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Apple files first lawsuit in defense of "Made for iPod" licensing

post #1 of 84
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The first test of Apple's licensing system for iPod accessories has come with the launch of a complaint by the company against Atico International, whose iPod speakers allegedly infringe on patents behind the "Made for iPod" label.

In the ten-page suit submitted this week, Apple claims that a trio of Atico's products under the Living Solutions brand -- including the AM/FM Portable Boom Box, AM/FM Alarm Clock Radio, and Portable Speakers -- all tread on several key patents obtained by the Cupertino, Calif.-based electronics giant between 2007 and 2008.

These include a patent for the Dock Connector used by most iPods to transfer data, as well as patents for the Universal Dock's design, remote controls, and three dock adapters meant to fit different-sized iPods to a standard dock model.

In a copy of the complaint obtained by AppleInsider, Apple contends that Atico has failed to license its use of the docking design for the speakers, depriving Apple of royalties it believes are owed to its "Made for iPod" program. Uses of the iPod trademark, as well as some superficially similar logos designed to indicate compatibility with different iPod models, are also "exploiting Apple's name and reputation" and violating the federal Lanham Act by falsely suggesting an endorsement by Apple, according to the plaintiff.

The Delaware-based court filing adds that Atico's continued sales are depriving Apple of rightful income and asks for a permanent injunction against the sale of the offending Living Solutions speakers in addition to damages. The iPod maker sees this as an "exceptional case" that would allow it to collect not only triple damages but profits and court costs, including those for a requested jury trial.



The case marks the first known instance of Apple actively defending its controversial "Made for iPod" licensing program, which was launched in January 2005. Both in its lawsuit and in public presentations, Apple has argued that requiring licenses for iPod-specific peripherals helps the accessory designers by giving them the support to ensure their devices work with iPods. It also reassures buyers that a device meets a minimum quality standard, the company says.

Virtually all companies selling compatible accessories in the US have signed on to the program, with some arguing that the "Made for iPod" logo is effectively a sales booster: customers are more likely to buy add-ons when they know the items will work with their iPods.

Critics, however, have claimed that the need to license and pay royalties for the logo is chiefly a profit vehicle for Apple, which implemented the licensing system just as the iPod became mainstream and a raft of docking accessories were already in stores.

No matter how Atico interprets the move, the company is remaining quiet on the matter: neither it nor Apple has commented on the lawsuit.
post #2 of 84
My understanding--way back when--was that you CAN make iPod accessories without violating Apple's patents, in which case, for those products, joining the Made for iPod program might be a nice sales booster but is optional. For others, who need those Apple patents, joining the program would be necessary.

Anyone know the details? Is the issue there that Atico made iPod accessories at ALL, or that they did so in a way which violates Apple patents? Is it possible to make iPod accessories without violating Apple patents? (And, specifically, is it possible to interface with the dock connector in ways other than how Atico has done?)

Just curious.
post #3 of 84
I back Apple on this one, as Apple is looking to implement some type of quality control measures that are typically out of their hands. Yes, there is money involved, but I still believe Apple does it mostly to ensure a better product, and product experience.
post #4 of 84
BUSTED!
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post #5 of 84
$39. Here's where to get it. http://www.walgreens.com/store/produ...id=prod3371742 Oops, out of stock.
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post #6 of 84
Apple is clearly in the right. "Made for iPod" is their program, and this company is claiming false membership.
post #7 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

My understanding--way back when--was that you CAN make iPod accessories without violating Apple's patents, in which case, for those products, joining the Made for iPod program might be a nice sales booster but is optional. For others, who need those Apple patents, joining the program would be necessary.

Anyone know the details? Is the issue there that Atico made iPod accessories at ALL, or that they did so in a way which violates Apple patents? Is it possible to make iPod accessories without violating Apple patents? (And, specifically, is it possible to interface with the dock connector in ways other than how Atico has done?)

Just curious.

The dock is patented, and therefore no one may make any accessory that connects to an iPod without a license from Apple.
post #8 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by flydoggie View Post

The dock is patented, and therefore no one may make any accessory that connects to an iPod without a license from Apple.

