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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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