updated 05:25 pm EDT, Fri July 9, 2010
Apple targets three for copying MagSafe design
Apple on Thursday sued three US resellers for allegedly infringing on the patents behind the MagSafe power adapters for the MacBook and MacBook Pro. The Northern District of California complaint accuses Brilliant Store, Hootoo and Sunvalleytek International of selling copies such as the "AC Adapter MagSafe" without permission. The companies involved in some cases have made it clear both that they sell the actual power bricks as well as the duplicates.
The lawsuit isn't unique for Apple and stems from the proprietary design of the MagSafe connector, a patent for which was granted in August 2003. Most Windows notebook builders use largely standard power connectors and often don't have patents. Critics of Apple have contended that the power connector patent lets it keep pricing high, although reliability and support are possible factors.
The resellers in the new lawsuit have been contacted but haven't responded publicly to the accusations. [via CNET]