On September 29, 2020, LG received a design patent for a triple screen foldable phone. The patent is U.S. D897,302. Below are reproduced Figs. 9 and 10:

Figs. 9 and 10 from U.S. D897,302

The patented triple screen foldable phone has a folded configuration in which there is only a single screen providing a fairly conventional look and feel. A user, however, can unfold the device to display two screens. Further unfolding, as illustrated in Fig. 9, reveals the third screen. Essentially, you can turn your phone into a tablet. Say goodbye to the age of tablets!

LG is currently advertising a dual screen folding phone, named LG G8X ThinQ™ Dual Screen. The dual screen phone is pretty neat, but it looks obsolete in view of the patented triple screen foldable phone. However, I have not seen any advertisements for the triple screen foldable phone. As a result, you may have to live with the obsolete looking dual screen device for sometime longer.

As a result of LG securing a design patent, LG now has a 15-year monopoly on the design depicted in the patent. LG’s patent rights exclude competitors from making, selling, using, offering to sell, and importing a device that has a substantially same design as the device depicted in LG’s design patent. That being said, competitors are not excluded from making, selling, using, offering to sell, and importing a device that is not substantially the same as LG’s patented design.

Interestingly, there is a “trifold” prototype from TCL. The device folds in generally the same manner as the patented design. While there are some distinctions, I wouldn’t be surprised if LG takes legal action based on its issued patent.