Apple sues to halt sale of third party power adapters

In a patent case filed by the Cupertino-based company on Monday, representatives for Apple claim that another company is selling third party Macbook power adapters based on an infringing design.

Media Solutions Holdings, through three different e-commerce sites, offers discounted chargers that Apple says too closely resemble its recognizable "Mag Safe" power adapters protected in a patent filed in 2001 and granted in 2003.

"Through various Web sites and otherwise, the Defendants market these knock-off power adapters for use with Apple portable computers, such as the MacBook," Apple asserts in its complaint, according to a report from InformationWeek.

Because the patent covers the basic design and styling of its charger, Apple holds the position that any similarly functioning device resembling it, is in violation. While Apple has not asked for specific damages, it seeks an injunction against the company to halt all sales of the offending products.

Images from Apple's legal documents are available online in which both the charger in question and the patented product are presented side by side for comparison.

As the complaint emphasizes the visual similarity between the two units but also mentions that the alleged 'knock offs' were marketed for use with Macbooks, it is unclear whether Apple objects to the products simply on visual terms or whether this case represents an opposition to third party replacement parts in general.

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58 Comments

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I agree that those chargers should not be that identical. But it remains to be seen if Apple will allow a different design for 3rd party chargers if the company being sued changes their look.

I think it is more about 3rd party accessories than the patent infringing design.

How many feet do they have a Apple...? Their medical bills must be quite high for all those gun shot wounds?

Or...... Apple is jealous that someone else is offering a similar design for a much more affordable (reasonable) price?

slippery said,
Or...... Apple is jealous that someone else is offering a similar design for a much more affordable (reasonable) price?


I don't think apple is jealous but need money.

Lets start with overpriced hardware, components etc.
Attack any other company whose product come in confict with ours. (Microsoft - Win 7 ads the latest example)
Sue every 3rd party manufacturer (not old story and still goes on)

I cannot follow apple anymore because the company makes me feel miserable. I needed their help for a disk failure (brand new dodgy disk installed) and the delay was simply ridiculous. (Out of stock was their excuse. and Out of stock for a battery What do u sell then?)

Apples Service sucks and the hardware has nothing to offer. Mac books and pros are not Porsches. Just intels. Why do i have to pay that much? for the illuminated keyboard? No need thanks

I wonder if apple is a boat full of holes and magically still floats on the surface.

You can't stop third party manufacturers from making compatible power adapters. Unless they are stamping that fruit logo on it you can't really complain that the design is similar. It's a freaking power adapter, how different do you think it can be?

C_Guy said,
You can't stop third party manufacturers from making compatible power adapters. Unless they are stamping that fruit logo on it you can't really complain that the design is similar. It's a freaking power adapter, how different do you think it can be?

Well, it's really close. Almost identical... As Apple is a company that prides themselves on design, that's a rather big deal.

"Alright, we have the adapter designed to look JUST LIKE Apple's..."

"Well it's missing something in the middle there."

"Well we can't use the Apple logo... THAT could get us in trouble..."

"Oh, I know. We'll use a pear..."

:)

Good, I hope all the ****ty fake magsafe adaptors get removed from the market. Whilst there at it, why not do the same with fake iPod and iPhone chargers?

J400uk said,
Good, I hope all the ****ty fake magsafe adaptors get removed from the market. Whilst there at it, why not do the same with fake iPod and iPhone chargers?

Because Apple's are of such high quality. It's not like they've ever had issues where they catch fire...

C_Guy said,
Yeah, remove all competition from the marketplace that's a great idea!


No, I said remove the fake adaptors which breach Apples copywrite and patents, as well as been built to a very poor standard.

MioTheGreat said,
Because Apple's are of such high quality. It's not like they've ever had issues where they catch fire...


Yeah sure!
Let's forget the overheating problems, some battery explosions, some smoking chargers, cables come apart etc.

Do not take it personal... but if you open an apple's hardware (and anything else nowadays) even if there is an apple sticker on it you will find another brand underneeth.

