Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 62)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on August 29, 2007

U.S. Pat. No. 6,629,793:  Emoticon keyboard.

JW Note:  :-) . . . I guess I’m old-fashioned.

 smileyboard

What is claimed is:

1. A keyboard system for interfacing with an information processing system, comprising:

a keyboard including keys representing emoticons;
a keyboard processor in the keyboard, wherein the keyboard processor produces an enhanced scan code when a key representing an emoticon is pressed in the keyboard:
a keyboard driver on a computer system for interfacing with the keyboard, wherein the keyboard driver receives the enhanced scan code and determines at least one character that corresponds to the enhanced scan code; and
an application on the computer system for interfacing with the keyboard driver, therein the application receives the at least one character determined by the keyboard driver and displays an image corresponding to the at least one character.

2. The keyboard system of claim 1, wherein the keyboard includes one or more of the following:

a PS/2 connector;
a USB connector; and
a serial connector,
and wherein the keyboard is coupled to the computer system.

3. The keyboard system of claim 1, wherein the enhanced scan code does not correspond to any scan codes of a standard 104-key Windows keyboard.

4. The keyboard system of claim 1, wherein the application comprises any one of the following:

an instant messaging application;
a word processing application; and
an email application.

5. A keyboard system for interfacing with an information processing system, comprising:

a keyboard including keys representing abbreviations;
a keyboard processor in the keyboard, wherein the keyboard processor produces an enhanced scan code when a key representing an abbreviation is pressed in the keyboard;
a keyboard driver on a computer system for interfacing with the keyboard, wherein he keyboard driver receives the enhanced scan code and determines at least one character that corresponds to the enhanced scan code; and
an application on the computer system for interfacing with the keyboard driver, wherein the application receives the at least one character determined by the keyboard driver and displays an image corresponding to the at least one character.

6. The keyboard system of claim 5, wherein the keyboard includes one or more of the following:

a PS/2 connector;
a USB connector; and
a serial connector,
and wherein the keyboard is coupled to the computer system.

7. The keyboard system of claim 5, wherein the enhanced scan code does not correspond to any scan codes of a standard 104-key Windows keyboard.

8. The keyboard system of claim 5, wherein the application comprises any one of the following:

an instant messaging application;
a word processing application; and
an email application.

9. A keyboard system for Interfacing with an information processing system, comprising:

a keyboard attachment including keys representing emoticons;
a keyboard processor in the keyboard attachment, wherein the keyboard processor produces an enhanced scan code when a key representing an emoticon is pressed in the keyboard attachment;
a keyboard driver on a computer system for interfacing with the keyboard attachment, wherein the keyboard driver receives the enhanced scan code and determines at least one character that corresponds to the enhanced scan code; and
an application on the computer system for interfacing with the keyboard driver, wherein the application receives the at least one character by the keyboard driver and displays an image corresponding to the at least one character.

10. The keyboard system of claim 9, wherein the keyboard attachment includes one or more of the following:

a PS/2 connector;
a USB connector; and
a serial connector,
and wherein the keyboard attachment is coupled to the computer system.

11. The keyboard system of claim 9, wherein the enhanced scan code does not correspond to any scan codes of a standard 104-key Windows keyboard.

12. The keyboard system of claim 9, wherein the application comprises any one of the following:

an instant messaging application;
a word processing application; and
an email application.

13. A keyboard system for interfacing with an information processing system, comprising:

a keyboard attachment including keys representing abbreviations;
a keyboard processor in the keyboard attachment, wherein the keyboard processor produces an enhanced scan code when a key representing an abbreviation is pressed in the keyboard attachment;
a keyboard driver on a computer system for interfacing with the keyboard attachment, wherein the keyboard driver receives the enhanced scan code and determines at least one character that corresponds to the enhanced scan code; and
an application on the computer system for interfacing with the keyboard driver, wherein the application receives the at least one character determined by the keyboard driver and displays an image corresponding to the at least one character.

14. The keyboard system of claim 13, wherein the keyboard attachment includes one or more of the following:

a PS/2 connector;
a USB connector; and
a serial connector,
and wherein the keyboard attachment is coupled to the computer system.

15. The keyboard system of claim 13, wherein the enhanced scan code does not correspond to any scan codes of a standard 104-key Windows keyboard.

16. The keyboard system of claim 13, wherein the application comprises any one of the following:

an instant messaging application:
a word processing application; and
an email application.

17. A method for interfacing a keyboard with an information Processing system, the method comprising:

determining, on a keyboard processor in a keyboard, which key representing an emoticon in the keyboard has been pressed;
producing, on the keyboard processor, an enhanced scan code corresponding to a key representing an emoticon in the keyboard, wherein the key representing an emoticon has been pressed;
receiving, by a keyboard driver on a computer system, the enhanced scan code;
determining, by the keyboard driver, at least one character that corresponds to the enhanced scan code;
receiving, by an application on the computer system, the at least one character determined by the keyboard driver; and
displaying an image corresponding to the at least one character received.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the keyboard includes one or more of the following:

a PS/2 connector;
a USB connector; and
a serial connector,
and wherein the keyboard is coupled to the computer system.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein the enhanced scan code does not correspond to any scan codes of a standard 104-key Windows keyboard.

20. The method of claim 17, wherein the application comprises any one of the following:

an instant messaging application;
a word processing application; and
an email application.

21. A method for interfacing a keyboard attachment with an information processing system, the method comprising:

determining, on a keyboard processor in a keyboard attachment, which key representing an emoticon in the keyboard attachment has been pressed;
producing, on the keyboard processor, an enhanced scan code corresponding to a key representing an emoticon in the keyboard attachment, wherein the key representing an emoticon has been pressed;
receiving, by a keyboard driver on a computer system, the enhanced scan code;
determining, by the keyboard driver, at least one character that corresponds to the enhanced scan code;
receiving, by an application on the computer system, the at least one character determined by the keyboard driver; and
displaying an image corresponding to the at least one character received.

22. The method of claim 21, wherein the keyboard attachment Includes one or more of the following:

a PS/2 connector;
a USB connector; and
a serial connector,
and wherein the keyboard attachment is coupled to the computer system.

23. The method of claim 21, wherein the enhanced scan code does not correspond to any scan codes of a standard 104-key Windows keyboard.

24. The method of claim 21, wherein the application comprises any one of the following:

an instant messaging application;
a word processing application; and
an email application.

25. The keyboard system of claim 1, wherein the keyboard further comprises keys representing at least one of abbreviations and actions to execute, and wherein the application further determines if the at least one character corresponds to at least one of the image, an abbreviation and an action to execute, and wherein the application performs least one of displaying the image, displaying the abbreviation and executing the action based upon the character.

26. The keyboard system of claim 1, wherein the image is a graphical emoticon.

27. The keyboard system of claim 1, wherein the image is a text emoticon.

28. The keyboard system of claim 1, wherein the at least one character directly identifies the emoticon.

29. The keyboard system of claim 1, wherein the at least one character is examined to determine if the at least one character indicates an operating system command.

30. The keyboard system of claim 25, wherein the at least one character directly identifies at least one of the emoticon, the abbreviation and the action to execute.

31. The method of claim 1, wherein the enhanced scan code does not correspond to a character defined in the IBM PC Extended Character Set.

One Response

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  1. Alex Andrews said, on September 1, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    What can we say…..Hmm……still very nicely & uniquely drafted application. ..


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