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Patents Power Apple

Apple Patents Wireless Charging 253

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the puts-the-cancer-right-in-your-ear dept.
GabriellaKat writes "Via El Reg: 'Apple is trying to patent wireless charging, claiming its magnetic resonance tech is new and that it can do it better than anyone else. This would be cool if its assertions were true. Apple's application, numbered 20120303980, makes much of its ability to charge a device over the air at a distance of up to a meter, rather than requiring close proximity. The Alliance For Wireless Power, which also touts long-range juicing, will no doubt be comparing Apple's designs to its own blueprints.'"
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Apple Patents Wireless Charging

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  • Re:Worlds Gone Mad (Score:4, Informative)

    by Issarlk (1429361) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @06:07AM (#42177357)
    Your point being?
  • Re:Worlds Gone Mad (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dupple (1016592) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @06:57AM (#42177571)

    Really doesn't matter when the application was made. It still hasn't been granted.

    WiPower got a patent on this stuff that's unpatentable back in 2008

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=8,169,185&OS=8,169,185&RS=8,169,185 [uspto.gov]

    Surely there was enough prior art for that patent to be questionable as well

  • Re:Crystal Radio (Score:2, Informative)

    by wvmarle (1070040) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @07:02AM (#42177585)

    Are there any AC's with an IQ above 50? This is probably the stupidest comment that I have seen here. If you have no clue whatsoever on how patents work, refrain from making these comments. Not all claims have to be unique and innovative, they just describe the complete working and outline of a device.

  • Re:Worlds Gone Mad (Score:5, Informative)

    by louic (1841824) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @07:03AM (#42177593)
    Resonant wireless energy transfer was published in Science in 2007 http://www.sciencemag.org/content/317/5834/83.abstract?sid=135a98e9-4946-4b04-ab80-9dab0d9b5bd3 [sciencemag.org]
  • Re:120 years late? (Score:5, Informative)

    by michael_rendier (2601249) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @07:28AM (#42177699) Homepage
    Tesla's main secret with most of his work was harmonic resonance. The Tesla coil is a resonant coil, and his studies were clear that resonance would increase the distance that wireless transmissions could occur. One of his experiments used this very concept, and caused some damage to a power plant in Colorado Springs...resonating and amplifying the electricity collected from the earth moving through it's own atmosphere and discharging it into the ground in such quantities that it burned out a dynamo at the local power plant... http://www.pbs.org/tesla/ll/ll_colspr.html [pbs.org]
  • Re:120 years late? (Score:3, Informative)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @07:35AM (#42177731) Journal

    Please explain exactly how Tesla's invention is covered by the claims in this patent.

    No. Really, every so often a patent comes up in my area of expertise where I think "hmm that sounds interesting or realy basic", and I take the effort to plough through. An example being google's ridiculous unlocking using face recognition patent. After ploughing through some very obfuscated and incredibly turgid language (I posted a point by point rebuttal on /. about that one) I find that my suspicions are confirmed and the patent is stupid, obvious and not even remotely new using even the most generous interpretation possible.

    I know a fair bit about electrical and electronic engineering, but not enough to make ploughing though the patent anything other than exceptionally time consuming.

    Given the general ridiculousness of patents, the propensity of large companies like Apple (by no means the only offender, but the one in question in this case) to submit patent applications on trivial things, and the VERY long history of wireless energy transfer at this point, I feel that the default position is that the patent should have never been awarded or even applied for and the onus is on anyone else claiming otherwise.

    That would be enlightening.

    Possibly, but if you've ever read a patent, they are usually anything but :)

  • Re:Crystal Radio (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @07:59AM (#42177833)

    Have you ever filed a patent? Each individual claim MUST be novel (unique) and not be obvious.

    In this case, they slapped two aspects together in one claim, which I suppose does make that claim unique (combination of tuned energy coupling, and reverse comms channel by RF load). But is it non-obvious? Marconi himself observed that variations in the receiver could be observed at the transmitter, To any person versed in the field, this would qualify the combination of the two as 'obvious' and hence invalid.

    And yes, I have filed patents (but only in semiconductor physics), and I have built RF powered bidirectional comms devices. And I also 'discovered' that tuning the coils improved energy transfer. And I also detuned the receiver to communicate back to the transmitter. But did I file a patent on it? NO. Why not? Because there was nothing novel in what I did. (And believe me - the university's IP people would have definitely required that I file, if even one person at the department thought it was in any way patentable.

  • Re:Worlds Gone Mad (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @08:50AM (#42178049)

    How are they going to sue Nikola Tesla? Cad of a man, inventing the whole damned concept 100 years ago.

  • Re:Worlds Gone Mad (Score:2, Informative)

    by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus.slash ... m ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @10:37AM (#42178817) Homepage Journal

    That could work [newscientist.com], though having a patent as prior art might make it easy enough top find that even a patent clerk can.

    FUD. That wasn't a patent as we understand them. Australia implemented a registration-only system a few years back. There's no examination and no presumption of validity or novelty. All you get is a filing date.

  • by Kergan (780543) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @10:45AM (#42178915)

    It seems to me that the actual claims [uspto.gov] and subsequent description are on (1) a method to wirelessly charge devices, with one device serving as secondary power source source for another device if needed, and with devices up to a meter away from the primary and secondary power sources; (2) a method that improves the efficiency of charging high capacity batteries as a bonus from the circuit needed to do (1); and (3) using (1) and (2) to charge a mouse and keyboard (explicit in the claims). Evidently, (1) and (2) could also be used to charge phones and tablets in an office environment too.

    At any rate, I merely scanned the patent, but contrary to what TFS and TFA suggest, Apple didn't patent wireless charging, or even long range wireless charging. What Apple patented is cooperative and efficient wireless charging of a network of devices; in particular of peripherals located on a desk. I presume that plenty of researchers are working on the same kind of stuff, but assuming it hadn't been done yet, nobody can argue with a straight face that this patent is without merits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @10:54AM (#42179017)

    Nothing is stopping you from loading up any video file you want on your iPad, assuming the video file you want can be played by it. It isn't the device locking you in but the seller of the media.

  • by DeadCatX2 (950953) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @12:34PM (#42180375) Journal

    Let's say you wanted to use Bluetooth to talk to an iPod or an iPad. You'd think you could just buy a Bluetooth module from, say, Roving Networks - say, the RN-42 [rovingnetworks.com], and then connect it to your PIC/Arduino and start sending Hello World, right?

    WRONG!

    Apple has not only extended Bluetooth to require a special iAP authentication chip [rovingnetworks.com], but they have a special licensing program called MFi [apple.com].

    Okay, you say, so maybe this is like USB, you pay a few grand and get a VID and then go about your business.

    WRONG!

    The requirements surrounding MFi are ridiculous. For example [apple.com], Apple will run a credit check on your company. If you are not a high-volume manufacturing company, then you're stuck with only the development license, and you will have to outsource your manufacturing. A development license is required even if you want to design an in-house app. Hobbyists need not apply - you cannot even get the development license if you want to design something for personal use. Oh, and you need to sign an NDA before they will tell you the royalty rates.

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