Feeds

Ready for ANOTHER patent war? Apple 'invents' wireless charging

Wait, it's already a thing? Sorry, can't hear you over the sound of our lawyers

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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 metre, 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.

The alliance - of which chip biz Qualcomm and Apple rival Samsung are members - reckons distance charging is its unique selling point, allowing gadgets to top up battery power from inside a pocket or as one walks around an office. It's an argument so compelling that the competing Consortium for Wireless Power promptly extended its standard to encompass the same idea.

Is it a bird, is it GCSE electronics?
No, it's part of Apple's patent application

Apple's patent application was filed in November 2010, before the alliance was established, but well after tech startup WiPower applied for its patent on the very concept of wireless charging in 2008. WiPower was acquired by Qualcomm and its patents are the bedrock of the alliance's standard, along with some intellectual property from Samsung.

Meanwhile, the patents behind the Consortium for Wireless Power's technology are up for grabs: Alticor, which only developed the technology so that its subsidiary Amway could flog wireless water filters, is open to offers for eCoupled, the company that owns the protected designs. Perhaps Apple should be giving them a call.

And don't forget the Nokia Lumia 920, like a few other handsets already out there, already do wireless charging.

Regardless of who ends up with eCoupled, the world ought to brace itself for another epic patent battle - although not quite yet: the public is still very unsure it wants wireless charging and the technology isn't built into enough coffee shops, airport lounges and car dashboards to gain a critical mass of popularity, but it should give the lawyers plenty of business by the time the current disputes fizzle out. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.