Let me play devil's advocate here and ask you if you think that should cover all dock-like accessories? What if I come up with a radical new idea for an iPod dock that is significantly different in design and functionality from Apple's dock? Are you suggesting that Apple should be able to extend the legal reach of the patent for its own dock design to stop me from selling mine? If so, then you're missing the point behind patents. Patents exist to encourage innovation, not to allow one party to stifle another's innovation (and possible competition.) And patents definitely don't exist so one party can control the quality of products produced by another party.

Part of me agrees that if Apple's patented ideas are being misappropriated, then they are in the right. But if this move is just to squash competition (and I have to say, it sure looks like it to me) then I hope Apple gets their ass handed to them in court.

Besides that, does anyone else think it odd that Apple is going after people making iPod accessories? I mean, they're creating reasons why people might be drawn to buy an iPod. They're on Apple's team to some extent. Talk about your circular firing squad.
post #9 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post

Let me play devil's advocate here and ask you if you think that should cover all dock-like accessories? What if I come up with a radical new idea for an iPod dock that is significantly different in design and functionality from Apple's dock? Are you suggesting that Apple should be able to extend the legal reach of the patent for its own dock design to stop me from selling mine? If so, then you're missing the point behind patents. Patents exist to encourage innovation, not to allow one party to stifle another's innovation (and possible competition.) And patents definitely don't exist so one party can control the quality of products produced by another party.

Part of me agrees that if Apple's patented ideas are being misappropriated, then they are in the right. But if this move is just to squash competition (and I have to say, it sure looks like it to me) then I hope Apple gets their ass handed to them in court.

Besides that, does anyone else think it odd that Apple is going after people making iPod accessories? I mean, they're creating reasons why people might be drawn to buy an iPod. They're on Apple's team to some extent. Talk about your circular firing squad.


Without knowing what the patents are specifically, it's all kind of hypothetical. But I do think patents are given out too freely in general, to the point that "defensive" patents are filed, just get it patented so some troll doesn't patent it and try to fleece anyone using a patent that shouldn't have been granted. There are even some people that filed ridiculous patents that were granted but shouldn't have - and they were filed just to show how stupid the system is right now.
post #10 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post

Let me play devil's advocate here and ask you if you think that should cover all dock-like accessories? What if I come up with a radical new idea for an iPod dock that is significantly different in design and functionality from Apple's dock? Are you suggesting that Apple should be able to extend the legal reach of the patent for its own dock design to stop me from selling mine? If so, then you're missing the point behind patents. Patents exist to encourage innovation, not to allow one party to stifle another's innovation (and possible competition.) And patents definitely don't exist so one party can control the quality of products produced by another party.

Part of me agrees that if Apple's patented ideas are being misappropriated, then they are in the right. But if this move is just to squash competition (and I have to say, it sure looks like it to me) then I hope Apple gets their ass handed to them in court.

Besides that, does anyone else think it odd that Apple is going after people making iPod accessories? I mean, they're creating reasons why people might be drawn to buy an iPod. They're on Apple's team to some extent. Talk about your circular firing squad.


I don't see this as squashing competition. There is SOO many iPod accessories that this is just one of many. Apple is protecting its system. Maybe they are doing it for the wrong reasons, as you say, its not about protecting the quality, but Apple is saying "You want to say that it is made to work with the iPod? Thats fine. You want to show our seal that ensures that this device has been designed for it? Acknowledge us and the information we gave you, and pay for that info."

$30 doesn't exactly seem like Apple is making money off that. The time taken to get this stuff out to companies would barely be paid for in that.

Apple may be doing it for the wrong reasons, but it is legal, and Apple should win this. (and believe you me, I expect them too 100%) Its just like a violation of the "PlaysForSure" thing from Microsoft. People wouldn't winge about Microsoft and this. Its an Apple Critics thing... and there are PLENTY of them.

Besides, if they are using the dock connector then the development Apple put into it is benefiting another company, and that isn't fair unless Apple has authorized it. Apple asks you to contribute money as repayment for that benefit of earning off someone elses work. Thats extremely reasonable in my eyes.
post #11 of 84

 

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post #12 of 84
Fair is fair... Apple is always being sued for "infringements" of other companies that we have seen in past articles here on AI, so it's about time Apple filed a lawsuit or two of it's own. That way the money Apple wins here, they can pay for lawsuits possibly lost elsewhere.

