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Apple patent application  (Source: Apple Insider)

Apple patent application  (Source: Apple Insider)
Apple is looking to create, lighter, more efficient devices using fuel cells

Apple is interested in making fuel cell-powered mobile devices, according to Apple patent applications published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

According to two published Apple patent applications, called "Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device" and "Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device," Apple is looking to build lighter and smaller mobile devices like MacBooks (Air, Pro) by replacing current batteries with a fuel cell system.

This may not come as a surprise to many, since Apple has filed other patent applications for lighter hydrogen fuel cells. Those patents, which were brought to light this past October, described a building process where multiple fuel cells are connected by a power bus in a parallel pattern, and a voltage-multiplying circuit is added for additional voltage to the stack.

Now, Apple hopes to utilize these lighter, more efficient fuel cells in its mobile products in an effort to promote renewable energy sources and offer devices with the ability to run for days or even weeks without refueling, according to the patent applications. The devices will also be lighter and less bulky due to the lack of traditional batteries.

The first patent application, "Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device," states Apple's case for wanting to use fuel cell technology in their devices. While current fuel cell technology for mobile products requires the user to carry a fuel cartridge for recharging purposes, Apple wants to integrate fuel cells right into their electronics.

The second patent application, "Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device," describes how the fuel cell system would work with a rechargeable battery where one would power the other when necessary, and vice versa.

"This eliminates the need for a bulky and heavy battery within the fuel system, which can significantly reduce the size, weight, and cost of the fuel system," said the second patent application. "This fuel system includes a fuel stack cell which converts fuel into electrical power. It also includes a controller which controls operation of the fuel cell system."

One challenge will be creating a hydrogen fuel cell system that is cost-effective, according to Apple.

Both patents were filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2010.

Sources: CNET, Apple Insider



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Not the first.. again..
By nocturne_81 on 12/24/2011 5:13:15 AM , Rating: 2
Using an existing technology, in an existing method.. getting tired of this garbage.

Don't blame the USPTO, though.. Our congresspeople dictated the laws under which they operate, and they have no ability to actually research or enforce patents.

I actually came up with (what I thought was) a great idea years back.. I contacted a lawyer friend who referred me to a patent attorney, who basically said they'd take a $8k check and would take care of everything. Now, it's the lawyers job to then do a patent search, to make sure there is no prior conflicting patents, after which they can submit the patent application stating that they have done all the necessary research. In my case, my lawyer actually advised me that my idea was already explicitly patented, but stated that they could file the patent regardless as the USPTO doesn't actually check anything on their own -- they just take the filers word for it. My attorney even outright told me that he'd fight on my behalf to undo the work of the original filer, as long as he got paid of course.

In the end, I cut my losses and lost my retainer in exchange for absolutely nothing -- though, maybe I should have stuck it out by the sound of it.




RE: Not the first.. again..
By topkill on 12/26/2011 9:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that disgusting? I'm glad you chose the "high road", but our species seems to be full of bottom-feeders who would have pursued the patent.


"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen














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