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back to article Ready for ANOTHER patent war? Apple 'invents' wireless charging

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 …

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Meh

Thank God, I thought the world had ended over the last few weeks or that I'd been cryogenically frozen.....

Apple are back in the news with patents.... I'm alive.

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Trollface

Its ok Lars

Just wait until Apple patent the DeLorean, the Flux capacitor and time travel. They have taken note of your comment and are currently hard at "work" in the "R&D" department so they can rectify this issue.

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Re: Its ok Lars

I already saw prior art for that in 1955 ;)

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Prior art?

I think Nikola Tesla may have a few things to say on applying power at a distance wirelessly..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Prior art?

Think it up first then patent it without actually having built it, in the hope that technology advances far enough to make it happen... In the next 50 years.

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Re: Prior art?

> "Think it up first then patent it without actually having built it, in the hope that technology advances far enough to make it happen... In the next 50 years."

Which is precisely what Tesla did not do, he built cool stuff without bothering too much with patents. Too bad his ideas still were decades ahead of the time. See http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla

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Re: Prior art?

Indeed. I believe he demonstrated this at 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

He certainly experimented with wireless power transmission at Colorado Springs in 1899.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Prior art?

I played around with this stuff when I was a kid and got a sound thrashing from my dad for completely buggering up any radio and TV reception in the vicinity :).

Ah, those were the days..

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Re: Prior art?

Apple should employ Eric Dollard - he has an amazing grasp of Tesla wireless technology:

http://www.indiegogo.com/ericdollard

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JDX
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Re: Prior art?

That someone demonstrated wireless power transfer does not mean a specific implementation is not patentable. For instance you might use directional beaming based on tracking the device location, to greatly improve the maximum charging distance.

The article title is deliberately misleading, this is nothing like what Nokia are doing - for once this sounds like a proper patentable idea and the issue is with the specific other company named.

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Go

Re: Nikola Tesla?

Surely you mean the greatest scientist that ever lived?

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Boffin

Re: Prior art?

"That someone demonstrated wireless power transfer does not mean a specific implementation is not patentable"

No, but it does mean a lot of the applications become "obvious" and therefore not patentable. In theory.

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Stop

Re: Prior art?

The new bit you add to prior art to create a new patent must be more than just "neat" or "handy": the new bit must itself be *inventive* and "not obvious to anyone skilled in the art".

The seperate issue of patenting things you haven't (or as yet can't) make is yet another hole in IP law. But let's face it: IP law is starting to push the "collander" comparison further than you'd want a collander to go.

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Pint

Re: Nikola Tesla?

Certainly one of the greatest practical scientists, even though he was as mad as box of frogs.

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Re: Prior art?

In side the minds of Apple patent trolls.

"Nothing exists until it does, and then by the act of simply existing we at Apple must have invented it!"

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No - he demonstated a couple of Tesla coils and claimed he was working on wireless transmission.

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Trollface

Re: Prior art?

But did he "applying power at a distance wirelessly - on a mobile device"?

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Re: Prior art?

'But did he "applying power at a distance wirelessly - on a mobile device"?'

There are photos of Tesla holding lightbulbs that are lit without having wires attached so it depends on your definition of a mobile device.

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Joke

Re: Prior art?

Tesla coil, bitches!

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Happy

Re: Tesla coil, bitches!

No that would be Facebook.

If Yahoo, it would be Tesla! coil!

But today it is iTeslacoil

Or perhaps pr-iOr art.

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Re: Prior art?

They weren't decades ahead of their time. They just didn't work very well. The ionosphere hasn;t become any more reflective nor the ground plane more conductive since his experiments failed.

I do wish people would stop worshipping Tesla for the wackjob stuff he played around with late in his cereer. The stuff he did earlier is just as interesting, and actually works.

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Re: Nikola Tesla?

James Clerk Maxwell was far more important for electromagnetism and fights it out with Einstein, Newton and Darwin for Big Daddy Scientist Of All Time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Prior art?

Whilst completely true about Tesla, this has never stopped large companies like Apple from patenting the obvious and in a way that obviscates it so the lamentable patent clerks will just tick it thru to approval.

Give it a few years and they will probably patent time travel as a means to obtain patents!

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Re: Prior art?

re: Spurious tacking on of "on a mobile device". I'm getting pretty sick of this. From now on when Apple come up with a "new" patent for something "on a mobile device", I'm going to run their patent through this page and rush down to the patent office so I can patent the new invention "on a mobile device - in bed!"

In fact, I''d love to filter Reg Comments through the same script (just to preserve some slim semblance of sanity in the world) but it appears that it doesn't support entering URLs any more.

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Holmes

Re: Prior art?

But it does... see a patent needs to be unique inventive and non-obvious.

Once Tesla showed this off (for free) to everyone... ANY patents resulting from just simple mundane alterations of the the basic idea and technology are not INVENTIONS.. or if you want to calm that, they are certainly OBVIOUS ones. Its same thing with all these RETARDED internet inventions.

Say you have a process ....something like associating a name with a number in a filing cabinet....

Then the internet gets invented (Internet was new and worthy of maybe a few patents) just because you now associate a name with number on internet does not make it worthy of Patent!!!!

That's the part these trolls don't get, and that our governments don't understand..... Patents are not just because you got there first. All the finger gestures in the world will be figured out and used eventually by every company... NOW that touch screens are cheap and popular. CRAPPLE does not get to PATENT and own this technology just because they have the cash to file patents.

I propose we make a change in the law and when a company files a patent where it can be shown that a simple search would have shown the prior art, or where the invention on review is an obvious one... the loose the patent and get a fine for filling a frivolous patent..... these funds would then be used to review more similar frivolous patents.

