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How many Texas residents have found their smartphones running out of battery life with no way to charge them? Well, that could change now that Sony's patent law application was approved. The tech giant patented a way for one smartphone to draw battery power from another.

The technology is based on the concept of near-field communication, which allows devices to share data and for the use of mobile payment apps that do not require contact to work. Using this technology to transfer data was also included in the patent. Sony obtained its new patent just as the demand for wireless charging of devices such as smartphones is gaining ground.

Whether this new technology will come to fruition is unknown at this time. Many patents look good on paper, but making them a reality can be problematic and take a significant amount of time, research and resources. Texas smartphone users probably should not get too excited about this new technology appearing on the next generation of phones, but it would be a nice surprise if it did.

Sony's patent is a good example of the patent law requirement that an idea either should be brand new, or as is the case here, provide a new improvement to existing, patented technology. Not every patent has to be an original idea. Many people become discouraged when they consider applying for a patent because they are unsure whether their idea will live up to current patent law requirements. In reality, inventors need only look at technology companies and the patents those companies receive to know that their ideas could still end up being patented.

Source: USA Today, "Sony gets patent to let you swipe battery life from a friend's phone", Brett Molina, March 17, 2017

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