An Apple Patent Filing for a Magnetic Car Vent Mount Device may already be Marketed by Belkin, and more
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to a magnetic car vent mount with MagSafe device. Our cover graphic illustrates Belkin's Magnetic Car Vent Mount Pro with MagSafe beside Apple's patent figure. Is Apple going to compete with Belkin or did Apple license the invention to them?
Apple notes that driving is example of an activity where an electronic device is used in a supplementary manner. An electronic device, such as a phone, can be very useful while driving to provide entertainment, such as music, or to provide information, such as maps and navigation instructions. Such an electronic device can be useful for both a driver and a passenger of the vehicle.
Unfortunately, these phones or other electronic devices can move inside a vehicle during sharp turns or sudden stops. This can simply annoy a user, or it can become dangerous. Accordingly, it can be desirable to provide attachment devices that can securely attach a phone or other electronic device to a structure or surface of the vehicle. Another type of distraction can arise when a battery on a phone or other electronic device runs low or is not able to power the device. Accordingly, it can be desirable that some attachment devices have the capability of charging a phone or other electronic device.
Apple's invention can provide attachment devices that can secure a phone or other electronic device in place in a vehicle. Further embodiments can provide attachment devices that are also able to provide power to the phone or other electronic device.
An illustrative embodiment of the present invention can provide attachment devices having one or more attachment features for attaching to a phone or other electronic device. Once attached to an electronic device, the attachment device can secure the electronic device in place in a vehicle or other location, can provide charging for a battery of the electronic device, can be identified by the electronic device, or any combination of these.
These and other embodiments of the present invention can provide an attachment device that can include a stalk or other portion to attach to a surface or structure in a vehicle, such as a vent cover, dashboard, monitor, cup holder or other surface or structure. The attachment device can further include an attachment feature to provide for an attachment to an electronic device. In this way, an electronic device can be attached to a surface or structure in a vehicle through the attachment device.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates an attachment device for securing a phone or other electronic device to a vehicle or other conveyance or location.
Attachment device #100 can further include stalk #130 which can terminate in grip #140, which can include slots #142 can allow the attachment device to attach to a surface or other structure in a vehicle, such as an air vent or elsewhere. The stalk can include a ball joint or other feature that can allow the contacting surface #110, and therefore a screen of an iPhone to tilt and rotate to different angles to facilitate viewing; FIGS. 24A and 24B show an example of rotational alignment.
Apple's patent FIG. 44 above is a partially transparent view of a moving magnet structure.
Although the attachment device seems simple, Apple's patent application 20220045527 is extremely complex and detailed. You could review it in full here.
If Apple did license this invention to Belkin, then it's a patent fulfilled. If this is a device designed to compete with the one from Belkin, then there could be a legal battle ahead. My money is on Apple having licensed the invention to Belkin, but only time will tell.
Magnetically Attachable Battery Pack
Today, the patent behind Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack or iPhone was published by the U.S. Patent Office. Below Apple's patent FIGS. 1A and FIG. 1B illustrate a battery pack along with photos of the actual Apple product. For patent details, see patent application 20220045398.