Apple Files Patent Infringement Suit Over 'Knock-Off' Power Adapters

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Apr 12, 2001
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InformationWeek reports (via 9 to 5 Mac) that Apple has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against an Anaheim, California company selling "knock-off" power adapters for Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro models. Apple claims that the company sells third-party power adapters that infringe upon an Apple patent filed in 2001 and granted in 2003 for the design of Apple's laptop power supplies.
Apple's complaint charges that Media Solutions Holdings, through the Web sites www.laptopsforless.com, www.laptopacadapter.com and www.ereplacements.com, sells "various consumer electronic accessories at retail, including knock-off power adapters for use with genuine Apple portable computers."

"Through various Web sites and otherwise, the Defendants market these knock-off power adapters for use with Apple portable computers, such as the MacBook," the complaint states.
The power adapters apparently in question remain listed on the company's websites, but the specific product pages and ordering functionality appear to have been removed.

Article Link: Apple Files Patent Infringement Suit Over 'Knock-Off' Power Adapters
 

forty2j

macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2008
2,585
2
NJ
What is this about?

Mimicking the look & feel of an Apple adapter? Not being clear that they are not Apple originals? A maglock patent?
 

Q-chan

macrumors member
Nov 2, 2009
45
0
Boston, MA, USA
No matter how much I like Apple's magnetic power connector, but it's not their original idea. Magnetically attached power cords are standard on literally any hot water pot or rice cooker in Japan since *ages*.

So I'm more surprised Apple got their patent granted in the first place....

Q-chan
 

r.j.s

Moderator emeritus
Mar 7, 2007
15,026
35
Texas
What is this about?

Mimicking the look & feel of an Apple adapter? Not being clear that they are not Apple originals? A maglock patent?
The MagSafe patent. Apple owns it and has not licensed it to anyone.
 

MasterDev

macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
1,036
0
No matter how much I like Apple's magnetic power connector, but it's not their original idea. Magnetically attached power cords are standard on literally any hot water pot or rice cooker in Japan since *ages*.

So I'm more surprised Apple got their patent granted in the first place....

Q-chan
A Patent is a patent.
 

ChazUK

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2008
5,390
24
Essex (UK)
A Patent is a patent.
You're right. Gotta protect em all!

If they let people get away with infringement then the patent is worthless. I fully understand what they are doing (just as I understand Nokia's position with their patents and Apple).
 

Rot'nApple

macrumors 65816
Dec 27, 2006
1,151
0
I DID build that!
Apple has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against an Anaheim, California company selling "knock-off" power adapters for Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro models. Apple claims that the company sells third-party power adapters that infringe upon an Apple patent filed in 2001 and granted in 2003 for the design of Apple's laptop power supplies.The power adapters apparently in question remain listed on the company's websites, but the specific product pages and ordering functionality appear to have been removed.
I heard 'Laptops for Less' was some sort of Psystar subsidiary. :D
 

Snowy_River

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2002
2,519
0
Corvallis, OR
No matter how much I like Apple's magnetic power connector, but it's not their original idea. Magnetically attached power cords are standard on literally any hot water pot or rice cooker in Japan since *ages*.

So I'm more surprised Apple got their patent granted in the first place....

Q-chan
There are countless examples of the patent office granting patents that should be deemed as knowledge in the public domain. One that I shake my head at is the fact that Motorola got a patent on clamshell phones hanging up when the clamshell is closed. Every cell phone for decades that had this behavior had to be licensed from Moto. (I mean, seriously, didn't any of the patent officers at the time ever watch Star Trek? They had communication devices that ended the "call" by closing the cover 10 years prior to the Moto patent application.)

In any event, this seems to me to be one more thing pointing to the broken-ness of our patent system... :rolleyes:
 

Bubba Satori

Suspended
Feb 15, 2008
4,726
3,753
B'ham
You're right. Gotta protect em all!

If they let people get away with infringement then the patent is worthless. I fully understand what they are doing (just as I understand Nokia's position with their patents and Apple).

Apple patents good, everybody else patents bad.
I rest my case your honor.
And boy do I need a rest.

