Apple patent points to advanced antenna for notebooks, tablets

Apple patent points to advanced antenna for notebooks, tablets

Summary: Apple this week was granted a number of patents, including one for an extendable antenna system that could be used in MacBook notebooks or future iPads.

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Apple this week was granted a number of patents, including one for an extendable antenna system that could be used in MacBook notebooks or future iPads.

Detailed in a post on the Patently Apple site, the patent calls for removable or extendable antennas located on the side of a notebook display.  While shown on a notebook, the architecture could be applied to a tablet.

The antenna structure may be physically but removably coupled to the MacBook so as to allow the antenna structure to be removed without damaging the antenna structure or MacBook. The coupling of antenna structure to the MacBook may facilitate easy replacement of the antenna structure and may facilitate break-away of the antenna structure when a force is applied that could otherwise damage the antenna structure.

In addition, the patent offers another example of Apple's interest in magnetic coupling, such as used in the Mag Safe power adapter, and in the magnetic array introduced with the new iPad 2 Smart Cover. In the patent, magnets would hold the antenna in place.

The stowed position of the antenna structure may improve the visual appearance of the MacBook. For example, when the antenna structure is in the stowed position, the antenna structure may blend in with the surrounding portions of the MacBook and thereby reduce visual clutter. In the stowed position, the antenna structure is also generally less vulnerable to accidental detachment.

In another post, Patently Apple said that the Smart Cover introduced in the iPad 2 could be outfitted with a solar panel. According to the site, Apple has been considering adding this feature for a few years.

Topics: Legal, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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27 comments
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  • Is this an invention?

    Well it's not for a removable antenna is it? It's for the snap catch on the antenna, either using magnets or metal clips.

    So this is a combo patent, take two things, stick them together and call it an invention.

    e.g. I will patent printing of auto translated pages.... now show me a patent that covers this... no patent? Then it must be an invention. Well at least in the bizarro land of USPTO.
    guihombre
    • RE: Apple patent points to advanced antenna for notebooks, tablets

      @guihombre That's what most inventions ARE, you idiot. Very few inventions for which patents are applied for are new things sprung like Athena from the head of Zeus. The vast majority are improvements to existing systems, or combining two or more existing systems in ways not yet thought of. If you were the first person to apply for a patent for printing of auto-translated pages, then you deserve it, unless other people can show that it was being done all the while.
      ssaha
      • In 2001 the consumer products safety commision announced

        @ssaha
        [i][b]The new "break-away" power cord is held to the deep fryer by a magnet.[/b]

        "This is the kind of creative product safety innovation we like to see," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown.[/i]

        Then in Dec. 2007 Apple patents the MagSafe "connector for electronics devices".

        Now I imagine that since an electric car in neither an electronics device or a deep fryer, I can patent a magnetic connector for that?
        John Zern
      • It's a racket. wink wink. Everybody knows it.

        @ssaha
        Maybe during the time of Thomas Edison, who put in a great deal of effort during a time when innovation and the number of engineers were relatively rare compared to now, patents have been a great incentive.

        Now, there has been an exponential growth of scientists and engineers since Thomas Edison's time. And, now the patent system is used for user interfaces (one-click purchase), a simple design clasp, or other such simplistic nonsense.

        And as the patent system progresses, instead of raising the bar for invention and novelty, it is lowered for the sake of inhibiting competition, and shaking down those with a less legal resources.

        The patent system is now abused, where creative, "patent lawyerish," lugubrious wordiness, makes the case for novelty.

        It's now a racket.
        voltrarian
    • RE: Apple patent points to advanced antenna for notebooks, tablets

      @guihombre The magnetic cover by Apple was a clever innovation. The concept of a cover that's a solar charger is even better. The antenna idea seems logical to overcome the bad press of antennagate. At least Apple is successfully pushing the advancement of technology. The tablet is a testament to that, I give credit to Apple for believing in something and taking the risk, while all the other great companies stood back and watched, expecting them to fall. Go Apple!
      Johnny Gage
  • RE: Apple patent points to advanced antenna for notebooks, tablets

    Wikipedia sums it up: The patent laws usually require that, in order for an invention to be patentable, it must

    be of patentable subject matter, ie a kind of subject-matter that is eligible for patent protection,
    be novel (i.e. at least some aspect of it must be new),
    be non-obvious (in United States patent law) or involve an inventive step (in European patent law); and
    be useful (in U.S. patent law) or be susceptible of industrial application (in European patent law[1]).
    tomtermini@...
    • And in USPTO bizzaro land

      Meanwhile in USPTO bizzaro land, none of those tests are done creating an opportunity for trolls and protectionism.