Many Mac users and hmmm friends of mine picked mac book (and pro) batteries from Hong Kong rather from an apple store with 1/3rd of the apple store price. And after 1 year everything still works.

Afterall it is a matter of luck....

If apple's charger was not overpriced I don't find any reason why Mac users should pick a 3rd party charger. At least apple should be more reasonable. (no capital As for me anymore).

Charging over the odds for run of the mill products is pretty much Apple's way of doing business, it should have lost the surprise factor by now.

Frank Fontaine said,
Charging over the odds for run of the mill products is pretty much Apple's way of doing business, it should have lost the surprise factor by now.

HAHAHAHA

Why do tech journo's feel the need to mention the location of companies?

Cuportino based, redmond based etc - not like we don't know who they are!

Annoying.

/that is all.

Veeoh said,
Why do tech journo's feel the need to mention the location of companies?

It could be Apple Australia suing the defendant and not Apple Cupertino... That said, not everyone knows where said company may be located.

Veeoh said,
Why do tech journo's feel the need to mention the location of companies?

Cuportino based, redmond based etc - not like we don't know who they are!

Annoying.

/that is all.


Why do people spell incorrectly, miss punctuation marks and use the wrong words when they complain? Now that's annoying.

vanx said,
Why do people spell incorrectly, miss punctuation marks and use the wrong words when they complain? Now that's annoying.

Why do people troll on the grammar of others? Now that's annoying.

iamwhoiam said,
Why do people troll on the grammar of others? Now that's annoying.

Why people, who have been told they are wrong, are so sensitive about it? Now that's annoying.

While I enjoy using my MacBook, it's stories like these which really depress me about Apple, I've had nothing but good times in dealing with them.

More like 30 Billion, and that's just their cash, they could sell off their assets and it would take even longer to bankrupt them..

DomZ said,
More like 30 Billion, and that's just their cash, they could sell off their assets and it would take even longer to bankrupt them..

Wow. I had no idea they had that much liquid cash...

Lilrichie said,
Apple needs to jump off that horse before it bucks on them and leaves them in the dirt.

They'll probably sue the horse then.

It's not just any charger, the company designed it to look exactly like Apple's to try and trick people into thinking the cheap junk they are selling (that will probably end up exploding or something) is an official Apple product.

Saburac said,
It's not just any charger, the company designed it to look exactly like Apple's to try and trick people into thinking the cheap junk they are selling (that will probably end up exploding or something) is an official Apple product.

How do you know:

1. Its cheap junk
2. It'll probably explode

Don't be biased. Just because a company isn't applying an apple tax doesn't mean their products are junk.

Weren't people having problems with the MagSafe exploding / catching fire?

In 2008, Apple posted official response acknowledging problems with MagSafe adapters, which include incomplete circuit connection and adapter's white insulation separates from the magnetic end of the MagSafe connector.[7] Following the release of Knowledge Base article, a class action lawsuit was filed in 2009-05-01 in California Northern District Court's San Jose office, alleging that the MagSafe power adapter is prone to frayed wires and overheating, and as such represents a fire hazard, as well as Apple has not taken action to remedy the defects.

Saburac said,
It's not just any charger, the company designed it to look exactly like Apple's to try and trick people into thinking the cheap junk they are selling (that will probably end up exploding or something) is an official Apple product.

Exploding and breaking like apple batteries and screens?

Harbinger said,
How do you know:

1. Its cheap junk
2. It'll probably explode

Don't be biased. Just because a company isn't applying an apple tax doesn't mean their products are junk.

+1

And explode? Like a genuine iPod Touch / iPhone? I hope they don't get sued for knocking off that "feature"...

or whether this case represents an opposition to third party replacement parts in general.

Replacements using MagSafe connectors, in that case. I think the opposition would be to both the visuals, and the function. MagSafe is in itself a patented technology (US Patent 7,311,526).