The guys from Cupertino have been busy with patents lately, and today we have one more to report on. It appears that Apple has filed for a patent regarding wireless charging. Yes, a feature we enjoy in our Nexus 4, the new Nokia Lumia, and multiple other devices. Better hide those Nexus 4’s before it’s too late. The patent is based around wireless charging technology using magnetic resonance — something that’s been around for some time. More details after the break.

I can see the clouds already starting to appear over this patent, and hopefully it gets rained on before we see any lawsuits stem from this one. Apple’s patent application, number 20120303980, outlines its magnetic resonance charging technology. The difference here over what we already know and use today (like the Nexus 4) is their patent allows for truly wireless charging. Magic from as far as 1 meter away. Instead of placing the iDevice on the mat, it can just be near it.

Imagine charging your phone all night sitting on your bed, with no wires or setting it on a platform — Just sitting by your pillow. That’s where this is going. Sadly this technology isn’t anything new either. Even though Apple’s patent details a wireless technology that doesn’t require any form of contact, they aren’t the only company that has been working on wireless charging technology from a distance.

Apparently Apple filed for the patent in November of 2010, so this is certainly nothing new. Interestingly enough, a company called WiPower patented wireless charging as a whole back in 2008. So the difference here remains to be seen. WiPower was later acquired by Qualcomm and formed into The Alliance For Wireless Power along with multiple patents and intellectual property from Samsung. Wireless charging hasn’t really taken off as much as many thought. With Nokia offering it today, LG’s Nexus 4, and even the new HTC DROID DNA all having the capability, they all require a mat for charging. Being able to truly do this from 3.2 feet away from the charging system would be an awesome feature I’d love to have on my current smartphone and tablets.

This truly wireless charging technology is already available today in some forms, so it will be interesting to see more on Apple’s specific patent and if they have enough to gain approval.

[via SlashGear]

  • Ken Bosse

    we all know they have enough money to gain approval

  • This will demonstrate how bad the patent system has become. Apple will get the patent despite the technology already existing (prior art). They will then sue everyone who is already using the technology. I even bet there is already a patent out there for this very technology but it will still get passed.

  • Samuelj

    apple bribing the patent system again :/

  • DJ_suMo8

    Fék apple

  • Apple is getting on my nerve..

  • Jei Arc

    i think whoever is the examiner that will get this case can find 20090271048, also you people need to have a little faith in the system. And we all know that attorneys will bend over backwards to try and add miniscule details to get the case allowed. just my opinion.

    Also attorneys will attempt to get the case in a different art unit so that people not familiar with the art get the case and thus attempt to manipulate the system.

  • And they’ll just sit on it for decades, only using it for suing purposes.

  • I’m sure it’s a very specific method which android is currently not using to charge devices such that Google or Samsung/LG doesn’t care to take legal action against it, I personally think the whole Apple patenting has been dramatized beyond control.

  • Walkop

    WiTricity seems to be the most promising source for Wireless Charging that I’ve seen, and they’ve been working on it for YEARS now. Also, the fact taht Apple only filed for this patent RIGHT after Google released the Nexus 4 with inductive wireless charging is telling – its just to spite them.

  • Walkop

    CORRECTION: WiTricity ALREADY has technology for sale which allows wireless charging at a distance using magnetic resonance. Check out their website; they have developer kits.

  • Zeimos4387

    Samsung Galaxy S3 already has this ability. I dont know if they patented the idea or not, though.

  • AngusPearson

    They probably haven’t even made truly wireless charging, they’re just patenting it now so they can sue anyone who actually invents it later. iTwats.

  • Seth Kuhlman

    How the heck can they patent existing technology that their devices don’t even use yet?? I’m sick of this, I want Apple to burn…

  • Bob

    I’m sorry, how is this a demonstration of the “messed up” patent system?
    If the technology already exists and if someone else already has the patent, then Apple won’t get the patent, end of story.
    If the patent doesn’t exist and Apple has the technology to actually do it, then they get the patent, as far as I’m understanding. How is that wrong? Is it just because they’re Apple?
    While I agree that something as trivial as square icons is something that shouldn’t be patented, wireless, contactless charging seems like it might be a pretty significant technology, and the person/company who invents it and actually makes it WORK deserves the patent, be it Apple, Wipower, or you.

  • Ray

    USPTO has become like eBay. Highest bidder wins the patent.

  • Ray

    It doesn’t matter what Apple files. They can hold all the patents they want. Their product popularity is dropping at an all-time high. Look at what happened to their inflated stocks, which were based purely on speculation. Dropped like a bad habit.