California Patent Attorney® Blog

January 2011 Archives

Apple New Patent: Look Behind the Logo

January 18, 2011,

apple-logo-gray.jpgCalifornia - For many years Apple and other cell phone manufacturers have wrestled with where to put the antenna in cell phones. Ideally, it should be exposed for the sake of good reception, yet protected to avoid breakage. If it is buried too deep inside an iPhone, all it will be good for is a spirited round of "Angry Birds" - see Apple's "Antennagate" for more details.

Apple's newest solution, in the form of several related patents, is to put the antenna behind its vaunted logo. Older variations on this theme already exist in some iMacs and iPads. See: Step 23 for a picture of Apple's antenna-behind-the-logo on a deconstructed iPad. This is (probably) not to be confused with Dell's 2003 "Logo Antenna" patent in which case the logo is the antenna.

The first patent is entitled "Dielectric Window Antennas for Electronic Equipment" and describes a dielectric logo structure in the conductive housing wall that functions as a dielectric antenna window for the logo antenna, along with a resonating element mounted behind the logo, all of which allows radio signals to pass freely. The second patent is entitled "Antennas for Wireless Electronic Devices" and describes a parallel plate waveguide antenna mounted inside a conductive housing behind a dielectric member.

These patents mean Apple can place its antenna inside of its ubiquitous aluminum housing, behind its equally ubiquitous logo, without fear of interference because the logo acts as a window for the antenna to receive and transmit signals. Also, these patents point the way toward future Apple products bearing the capacity of communication in the 3G, 4G, and cellular phone bands at 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz and the 2100 MHz data bands. But for now, Apple seems to know where to put the antenna: just look to the Apple.