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Apple sues company for producing knockoff MagSafe adapters

updated 02:00 pm EST, Wed November 25, 2009

Knockoffs selling for almost half of Apple's price

Apple has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Media Solutions Holdings, a company that has allegedly been producing and distributing knockoff MagSafe power adapters. The Apple patent, No. D478,310, was initially issued in 2003. The defendant sells the AC adapters, including the 60W and 85W variants, on several websites such as laptopsforless.com, ereplacements.com and laptopacadpater.com.

All of Media Solutions' websites currently list the Apple adapters are out of stock, however the product pages still remain on two sites. While Apple charges $79 for either the 60W or 85W version, the knockoffs were priced at $47 and $59, respectively.

"The Defendants infringe the patent by selling power adapters that are substantially the same as the patented design," the filing reads. "Through various websites and otherwise, the Defendants market these knock-off power adapters for use with Apple portable computers, such as the MacBook."

Apple is asking the court to award damages for the infringement, including all of Media Solutions' profits from the adapter sales. The Mac maker is also seeking an injunction to prevent the company from continuing to sell the MagSafe knockoffs.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Oh Apple...

    GROW UP!

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    *YOU'RE* complaining about chargers?

    Normally, I'd be all about upholding a patent complaint as legitimate as this, but after the Apple store didn't reimburse me for or replace the first two failed chargers for my powerbook (product safety issue with the skinny cable melting through the insulation after use due to inferior spec on said insulation), I wouldn't mind someone undercutting them when it comes to replacement power supplies.

    Btw, you're in my situation, I broke open the charger cases and soldered the power connection on a viable section of the cable, leaving me with 3 operable chargers, two looking ghetto-fabulous in their electrical tape mummification.

  1. Geordiekeith

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Worrying

    The increasing litigation by Apple worries me - it is a gradual Microsoftication of the company. I have had to replace two MacBook power adaptors, one for each of my older student daughters, and both for the same fault - the cable breaking at the joint where it enters the magsafe. As others will point out, these are badly designed and flimsy - Jonathan Ives can not have seen them - and inevitably get bent and stressed. So I have to pay out almost $100 (UK sterling exchange rates) to replace them.

    Any other piece of electrical equipment Ok, but power supplies are standard, and you can buy third-party replacements for just about any other machine. This just smacks of corporate greed from a company which is now very rich, and which thinks they have to control everything, and tell us what we want. That is not the Apple I have loved and supported for over 20 years...

    I've decided to pass my MacBook to my third daughter and stick to my Hackintosh Lenovo Ideapad instead.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Bad Apple

    So now we see the true motivation behind the "innovative" new power adapter socket. It's innovative in the sense that it allows for innovative new customer lock-in and monetizing options, being able to sue anyone who tries to make a compatible plug out of business. Companies should not be able to sue for patent infringement when it's necessary for interoperability like this. This is extremely consumer-hostile behavior on the part of Apple, and I hope they get put back in their place over this.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    This is not able the magsafe connector

    Look at the pictures. The power brick is made to look like the one Apple sells. That is why they are being called "knock offs". Had the company created a different design for the power brick, there would be no story.

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Knock-Off or Counterfeit

    Apple is entitled to protect its IP from cheap-a** chinese copies compared to its expensive chinese originals.

    Apple's original magsafe isn't very well designed and frays easily all by itself. I'd really hate to see a cheaper version of that flimsy connector!

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Apple is right.

    @WiseWeasel and Geordiekeith

    If I design something and patent it because it is revolutionary, I want to earn money on it and would do what Apple is doing. Apple is doing the thing that every capitalist company does. Take your socialist ideas to some country that allows counterfeiter to produce and leech on someone's ideas.

  1. Geordiekeith

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Macnixer

    If I design and patent something which rapidly breaks and so does not function due to porr design I would not overcharge to replace it.

    And thanks for the compliment, unless you think that being called a socialist is an insult - not to me it isn't.

  1. Scott_R

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Irritating

    What gets me is that Apple won't *license* it. Where are the 12v car adapters? Sorry, none exist--because Apple won't let anyone make them and won't make them either. So you're stuck having to buy a DC Inverter AND either carry around your original plug (I keep mine at home) or buy a backup.

  1. resuna

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Mag-unsafe

    As a side issue, the images shown don't show the actual magsafe connector, which is the part that matters. I would be just as happy with my charger looking like a regular wall wart...

    But what gets me is that Apple's chargers and the magsafe connector are not all that good a design. Yeh, the old iBook connectors were pretty bad, but instead of creating a funky new connector that falls out if you look at it wrong (I've had it slip out unnoticed and let my Macbook discharge twice now... I have to run a third-party program to alert me when my cord's come loose) they could have just as easily switched to the regular barrel connectors that every other laptop uses.

    Best laptop power connector I've ever had, by the way, is the little positively-latched two-pin plug in the Toshiba Libretto. Comes out easily with a tug, but I've never had it come out accidentally.

    So, yeh, Apple's legally in the right here, but it's pretty clear to me that the main reason for the Magsafe connector is to keep third party adapters off the market.

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