      And the proposed fix? Well they're proposing to formalize the USPTO's bad practices as patent law. Thus it's no longer bad practice.... it's patent law! Bizzaro...

      I wonder if they can see the damage they've done? It's right there in the tech import/export numbers. They've taken a world leading tech exporting country and turned it into an importer.
      guihombre
  • RE: Apple patent points to advanced antenna for notebooks, tablets

    The idea of an integrated solar panel on a notebook or tablet cover is a good one if the solar panel can be adequately protected. The problem is that a solar panel is more fragile than the notebook shell it is supposed to protect.
    jorjitop
    • RE: Apple patent points to advanced antenna for notebooks, tablets

      @jorjitop

      There are plenty of panels that are tough enough. If it can withstand golf-ball sized hail, being a laptop cover would be trivial.
      SlithyTove
    • RE: Apple patent points to advanced antenna for notebooks, tablets

      @jorjitop
      Trouble is, how many laptop screens point at the sun - none. Most are either in a bag/neoprene sleeve, or when out and in use, the screens areslightly down-angled.

      Might work fine in the Sahara or Arctic, but to man and beast, little effective use.
      neilpost
      • RE: Apple patent points to advanced antenna for notebooks, tablets

        @neilpost
        the solar panels would most likely be on the inside of a reversible cover, case in point the iPad 2 fold-up magnetic cover, when using the device, you can fold it up, showing 1 strip of the solar panels facing upwards. If you wish to hold the device, the cover will "clasp" to the back surface of the tablet, allowing it to collect light from the rear while the device is in use.

        Solar panels do not need to directly face the sun to function, have you never owned a solar powered calculator? they work without sunlight too!
        aiellenon
  • I think it's been done. In 1966....

    In 1966 we had walkie talkies from radio shack that had snap-in antennas. They came with the normal 24" extendable or you could put in the "HIGH POWER ANTENNA" (42" with a load coil) for "LONG RANGE!" (about 3 blockes) the "also a "COMMAND STATION" adaptor where you put the portable unit in the base station and connected the external antenna with the "EXCLUSIVE WINDOW MOUNT" (suction cup on the window) to complete your COMMAND CENTER". (David had the command station, Jay, John and me could only wheedle the basic units out of our parents.) Those were the days. Saving the world, or at least our neighborhood, from the commies.
    Scubajrr
  • Wait, Apple patents an *antenna* design????

    There are no words...
    wolf_z
    • RE: Apple patent points to advanced antenna for notebooks, tablets

      @wolf_z

      I'm pretty amused given that Apple is sort of a laughing stock in the antenna world right now.
      SlithyTove
      • Laughing stock?

        I wonder if you mean in the sense that their phones are fleeing shops in record numbers into the hands of people who use it, and appear to like it. Ah, to be such a laughing stock.
        ego.sum.stig
      • RE: Apple patent points to advanced antenna for notebooks, tablets

        @SlithyTove <br><br>Apart from the antenna, the iPhone is quite nice. The rest of the phone combined with the "quick fix" of covering it up with a case overcome the antenna issues allowing it to sell in spite of the design flaw.<br><br>The antenna itself, however, remains ridiculous.
        SlithyTove
      • laughing stock in the &quot;antenna world&quot;

        @ego.sum.stig
        The same way that Michael Jackson was such a punchline of a joke, even though he could buy your life over 100,000 times over. ;)
        John Zern
      • Wow, John... analogy, for the win!

        @John Zern

        far better than anything I was able to come up with.
        UrNotPayingAttention
      • The Antenna world?!

        @SlithyTove

        Thats pretty harsh. I hear the inhabitants of Antenna world are pretty tough. I'm sure Apple is quaking in its moon boots right now
        Tigertank
  • RE: Apple patent points to advanced antenna for notebooks, tablets

    Apple must not want to have to deal with the same issues they did with the iPhone.
    Loverock Davidson