LG seems to be developing a wide range of new AI-powered robots and assistants, as revealed by a number of trademark applications filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) this week.
Specifically, a total of six “Bot” related trademarks have been filed with EUIPO on March 6 - the MentoBot, MateBot, GestureBot, CamBot, SocialBot, and CareBot. Interestingly, CareBot sounds an awful lot like Samsung’s Bot Care showcased at CES 2019 in January, and Bot Care itself looked very similar to LG’s CLOi AI robot unveiled a little over a year ago at CES 2018.
All of these trademark applications are filed under classifications 7, 9, and 11, which cover a wide range of potential uses, from “robot for household purposes” to “robots for industrial use,” “digital sensory devices,” “application software for robot,” “security surveillance robots,” “light emitting diodes (LED) lamps” and so on.
Aside from these six applications, LG also filed to trademark the names “SNOWWHITE” and “Display Speaker.” The latter is filed under classification 9 and should be self-explanatory. It’s likely a(nother) smart speaker featuring a display and AI features.
SNOWWHITE, on the other hand, can be a number of things. It fits in classifications for “vacuum cleaners for household purposes” and presumably it could be a Rumba-like vacuum cleaner. On the other hand, the moniker is also classified under “software for ice-cream makers,” “powders for making ice cream” and other products related to ice cream.
In a way, the “SNOWWHITE” moniker fits both of these descriptions. But realistically, it’s likelier that the trademark targets some form of vacuum cleaner for household purposes. That is unless LG wants to create a smart robot capable of making ice cream, which would be interesting to see, admittedly, and not entirely impossible given its fair market share in the kitchen appliances segment.
LG is already deeply involved in the AI-driven robot market, and last year the OEM announced a partnership with Korean retail outlet E-mart Inc. for the development of AI-driven robots that can double as smart shopping carts.
The LG CLOi AI platform already includes products like the CLOi Home and CLOi LawnBot designed for households, as well as several business solutions including GuideBot, CleanBot, PorterBot, ServeBot, and CartBot.
Each of these robots specializes in specific tasks denoted by their names, so by following this same philosophy, it’s relatively clear what purposes some of the newly-trademarked monikers might have. CamBot could be a security surveillance robot, SocialBot could be focused on human interaction, and Care Bot could be designed for health care. On the other hand, it’s not entirely clear what functions MentoBot, MateBot, or GestureBot might serve.
As usual with these types of trademark applications, there’s no guarantee that each moniker will end up being used for an end product and it could be that LG simply wanted to secure these names in case it might have a use for them in the future. But the various name tags at least indicate that they are each meant for different applications and LG isn’t attempting to secure potential names for a single product which may or may not be in development. Rather, the applications suggest that LG will continue its involvement in the AI-driven robot market, and new additions to the OEM's lineup could make an official appearance this year.