April 18, 2018
As smartphone designs are becoming more homogeneous with similar displays, processing power, and other like-for-like qualities, the race to differentiate will inevitably move elsewhere. For example, charging has been an area of innovation and frustration. There is consumer demand for better-charging solutions in this age of energy-eating phones which require frequent charging to work throughout the day.
Apple has been innovating in this area with their airpower wireless charging system, and they have introduced multi-device charging, and have embedded their chargers in furniture. There is another area in this tech which is looking to be competitive, which is the technology of RF-based charging. Apple filed a patent for this late last year, and Samsung also filed a patent recently.
Why it Matters
Apple and Samsung are both developing the tech that could lead to your phone being charged if it is within a few feet of a charger. This would be a game changer as batteries wouldn’t need to last as long, and would make for an enhanced user experience as well as more pleasing form factor, both for your gadgets and your desks. However, could it be that Samsung is simply filing to introduce some extra tech hurdles for Apple as part of their IP strategy? Only time will tell who will manage to go charging ahead in this tech race.
While the headline news in China focussed on the removal of a two-term limit for their president, there were actually some IP changes that also occurred in China’s National People’s Congress. It was announced that the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) will integrate trademark responsibilities with other IP activities. The SIPO will be an agency of the State Market Supervision Agency, which will be responsible for the enforcement of trademarks and patents, whereas the SIPO retains responsibility for processing/prosecuting applications and issuing grants. Copyright will continue to be managed by the National Copyright Administration of China, a wholly separate entity.
Why it Matters
An improved process for getting IP rights in China is going to help China climb up the IP leagues. However, the biggest change will likely come from the IP enforcement plan, with world leaders complaining about a lack of IP enforcement in China, which leads to lots of counterfeit goods making it into other markets. This should help to protect IP overseas, and help fight against counterfeit goods.