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

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Chumps stump up $1 MEELLLION for watch that doesn't exist
By the way, I have a really nice bridge you might like...
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.