 

lazyrighteye

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2002
1,876
574
Denver, CO
OK. Maybe "idiots" is a bit harsh. But seriously - it takes a special person/group of people to think they can manufacture and sell something like that. And to do so online?

OK. I'm reverting back to my initial "idiots" label.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,044
118
Canada, eh?
It would suck less if Apple would at least license the technology so that there were authorized "knock offs".

I remember years ago I bought an iJuice universal laptop power adaptor. It came with tips to run the Dell laptop as well as the PowerBook I had at the time (and all kinds of other laptop brands too, if I had wanted to). Even came with a 12 volt input so I could run things in my car. The whole thing was under $100. It was a very convenient second adaptor for travel.

I could use a second AC adaptor for my MacBook Pro, too, but I am balking at the cost.
 

r.j.s

Moderator emeritus
Mar 7, 2007
15,026
35
Texas
It would suck less if Apple would at least license the technology so that there were authorized "knock offs".
Nothing says they have to, and until they decide to (or the patent expires), no one else has the right to just go ahead and make the adapters.
 

Snowy_River

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2002
2,519
0
Corvallis, OR
So Apple isn't allowing third parties to make a power adapter for their notebooks? That's absolutely ridiculous.
That is the one thing that I've found quite frustrating about the MagSafe power adaptors. The need to spend the money of the Apple original, if I want a spare power adaptor is just irritating.

Now, part of the lesson here may have to do with these not being different enough. It should be possible to make an adaptor that would power and charge a MB/MBP without being close enough to violate the patents. You'd just have to be careful about how you went about doing it. Looking at the image on the linked page from above, these look like you couldn't tell them apart from the Apple originals. That's not such a good tact when dealing with a company like Apple...
 

RazHyena

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2009
538
0
USA
Oh my god...are you KIDDING ME? :mad::mad:

Are they going to sue Belkin for making those iPod touch cables/charge units next?

Real low, Apple. :mad:
 

SeattleMoose

macrumors 68000
Jul 17, 2009
1,859
1,509
Der Wald
Is Apple Over-The-Top Obsessive?

I can understand Apple's zeal is protecting their OS for their various devices and preventing "Mac clones". But what chaps my hide is when they start monopolizing the little things like batteries and power chargers while charging thru the teeth for these maintenance/replaceable items.

Geez, even when it comes to things like that proprietary iPod headphone jack that would ONLY work with Apple headphones. Apple is always testing what they can get away with in the game of "monopoly".

Given Steve's controlling nature, what would otherwise appear to be aggressive business practices by a miserly board of directors, might just be an extension of the founders own personality.

I know the magic plug on the power cord is an Apple innovation but why not license manufacturing to 3rd party developers who can then compete to manufacture it more cheaply?

AS IF we don't know the answer to THAT...

The very foundation of capitalism is to maximize profit at ALL costs as the company has no allegiance to anyone except the share holders. That is why ALL companies try to be the sole provider of everything they can and then charge thru the teeth....as the sole provider. Or if you have a CEO who wants to rule the world...end result is the same...monopoly.

But if Steve wasn't this way, there would be no Apple.:eek:

I guess it is a catch-22...and I just defused my own post :confused:
 

ziggyonice

macrumors 68020
Mar 12, 2006
2,386
1
Rural America
So Apple isn't allowing third parties to make a power adapter for their notebooks? That's absolutely ridiculous.
Agreed, but that’s why you can’t find it anywhere else. That’s also why there’s no car charger for Apple laptops, which would be very convenient, IMO (granted the MagSafe airplane charger sort of works).
 

powers74

macrumors 68000
Aug 18, 2008
1,852
14
At the bend in the river
ok

But aside from the magnetic attachment, these things Look & Work Exactly like the Apple units. They probably even have the flip-out cord holders. I think this goes well beyond just mag-safe. And as for the pressure cooker/japan thing. That's called INNOVATION. Dyson didn't invent cyclone particle separation, but he was the first to put one in a vacuum cleaner. Patents are fairly detailed things as... things go... most of the time. I can see how Apple would be pissed about these _blatant_ knock-offs
 

JohnCalvi

macrumors newbie
Aug 25, 2009
11
0
Calvi, France
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