Also, when do iPhone patents become binding. I recall SJ saying "boy have we patented it" when introducing the iPhone and yet all these other phones come out and mimic the iPhone in one way or another and Apple legal is silent?! What gives?? If any lawsuit were expected to come out from Apple, I would have figured it to be regarding this!

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post #13 of 84
Apple is prosecuting now the iphone copies.

And the patents were more on the multitouch handheld device, not just a screen over most of it.
post #14 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

My understanding--way back when--was that you CAN make iPod accessories without violating Apple's patents, in which case, for those products, joining the Made for iPod program might be a nice sales booster but is optional. For others, who need those Apple patents, joining the program would be necessary.

Anyone know the details? Is the issue there that Atico made iPod accessories at ALL, or that they did so in a way which violates Apple patents? Is it possible to make iPod accessories without violating Apple patents? (And, specifically, is it possible to interface with the dock connector in ways other than how Atico has done?)

Just curious.

I would imagine that the dock is Apple's proprietary connector. Do they have it patented, or otherwise protected? Good question. I would supose so. Otherwise, anyone could use it.

IBM's failure to patent the ISA bus resulted in "compatibles". The reverse engineering of their BIOS resulted in clones, which killed IBM's chance to own the PC market.

If Apple can't control the manufacture of its connector, then anyone could make either accessories for it, but, much worse, players that would fit the accessories for the iPod.

That would take away any advantage Apple had in accessories, and make other players much more desirable.
post #15 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post

Let me play devil's advocate here and ask you if you think that should cover all dock-like accessories? What if I come up with a radical new idea for an iPod dock that is significantly different in design and functionality from Apple's dock? Are you suggesting that Apple should be able to extend the legal reach of the patent for its own dock design to stop me from selling mine? If so, then you're missing the point behind patents. Patents exist to encourage innovation, not to allow one party to stifle another's innovation (and possible competition.) And patents definitely don't exist so one party can control the quality of products produced by another party.

Part of me agrees that if Apple's patented ideas are being misappropriated, then they are in the right. But if this move is just to squash competition (and I have to say, it sure looks like it to me) then I hope Apple gets their ass handed to them in court.

Besides that, does anyone else think it odd that Apple is going after people making iPod accessories? I mean, they're creating reasons why people might be drawn to buy an iPod. They're on Apple's team to some extent. Talk about your circular firing squad.

Assuming that the dock is patented, then that patent covers the physical layout of the dock. It also covers the electrical characteristics of the dock.

Any accessory would have to meet both of those requirements before it would work.

That's all that would be needed to defend the patent.

Anything else the device did wouldn't matter.

If you read my above post, then you would see why letting this go could be a serious mistake.
post #16 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Without knowing what the patents are specifically, it's all kind of hypothetical. But I do think patents are given out too freely in general, to the point that "defensive" patents are filed, just get it patented so some troll doesn't patent it and try to fleece anyone using a patent that shouldn't have been granted. There are even some people that filed ridiculous patents that were granted but shouldn't have - and they were filed just to show how stupid the system is right now.

Some patents are given out in error, because there aren't enough qualified examiners to check thoroughly through the patent portfolio to see if a patent is valid in that sense, or can determine if it is valid from a technical sense.

I doubt if people pushed patents to see if they would be granted just to show how easy it is. Do you have any examples of that?

It isn't easy!
post #17 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Fair is fair... Apple is always being sued for "infringements" of other companies that we have seen in past articles here on AI, so it's about time Apple filed a lawsuit or two of it's own. That way the money Apple wins here, they can pay for lawsuits possibly lost elsewhere.

Also, when do iPhone patents become binding. I recall SJ saying "boy have we patented it" when introducing the iPhone and yet all these other phones come out and mimic the iPhone in one way or another and Apple legal is silent?! What gives?? If any lawsuit were expected to come out from Apple, I would have figured it to be regarding this!

