Apple files applications for fuel cell battery patents

The idea of using fuel cells to power electronic devices is nothing new but it looks like Apple is interested enough in the concept to file not one but two patent applications for such a power source. AppleInsider reports that the patents, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, are titled "Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device" and "Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device."

In their patent applications, Apple states its believe that companies should strive to look for alternative energy sources. It states, "As a consequence of increased consumer awareness, electronics manufacturers have become very interested in renewable energy sources for their products, and they have been exploring a number of promising renewable energy sources such as hydrogen fuel which is used in hydrogen fuel cells."

The documents claim that using such fuel cells to power batteries could allow electronic devices such as notebooks to run "for days or even weeks without refueling." Apple's solution involves using a fuel cell that can both power a device such as a laptop as well as receive power from a rechargeable battery. Apple states, "This eliminates the need for a bulky and heavy battery within the fuel cell system, which can significantly reduce the size, weight and cost of the fuel cell system."

Filing for patents doesn't mean that Apple is actively developing such technology. However, the company is clearly thinking about making batteries that will last much longer than the few hours in normal everyday notebook use.

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Okay I file a patent on Vagueness of Marketable Patents. Now Apple You must pay... (just kidding) though Why are they even letting this patent go through without a working model... If they could produce one with their "so called" new technology then I would be glad to accept this new patent.

How can they allow such an open description. The only thing holding back innovation is the bloody American patent system.

I think something such as "fuel cell coupled to..." type of patent should be illegal as it promotes raising the cost of energy. If they have proprietary tech, ok. An idea such as patenting more efficient battery tech coupled to electronic devices is ridiculous and if granted guarantees we will all pay more for fuelcellphones as any manufacturer now has to pay apple to do it.

How can they patent this, I remember seeing a fuel cell for a laptop that looked and functioned exactly like a normal laptop battery in the last 5 years.
Run time was obviously pretty poor given the technology of the time but still all you needed to do iirc was a fluid which I think was alcohol to "top it up"
So where is the room to patent in technology

Hydrogen fuel cells are a pipe dream since you need expanded electricity generation to power them in the first place. Since we as a society have decided that burning coal, oil, gas, nuclear is no good how will we generate H fuel cells?

IBM/Lenovo showed off prototypes when they developed laptops that had batteries that lasted hours on a single charge. When you show off something like that it shows innovation. I have nothing against Apple but they starting to come off as patent horders.

Apple files patent related to specific techniques for integrating fuel cell technology in combination with a standard battery in a specific way.

Neowin response: "Apple patents fuel cells!"

Stetson said,
Apple files patent related to specific techniques for integrating fuel cell technology in combination with a standard battery in a specific way.

Neowin response: "Apple patents fuel cells!"

What specific way? Another proprietary connector maybe? The specifics about batteries - positive voltage goes out, negative goes back in and that's the long and short of it.
Seriously, what did you expect after all this year's patent trading and trolling kaboodle from a company that managed to patent a rounded rectangle?

cralias said,

What specific way? Another proprietary connector maybe? The specifics about batteries - positive voltage goes out, negative goes back in and that's the long and short of it.
Seriously, what did you expect after all this year's patent trading and trolling kaboodle from a company that managed to patent a rounded rectangle?

Seriously, Apple managed to patent a rounded rectangle! Will you please provide proof?

trollonknoll said,

Seriously, Apple managed to patent a rounded rectangle! Will you please provide proof?

Apple has had filed a ligitation against Samsung about something so obscure as the "look and feel", which I, in my devil-may-care fashion, can only define as a rounded rectangle. Some parts involved patents. Even if they didn't, the overall factor of ridiculousness (in some sources conveniently represented with φ) is infinity minus one. Is sarcasm not well received on Betelgeise?

cralias said,

Apple has had filed a ligitation against Samsung about something so obscure as the "look and feel", which I, in my devil-may-care fashion, can only define as a rounded rectangle. Some parts involved patents. Even if they didn't, the overall factor of ridiculousness (in some sources conveniently represented with φ) is infinity minus one. Is sarcasm not well received on Betelgeise?

Trade dress not patent! I wouldn't mind sarcasm but incorrect information.

Given how Apple work next week they'll be claiming to have invented batteries all together and everyone else will be left using chargers. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK It's the battery police this is a raid!

University of California already holds that patent which is used in the Space Station--- though I am sure I am sure because it is Apple they will forget that and give them a patent.


Apple trolls should patent themselves as a new meaning to patently obvious.

[..]companies should strive to look for alternative energy sources

...so we can sue them (omitted text)

Or go look for energy sources alternative to what we patent.

My wish for this Christmas - this patent denied. If anything, Toshiba Dynario already provides cell phone charging using methanol. And I seem to recall a pritotype of a phone where a similar cell was built in.

Regarding hydrogen - Hindenburg. Period.

isnt there allready loads of portable rechargeable battery pacls , including sun powered ones?? Or does apple ignore whats out there allready and copy and release it later and say call it the "iPack, rechargeable innovation in your hands!small thin rechargeable . only with iPack"
What happens to the current onesout there or this thing completely different?

Reading through the patent, it is nothing more than an external battery. What they are trying to patent is simply the interconnect, not the technology of the power generation/storage. Nothing new, we've had this for years.

PotatoJ said,
Obviously Apple is more innovative because they filed for the patent. That's how patents work right?? Ahhh innovation.

I know, its BS. I want to see prototypes dammit!!! PROOF OF CONCEPT!!! Okay, I've raged enough.

PotatoJ said,
Obviously Apple is more innovative because they filed for the patent. That's how patents work right?? Ahhh innovation.

Apple actually has more that a few fuel cell related patents along with other alternative power patents.

PotatoJ said,
Obviously Apple is more innovative because they filed for the patent. That's how patents work right?? Ahhh innovation.

And because its apple, they don't need proof of concept, or working models, just the "idea".

sexypepperoni said,
Apple, always ahead of the electronic revolution. Samsung and others, please don't copy so blatantly this time.

Toshiba actually had a working prototype a few years ago. Prior art anyone?

Phalanger said,

Toshiba actually had a working prototype a few years ago. Prior art anyone?

They had more than a prototype, they actually made them, I don't think they where sold outside of Japan however due to cost. The one that I saw used methanol and the fuel cell was designed to keep mobile devices charged.