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Apple Granted Another Patent Despite Clear Evidence of Prior Art

by on27 June 2012 2249 times

14621rotten_appleWow our patent system is truly messed up in the US. It seems that the US Patent office again has granted a patent to Apple despite CLEAR EVIDENCE of existing prior art. What is going on in that office? The patent that was uncovered today is patent number 8,207,906 and on the surface covers a docking station that provides wireless charging AND a reradiative antenna for boosting wireless signals. However the last line of the patent application makes it clear that Apple is looking to other items. “In other examples, passive coupling is used to charge a rechargeable battery in the handheld device”

Now unless I am wrong Powermatt has patents relating to inductvie charging that preexist the Apple patent (granted back in 2010 before the “first to file law took effect”). There are also a few others that not only have patents on the type of charging that Apple is talking about, but also have existing products on the market right now.

The question now remains, how did this patent get granted at all? We have a feeling that the USPO did not do any due diligence on this one to see if there is any prior art to cover all or part of the patent granted. Apple also would have been aware of this and should have not included the inductive charging circuits in their patent application, but in typical Apple fashion they plowed on and were given their usual nod from the patent office without any checking. Now some might argue that since the patent was filed in 2008 it was before the patent granted to Powermatt and others so there is no harm here.
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The problem again is that it was not until 2011 that the laws changed from first to invent to first to file. This means that even if Apple’s filing was before the other inductive charging patents (which it was not in many cases) the Apple has yet to actually create this device. It was and still is a concept patent. Powermatt and others have actual products on the market and for general sale using this technology.

Today is really shaping up to be a day that truly shows just how broken our patent system is. Once again Apple has been given a patent for someone else’s invention. Yet this is another patent “win” that will be used to bolster Apple’s Mythology of how they are great innovators.

 

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Last modified on 27 June 2012
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