Crapple and certainly all the patent trolls would be bankrupt in 2 years time.

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Boffin

Re: Prior art?

But did he "applying power at a distance wirelessly - on a mobile device"?

I'm fairly sure Tesla himself didn't, as iWhatever devices were a bit thin on the ground back then About as thin as common sense is at Apple's legal department. But let's test what he COULD have done.

/me wheels out a Tesla coil and positions it some distance from an iWhatever. What did the patent say, one meter?

*throws the switch* For SCIENCE

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Boffin

Re: Prior art?

@MacroRodent

If even half of that comic is correct...wow. Why the fuck was I learning about Edison in school?

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Re: Prior art?

But Apple's implementation works round corners ....

Yes, I went there.

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Re: Prior art?

'I think Nikola Tesla may have a few things to say on applying power at a distance wirelessly..'

I think Apple's lawyers may have a few things to say about Tesla stealing their idea using the dirty underhand tactic of thinking of it first.

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Re: Prior art?

If even half of that comic is correct...wow. Why the fuck was I learning about Edison in school?"

After a quick skim through it, yes, it's probably about half right.

The rest of it is ripped from urban myth and the character of Tesla in Sanctuary on the SciFi Channel ;-)

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Re: Nikola Tesla?

Depends on your standard. The impact on the average person from Darwin or Einstein is fairly small. The practical applications are a bit of medicine from Darwin, nuclear energy and GPS from Einstein. They were both of great academic importance, but it doesn't filter down to day-to-day life. Tesla, however, invented the electric grid - he turned what may be the single most important technology ever invented from a laboratory curiosity into the power source for almost every technological item and industrial process that would follow. Never mind the wireless power dabblings: Three-phase power and his improvements to generator, motor and transformer design were the big ones.

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Re: Nikola Tesla?

Einstein - stimulated emission - the laser - modern communications. Just one example of how easy it is time under-estimate impact.

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Re: Prior art?

Nikola Tesla and Maxwell are clearly infringing on Apple's proprietary technology!

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Anonymous Coward

If it works better than QI and has benefits such as smaller coils or lighter coils then it's a good thing. But I doubt Apple can improve something as simple as induction. If they could then AC transformers could be more efficient too.

It just shows how far behind Apple are now, even Nokia and Palm beat them to market with wireless charging. Palm were one of the first with their proprietary system and Nokia are one of the first to release a QI based phone.

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WTF?

"It just shows how far behind Apple are now"

Sorry, now? Apple have rarely been first to market with a technology; what they do best is innovate around the user interaction side of things to make a technology that's already been invented far more usable for the average punter. They do this by designing very usable UIs, and/or locking it down so it works seamlessly with other Apple products.

Wireless charging will only really work if it either becomes so cheap you can get one for each of your devices, or they finally come up with a standard so your charger will work with all your stuff. Granting Apple a patent in this area won't really help with either of those.

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agreed

... And yet amazingly it is the same company behind iTunes for Windows.

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Anonymous Coward

Retina displays were way ahead of the competition when introduced. They had Intel produce a special lower power processor for the first Macbook air, using a smaller process than the rest at the time.

iPhone 5 uses a thinner combined touchscreen display.

iPhone was the first to use Gorilla Glass, Steve Jobs was looking for some decent glass for the original iPhone and Corning found a design they had sitting on the shelf for decades.

There are many other examples, you can't say Apple hasn't been on the cutting edge at times.

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Anonymous Coward

"hey Intel, here's a fat check, gimme some of your first production run on the new process"

Innovation!

"hey Samsung, here's a fat check to help you build your next LCD fab"

Innovation!

"hey Corning, here's a fat check, gimme some of that Gorilla glass that you didn't need my help coming up with"

Innovation!

I'm off to Innovate myself some MP3's at Amazon.

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Anonymous Coward

"hey, turtlenecked engineering eunuchs, here's some fat stock options, design me a phone with bare metal antenna conductors that will short if you try to use the phone with a human hand"

Innovation!

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Anonymous Coward

'retina' wasn't cutting edge

OpenMoko had 295ppi on sale a month after the release of the first iPhone, and that was an off the shelf lcd even then. I suspect Apple were waiting for mobile CPU/GPUs that could render smoothly at that resolution before they brouht it to the mass market with a catchy name.

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Appl$

And people thought Microsoft were bad!

They need to pull their finger out and innovate rather than litigate.

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Joke

Re: Appl$

Should Appl$ not be Appl€

(yeah, wrong currency, but it does look better)

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Happy

Re: Appl$

How about ¢rapple?

But, given their profit margin, the dollar sign would still be more appropriate...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Appl$

Yeah ¢rapple how original - how about dumdroid next?

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Re: Appl$

^Not bad! Presumably you're referencing the city of Dum Dum, in Kolkata, India - unfortunately, that's actually a place! Not a currency! (FYI the currency is the Indian Rupee, which doesn't really work - "Rupeedroid" - see?)

Good effort though, keep trying!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Appl$

A₱₱L€

That's: Pesos, Lempira (Honduras), Euros

Or, if you like, with the Macedonian Denar: ден₱₱L€

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@Tony Rogerson

As much as I liked your post and wanted to upvote it, I have an automatic habit of downvoting anyone who throw currency symbols into company names (Microsoft often gets a dollar symbol for its S) or adding letters to drag down the name (prefixing Apple with a C).

Its a habit I'm not planning to change either.

I enjoy constructive criticism of companies, not childish name calling.

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Devil

Re: Appl$

Don't forget rip-off Britain!...

¢rA₱₱£€

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Joke

Re: @Tony Rogerson

Wize - then your a poo-poo head and you smell.

And get out of the playground....

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