It's normally binding from date of application, though that would depend on whether it is granted later on.
post #18 of 84
Been able to patent a connector is insane. Connectors have been around for decades. Just because you create a connector that has a different size or number of pins etc you can hardly call that an invention. The US patent system needs a complete revamp. Patents are been abused.
post #19 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by qualar View Post

Been able to patent a connector is insane. Connectors have been around for decades. Just because you create a connector that has a different size or number of pins etc you can hardly call that an invention. The US patent system needs a complete revamp. Patents are been abused.

It's not insane. There are giant companies that do almost nothing BUT design and manufacturer connectors. Most are patented.
post #20 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It's not insane. There are giant companies that do almost nothing BUT design and manufacturer connectors. Most are patented.

So why does the fact that a lot of big companies do it mean that it is not insane. I agree that if you create something that is significantly different to a normal connector, like magsafe, that makes sense to issue a patent. However, I am afraid I do not agree with patenting a normal connector.
post #21 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

$30 doesn't exactly seem like Apple is making money off that. The time taken to get this stuff out to companies would barely be paid for in that.

But it's not chump change if you consider the number. Last I heard, Apple charges $4 per device in royalties. If you say maybe every iPod owner buys two accessories with a dock connector, that's $1.2B.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Some patents are given out in error, because there aren't enough qualified examiners to check thoroughly through the patent portfolio to see if a patent is valid in that sense, or can determine if it is valid from a technical sense.

I doubt if people pushed patents to see if they would be granted just to show how easy it is. Do you have any examples of that?

It isn't easy!

Micheal Crichton did such. Maybe the patent process isn't easy, but the fact that a lot of things do get patented that should not is really the problem.
post #22 of 84
This is bad juju. These guys are making an ACCESSORY for the iPod, not copying the iPod itself. They aren't even claiming to be part of the "made for iPod" program, just compatible with it. That accessory market is good for Apple, not competition.

Its very suspicious that Apple was even able to get a patent on the shape of the connector. Isn't it just a USB connector with a different shape?
post #23 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

Its very suspicious that Apple was even able to get a patent on the shape of the connector. Isn't it just a USB connector with a different shape?

It's more than just a USB connector. I really don't know if anything in the dock connector is legitimately patentable, but maybe there's a special wiper design for the contacts, a special process required to make the contacts or something like that.
post #24 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

Its very suspicious that Apple was even able to get a patent on the shape of the connector. Isn't it just a USB connector with a different shape?

No, it has 30 pins. A USB connector with a different shape would still have 4 pins.
post #25 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by qualar View Post

So why does the fact that a lot of big companies do it mean that it is not insane. I agree that if you create something that is significantly different to a normal connector, like magsafe, that makes sense to issue a patent. However, I am afraid I do not agree with patenting a normal connector.

You lack understanding, young padawan. There are only widely adopted standards... but who do you think created these standards? Do you think they sprang up out of thin air? Those who create and patent inventions need to be able to get paid for their work, or there is no innovation, only illicit copying.

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post #26 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post

Let me play devil's advocate here and ask you if you think that should cover all dock-like accessories? What if I come up with a radical new idea for an iPod dock that is significantly different in design and functionality from Apple's dock?

If it was different in design and functionality then it would not infringe on the Apple patent. But also it would not be compatible with an iPod, which would make it quite useless.

If it uses the iPod dock design then it infringes on the Apple patent. At least that is the way the US Supreme Court has interpreted the US Constitution for the past 300 years.
post #27 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

This is bad juju. These guys are making an ACCESSORY for the iPod, not copying the iPod itself. They aren't even claiming to be part of the "made for iPod" program, just compatible with it. That accessory market is good for Apple, not competition.

Its very suspicious that Apple was even able to get a patent on the shape of the connector. Isn't it just a USB connector with a different shape?

As mentioned its not just the shape. I know someone who bought a cheap alarm clock with an iPod dock. The bloody iPod stopped working the first night it was plugged in. The logical answer is that charging unit in the slarm clock fried the iPod, but she now swears that iPods are crap because understand why the alarm clock would still work. It was under warranty and so Apple replaced it... then she sold it on eBay and bought a SanDisk player. She also returned the alarm clock, so someone else will probably get a fried iPod, too. Apple has every right to protect its brand, its patent, and, most importantly, its bottom line. Wouldn't you want your intellecual property protected too?
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post #28 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by qualar View Post

Been able to patent a connector is insane. Connectors have been around for decades. Just because you create a connector that has a different size or number of pins etc you can hardly call that an invention. The US patent system needs a complete revamp. Patents are been abused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

This is bad juju. These guys are making an ACCESSORY for the iPod, not copying the iPod itself. They aren't even claiming to be part of the "made for iPod" program, just compatible with it. That accessory market is good for Apple, not competition.

