The next Lumia? Recent Nokia patent resurrects early design render

With the upcoming launch of Windows Phone 8, Nokia has adjusted its Lumia strategy to create a broader range of bespoke devices for carriers based on common underlying technology. A month after revealing its Lumia 820, Nokia announced that it would release the Lumia 810 exclusively on T-Mobile US, while it seems inevitable that a Lumia 822 will soon be announced solely for customers of Verizon.

This multiplicity of devices has given rise to ever greater speculation over what Nokia might have planned next. Some sites have suggested that variants of the Lumia 920 might yet appear, while Nokia itself has teased the imminent launch of its new entry-level handset, the Lumia 510, in India.

The approval this week of a Nokia design patent has further fanned the flames of conjecture over the company’s handset plans. The patent, uncovered by NokiaPowerUser.com, was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and covers “the ornamental design for a handset, as shown and described”:

If the design looks familiar, it’s because we’ve seen it before. All the way back in August 2011 – before Nokia had even revealed its first Lumia handset – an internal Nokia video leaked to the interwebs, apparently showing unreleased Windows Phone hardware. In that video, a device can be seen that is almost identical to the one in the patent images above.

Of course, we haven’t seen anything quite like this handset from Nokia yet, nor indeed of the other devices rendered in the video:

But is the recent approval of the patent proof that a new Lumia based on that design is imminent? Well, let’s not jump to conclusions. Nokia filed the patent with the USPTO on the same day – August 10 2011 – that the video leaked online; the fact that it has just been approved, so close to the Windows Phone 8 launch, may just be coincidence.

NokiaPowerUser claimed that the patent was also approved by the European Patent Office, but did not provide a link, and the EPO has no record of any Nokia patents being approved on October 16 2012 as NokiaPowerUser suggests. A patent was filed by Nokia on the same date (August 10 2011) with the EPO, but was not related to the aesthetic design of this handset.

So while it’s possible that Nokia may yet release a new device just like the one shown above, it’s equally plausible that the company simply filed the patent to protect its intellectual property and ensure that the design didn’t end up being plagiarised by one of its rivals. Given the design direction that HTC chose with its recently announced Windows Phone 8S, that might not have been such a bad idea…

Source and patent imagery: USPTO / NokiaPowerUser.com 
Stills captured from video uploaded by WMExperts (credited to WPCentral)

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22 Comments

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wow! i love how slim it is! that's easily the most appealing to me Nokia phone since 8800.

It's been a long time since I liked anything from Nokia actually. imho their all-time best phone is 8850/8890 and it's amazing to see Nokia going back to its roots so to speak because 8850/8890 too was the slimmest phone at its time...yet, it was a beast in a cute, miniature and extremely durable package.

I hope that this new Lumia's aluminum stripe is not just a decorative feature, but a component for reinforcement.

It looks like every other phone on the market. They're all looking like each other with little differentiation. How in the **** can you patent that?

Nokia need to do something to get Windows Phone selling but this does not look like the design that will do anything positive.

nice!
been wondering what Lumia i'll pickup...the 920 is tempting but its going to take alot for me to change from my iphone 4S which does everything i need (and yes I have used Android AND windows phone 7.5.

The design isnt too similar actually. The Nokia one was more curved/rounded corners as compared to the HTC. It's really the bottom part of the phone that is similar. I think HTC might be safe if there is a lawsuit.

As long as Nokia doesn't enter Apple-mode then I'm willing to look away and point my fingers at the patent laws and offices instead.

I don't get those design patents honestly. In my opinion if more than 80% of the front of the device is a damn screen, you shouldn't be able to patent anything past your logo maybe... Sounds just like Apple's patent for rectangular design with rounded corners....

Obry said,
I don't get those design patents honestly. In my opinion if more than 80% of the front of the device is a damn screen, you shouldn't be able to patent anything past your logo maybe... Sounds just like Apple's patent for rectangular design with rounded corners....

Totally agree, Seems that large companies can patent anything nowadays. Would they accept that patent from a small organisation? I doubt it!

technikal said,
draw a few rectangles and patent it?

oh america.


NokiaPowerUser claimed that the patent was also approved by the European Patent Office

Care to take that back?