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

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.