Its very suspicious that Apple was even able to get a patent on the shape of the connector. Isn't it just a USB connector with a different shape?


Patenting a complex "connector" is like patenting any other invention. Just because there are thousands in use doesn't mean someone didn't create them. Just as someone invented USB, Firewire, PCI express, HDMI, DVI, SCSI, 3.5mm mini, processor socket, etc, Apple's dock connector is a proprietary invention, it is NOT a USB connection. It has a specific engineered physical form and a specific electrical circuit layout and signaling protocol. Apple doesn't have to invent the entire abstract concept of a "connector" in order to patent it and license it's use. I'm sure Apple also has a patent for the breakout adapter for mini-DVI.

That being said, the US patent system does need to be revamped, but that's a whole different issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post

Part of me agrees that if Apple's patented ideas are being misappropriated, then they are in the right. But if this move is just to squash competition (and I have to say, it sure looks like it to me) then I hope Apple gets their ass handed to them in court.

It's not squashing competition, it is just enforcing their made-for-Ipod program. If they cared about squashing competition, they would lock up the whole accessory market by not licensing their technology, which do license. They most likely just want to maintain quality control for people using their products with 3rd party accessories, along with wanting to collect royalties on them. I think they are totally justified in doing this. It's their technology that the company is using. The dock connector form, electrical layout, and protocol is probably patented, and if a company wants to use it to connect the iPod to their products, they have to agree to the licensing terms. In addition, they were not licensing the use of Apple's iPod trademarks they had displayed on their product casing. That's another reason why they probably went after them.

As far as all the other companies, I'm sure that they are unable to reach many Chinese rip-off manufacturers, so I would assume they prioritize who they go after depending on how large the company is and if they are actively marketing these products in the United States or Europe.
post #29 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Wouldn't you want your intellecual property protected too?

If people were counterfeiting my actual product, sure. If they were contributing to a market place of accessories that actually complimented the sales of my own product, no way.

It's just a cable. If Apple is going to sue over something that stupid, then they deserve ever single small-time lawsuit that gets brought against them.
post #30 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

If people were counterfeiting my actual product, sure. If they were contributing to a market place of accessories that actually complimented the sales of my own product, no way.

It's just a cable. If Apple is going to sue over something that stupid, then they deserve ever single small-time lawsuit that gets brought against them.

But they are counterfeiting Apple's property since they don't have rights to it. Should Apple not pay royalties to use USB, FireWire. The connectors have specifiations tjat must be followed too; should Apple allowed to ignore these just because they are commonplace? I even think they have to pay for the ability to have iTunes encode in MP3, but I'd have to read up on that to get the full details.
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post #31 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Should Apple not pay royalties to use USB, FireWire. The connectors have specifiations tjat must be followed too; should Apple allowed to ignore these just because they are commonplace?

Since Apple created Firewire they don't need to pay any loyalties and they dropped any loyalties that others have to pay them.
post #32 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killroy View Post

Since Apple created Firewire they don't need to pay any loyalties and they dropped any loyalties that others have to pay them.

I was under the impression that Apple had to pay the royalty, but that it received most of it back as the main propriator of the IEEE standard. Wikipedia says I am wron, so I'll surrendor that example from my previous response.
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post #33 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

If people were counterfeiting my actual product, sure. If they were contributing to a market place of accessories that actually complimented the sales of my own product, no way.

It's just a cable. If Apple is going to sue over something that stupid, then they deserve ever single small-time lawsuit that gets brought against them.

Business is business. Apple cannot allow fraudulent products to be sold as if they approved of them.

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post #34 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by qualar View Post

So why does the fact that a lot of big companies do it mean that it is not insane. I agree that if you create something that is significantly different to a normal connector, like magsafe, that makes sense to issue a patent. However, I am afraid I do not agree with patenting a normal connector.

