"Separately from the portable terminal, a separate keyboard is used for inputting data conveniently. Such a separate keyboard provides a user with a QWERTY key arrangement for convenient data input, in which the keyboard may be kept in a separate leather case and used as an accessory for the portable terminal However, such a case merely performs a function for protecting the portable terminal or the keyboard.
"That is, when using a keyboardless portable terminal, such as a tablet PC, there is an inconvenience in that a cradle and a keyboard, which are merely used as accessories, should be carried together with the portable terminal."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "Accordingly, an aspect of the present invention solves the above-mentioned problems occurring in the prior art and provides a keyboard unit having a keyboard case that also provides a cradling function for a portable terminal so that data input can be conveniently performed, and output data can be conveniently viewed.
"Another aspect of the present invention provides a keyboard unit which is capable of minimizing invasion of foreign matter into the keyboard as well as providing a cradling function.
"Still another aspect of the present invention provides a keyboard unit which is useful for cradling a portable terminal, such as a tablet PC.
"In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a keyboard unit including: a keyboard; and a keyboard case for receiving and protecting the keyboard from an external environment, the keyboard case having a cradling unit adapted for cradling a portable terminal after the keyboard is extracted from the keyboard case.
"In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a keyboard unit including: a keyboard; and a keyboard case being open at opposite sides thereof for receiving the keyboard therein and thereby protecting the keyboard from an external environment, the keyboard case having a cradling unit adapted for cradling a portable terminal after the keyboard is extracted from the keyboard case, wherein the keyboard case includes: a planar bottom wall; first and second vertical walls extending upward from the opposite ends of the bottom wall, respectively; and a planar top wall extending parallel to the bottom wall from the top end of the second vertical wall toward, but not all the way, to a top end of the first vertical wall, so as to establish an open space in the top wall, and wherein the cradling unit is arranged in the open space between a free end of the top wall and the first vertical wall."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Kim, Won-Tae. Keyboard Unit with Cradling Function. U.S. Patent Number 8607977, filed
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