Qualcomm Patents: SMS Delivery and Wireless Security

Qualcomm Incorporated is a major developer of semiconductors headquartered in San Diego, CA. This company dominates the global wireless baseband chipset market, and in the first quarter of 2014, the corporation’s 4G LTE technologies helped Qualcomm secure two-thirds of the market’s total revenue share. Company officials recently announced the acquisition of high-speed wireless technology start-up Wilocity, which has developed a data transfer system for wireless devices that operates at about three to four times the speed of Wi-Fi. Qualcomm is also a member of the AllSeen Alliance, a consortium of technology companies including Microsoft, Panasonic, LG and others working together towards promoting standard protocols for the Internet of Things, a subject we explored earlier this year in our coverage of the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show.

Qualcomm’s strong research and development activities in chipsets and other wireless telecommunications products are regularly featured in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series. Today, we’ve scoured the recently issued patents and published patent applications from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to find the most intriguing inventions assigned to Qualcomm. Our search rendered up a variety of technologies designed to improve wireless communications networks that may interest our readers.

Our featured application in today’s column discusses one Qualcomm technology designed to establish a call session across a network for the real time transmission of text messages. This data system could also be used to aid data transmission for mobile banking and other applications. We also discuss a couple of intriguing systems for detecting physical movement of a device owner, including one invention which provides a navigational guide for indoor environments.

In our analysis of Qualcomm’s recently patented technologies, we delve into a trio of patents directed at wireless security, including one novel method for the easier management of password restrictions on a device. Other patents we discuss include systems for analyzing e-mail or other electronic messages prior to sending to exclude unintended recipients as well as a more resource-efficient system for monitoring of emergency alert broadcasts.



Real Time SMS Delivery Mechanism
U.S. Patent Application No. 20140179361

The Short Message Service (SMS) mobile text communication technology has 3.7 billion worldwide users, making it the world’s most widely used data application. Many also use the closely-related Multimedia Message Service (MMS) to send images, video or audio content as well as text messages. These mobile device messaging systems use a mobile device telephone number to address messages to an intended recipient.

These systems utilize a store and forward messaging mechanism which uploads the message to a network, where the message is stored, and then forwards the message to the destination device when a good data signal is present. This store and forward mechanism often leads to a time delay between the time when the message was sent and when it is received. Other issues with reliability, such as dropped messages caused by network congestion, limit the use of SMS applications for mobile banking, social media and notification services.

This patent application, filed by Qualcomm with the USPTO in December 2012, would protect a wireless communication method which establishes a call session with a destination device receiving an SMS message. The call session established between the devices creates a link between them through which SMS messages can be transmitted in real time.

This system would allow users receiving the notification of an attempting call session to discern between telephone calls and real time SMS messages. The device originating the call would send a call setup message through the network which indicates that the reason for the call session is for the receipt of a real time SMS message. Various embodiments of this invention allows this real time SMS system to be offered as a value-added service.

Claim 1 of this patent application would give Qualcomm the right to protect:

“A method for wireless communication, comprising: initiating, at an originating device, a call session with a destination device via a wireless communications network; receiving a call confirmation message indicating that the destination device is available to receive the call session; sending a data message to the destination device; and terminating the call session prior to establishment of a traffic channel between the originating device and the destination device.”


Other Patent Applications

Qualcomm is very involved in the development of products and services for the telecommunications industry. In this wide field, we noticed some intriguing innovations which are related to mobile devices and their ability to track various physical aspects of an owner’s movement. U.S. Patent Application No. 20140180621, which is titled Swing Compensation in Step Detection, would detect a method of obtaining acceleration data from a device which may indicate that a device owner isn’t walking but is instead swinging the device while held in a hand. This technology is designed to improve the accuracy of pedometers and step detectors tracking pedestrian movement from a mobile device. Improving the ability for mobile device users to access maps of indoor areas while walking around indoors are discussed within U.S. Patent Application No. 20140187258, entitled Context-Based Parameter Maps for Position Determination. This patent application would protect a method of estimating the distance to a mobile station within an indoor navigation system which provide location services.

Some very useful upgrades to Qualcomm’s telecommunication services for mobile communications were the focus of a couple of other patent application filings which grabbed our interest. More effective methods of sharing resources in wireless communication networks would be protected by U.S. Patent Application No. 20140177429, titled Techniques for Reducing Network Congestion in a Wireless Communications System. This invention is designed to reduce connection failures in multiple-access wireless communication networks which transmit voice, video, text message and broadcast content. Data communications across wireless communications system are also the focus of U.S. Patent Application No. 20140187248, filed under the title Interference Cancellation for Wireless Communications. This patent application would protect an innovation designed to reduce unnecessary wireless communications interference created by redundancies in data signals transmitted across the wireless communications.



Issued Patents of Note 

From U.S. Patent No. 8769003, which is titled “Method for Proximity Determination Between Mobile Peers While Maintaining Privacy.”

Qualcomm Incorporated is a global leader in the development of intellectual property. Last year, this company was issued a total of 2,103 U.S. patent grants from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the 10th-largest total among patenting entities worldwide and 3rd-best in the United States behind IBM and Microsoft. Among the many patents recently issued to Qualcomm by the USPTO, many protect innovations directed at more wireless communications technology improvements for emergency messages, device security and more.

A stricter system for access rights to mobile electronic devices is protected by U.S. Patent No. 8762732, issued under the title Security Method and Apparatus. This password security system for electronic devices improves upon previous password security systems by making them easier to manage for most device owners. This system of managing password security would make it easier to remove password restrictions created by past owners of a device, or enable a service technician to have login authority for a defined period of time. The personal location data of a mobile device user can be protected when accessing location services, thanks to the technology protected by U.S. Patent No. 8769003, which is titled Method for Proximity Determination Between Mobile Peers While Maintaining Privacy. This invention allows an electronic device owner to retain anonymity in response to games, social media and other applications which can offer advanced functionality if other app users are located within close physical proximity to the first user. Users of wireless communication systems may experience less spoofing attacks from malicious network users as a result of the invention protected by U.S. Patent No. 8769285, titled Method and Apparatus for Deriving, Communicating and/or Verifying Ownership of Expressions. This patent protects a method of controlling peer-to-peer communications so that the identity of the author of information advertised on a wireless network is verified.

Today’s look at Qualcomm’s recent research and development goals finishes with a quick look at a couple of other telecommunications inventions which are designed to improve messaging systems for users of wireless networks. Those sending electronic messages regularly may benefit from the additional proofreading offered by the technology protected through U.S. Patent No. 8769022, issued under the title System and Method for Evaluating Outbound Messages. This system is capable of analyzing e-mail, SMS and messages in other formats to ensure that sending errors do not occur. This would, for instance, help prevent a person from sending an embarrassing message to an unintended recipient. U.S. Patent No. 8761713, entitled Method and Apparatus for Emergency Broadcast Using an Emergency Broadcast-Multicast Service, protects a method for receiving emergency broadcast information at a remote subscriber station. This invention allows for close monitoring of emergency alerts issued on a wireless broadcast communications network which doesn’t require significant amounts of power for vigilant emergency monitoring.


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