Because whole industries ride around specialzed connectors that do what are required for their purposes. When these companies pour research dollars into designing a new connector, they don't just come up with it in an afternoon.

There are physical layer problems to contend with, such as structural integrity. There are electrical issues to deal with such as voltages, currents, phase and capacitance. Plug=in lifetimes have to be worked out, and all of this must be tested to destruction, and evaluated, according to actual expected usage patterns.

Even the placement of the pins is critical in numerous ways, as are any locking mechanisms.

The shape of the pins must be determined, as must the tips, the lengths, and methodology of fastening them to the body.

The thickness of the plating must be decided, as the plate itself must be. What alloys go into it and the pins themselves, or what plastics or metals go into the shell?

There are serious engineering problems that must be solved.

All international mechanical, and electrical standards must be met, if they will be in those markets, as happens in these days of international materials and parts sourcing.

You think a connector is a simple device to fashion only because you've never had to do it, or to look into how it's done, or had to spec them for your own products.

The connector business is as difficult as any other technical area is.

The mag-safe adapter, by the way, is on my chocolate fountain. I'm not sure what Apple has done to it that would merit a patent, but I've not seen it.
post #35 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Micheal Crichton did such. Maybe the patent process isn't easy, but the fact that a lot of things do get patented that should not is really the problem.

I know Michael, and he would do that.

I gave the reasons in my post.

The estimate is that is will cost almost a billion extra a year to fix the patent office. If we can persuade our elected officials to spend this money, it could be done.

But how will that happen?
post #36 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

This is bad juju. These guys are making an ACCESSORY for the iPod, not copying the iPod itself. They aren't even claiming to be part of the "made for iPod" program, just compatible with it. That accessory market is good for Apple, not competition.

Its very suspicious that Apple was even able to get a patent on the shape of the connector. Isn't it just a USB connector with a different shape?

Read my earlier post on this.

It isn't that simple. If Apple has a patent on the connector, that's that. Apple's entire iPod empire could come tumbling down because of this, if this is about what some of us think it is, which would be why Apple is reacting this way.

Plus, there are the copyright and trademark issues.
post #37 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It's more than just a USB connector. I really don't know if anything in the dock connector is legitimately patentable, but maybe there's a special wiper design for the contacts, a special process required to make the contacts or something like that.

As I mentioned, it's the shape of the connector, the pin layout, the electricial interface for the pinout, and buffering, etc.

This is all very complex.
post #38 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

You lack understanding, young padawan. There are only widely adopted standards... but who do you think created these standards? Do you think they sprang up out of thin air? Those who create and patent inventions need to be able to get paid for their work, or there is no innovation, only illicit copying.

Besides, Almost all connectors over the past century, or so, were patented, and owned by their inventors.

Once the patents ran out, after twenty years, if they were very good, they became "standards".

Today, things are much more complex, and sometimes standards are arrived at by committee, with representatives from many different companies.

What then happens is that we get Firewire, and HDMI connectors that don't lock. Flimsy eSATA connectors, etc.

Proprietary designs tend to be more robust.

And yes, I know that USB doesn't lock either, but those were never intended, at first, to be used for critical applications, like FW and eSATA was.
post #39 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

If people were counterfeiting my actual product, sure. If they were contributing to a market place of accessories that actually complimented the sales of my own product, no way.

It's just a cable. If Apple is going to sue over something that stupid, then they deserve ever single small-time lawsuit that gets brought against them.

So you're saying that Apple's complex connector, with all of its physical and electrical characteristics, are not an Apple product?

Are you saying that it's fine to copy a PART of a product, but not all of it?

That would go against law in about all countries.
post #40 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

This is bad juju. These guys are making an ACCESSORY for the iPod, not copying the iPod itself. They aren't even claiming to be part of the "made for iPod" program, just compatible with it. That accessory market is good for Apple, not competition.

Its very suspicious that Apple was even able to get a patent on the shape of the connector. Isn't it just a USB connector with a different shape?

If the Devices made damage the iPod the consumer will go after Apple for not defending their patents on quality of third party products which is part of the Made for iPod.
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