Power Adapter With Embedded LED Patented, Apple Sued For Infringement

from the without-the-patent-system,-this-never-would-have-been-invented dept

Would you believe that the Patent Office granted a patent on the idea of embedding an LED light in a power adapter? It turns out that they did, and that's not good for Apple, who sells just such a device and is now facing patent infringement charges, in Texas, of course. While yet another patent infringement suit isn't all that interesting, what's amusing is the patent attorney's statements on the lawsuit. First, he insists the patent is valid, as if he weren't a biased source. He then suggests that we shouldn't question the validity of the patent because it's not a business model patent. While it's true that business model patents are questionable, that doesn't let other types of patents off the hook. Then, to get past the charges of being a patent troll, he insists that the holder of the patent used to have a company that made these types of chargers, though it's no longer in business and he can't remember the name of it. As for what are the next steps, the lawyer has it all worked out: "They [Apple] pay us millions of dollars, that's the next step." Apparently due process and all that sorta stuff really doesn't matter when it comes to a failed business man with a simple idea trying to squeeze millions from a company who actually has a product people want to buy.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Larry, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 3:20pm

    NEVER

    I will never buy an Apple power adapter. Those who do should just put electrical tape over the LED and sue that guy for the cost of the tape.

    Idiot.

     

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  2.  
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    GoblinJuice, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 3:22pm

    Obvious.

    NEXT!

    Sorry, I'm living in my daydream world. =)

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 3:27pm

    Aren't there plenty of power adapters with LED lights in them?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 3:27pm

    Wait a minute, My 6 year old HP OfficeJet has an LED in the power adapter.
    So does my 2 year old Dell Laptop.
    So does my ancient Win95 laptop.
    So does my external hard drive.

    Obviously, no one is looking at prior art these days.

     

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  5.  
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    Overcast, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 3:38pm

    LOL, WTF?

    I've had at least 10 different devices with LED's on the power adapter.

     

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  6.  
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    Dotel, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 3:45pm

    I have a Zenith Laptop Circa 1987 (more like a lugable) IT has a power led on the Brick/charger it comes with.

     

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  7.  
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    Jeff, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 3:59pm

    I thought they reviewed patent applications so this couldn't happen, obviously I'm dead wrong.

     

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  8.  
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    -gary, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 4:04pm

    Read the patent

    If you guys would take 5 seconds to read the application, it's for an adapter with an LED in the plug end of the cord, not the brick. Just like Apple's, and the first that I can remember ever seeing.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 4:07pm

    To be fair, the patent is for an led on the cable where the charger plugs into the device. You guys are all talking about leds on the brick which is usually behind your desk. So the patent is for moving what you guys are talking about 3 meters to the left.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    anonymous coward, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 4:13pm

    I just filed a patent for putting an LED in the actual cable! It is unique because it is neither in the plug or brick!

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    spencermatthewp, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 4:23pm

    How much money has apple made off the power adapte

    The thing I find odd about this is that the guy is trying to squeeze millions of dollars from apple for something that is incidental to the sale of the laptop. It's not like people buy a macBook saying, "The thing that got me was the cool power adapter"

    I think apple should just settle this thing and give the guy the sum total of dollars they have made that can be directly linked to the incorporation of the LED in the power adapter. I'm pretty confident that sum will be somewhere between $0 and Negative $500. After all I'm sure people have asked for replacement power adapters when the led quits, or simply doesn't work.

    This is probably the dummest thing I have ever seen. How can they possibly hope to prove that Apple has made money directly from the (mis)use of this patent. Further, it's not like apple manufactured the thing themselves. They buy the part from someone else who makes it to their specifications.

    So the only money being made off the stupid thing is being made by the unnamed manufacturer of the part. I'm sure somebody in China pretty well off thanks to that LED by now. Good luck getting the money out of them.

    This kind of BS just makes me want to SCREAM. it's utterly stupid. Let's hope for once a judge has a brain in his head.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Chris Maresca, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 4:24pm

    Wait..

    I have a power cord in my workshop that has LEDs at every plug. I've had it for at least 5 years, is it illegal?

    Chris.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Jack Poller, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 4:34pm

    Prior art

    Sony's PCGA-AC16V6 power supply for Vaio V505 and TR1, TR2, TR3, TR5 laptops. There's an LED at the plug end, embedded in the cord. The cord end of the plug is fitted with a donut shaped light pipe to distribute the green/yellow LED light evenly around the cord.

    I purchased mine in early 2004, and they'd been out for a while. No patent information listed on the brick.

     

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  14.  
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    DRM Suxx, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 4:50pm

    My patent

    I just filed for a patent on a power adapter that plugs into the wall and the laptop so now everyone owes me millions of dollars. Pay up!

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Ron, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 4:55pm

    HP

    My HP OfficeJet 6110 (several years old) has an LED in the adapter plug where it plugs into the printer; little green bugger. Prior art. The patent is invalid. The lawyer is apparently a major ass. As to the patent person who approved the patent: as Sybil Fawlty would have said "I have seen more intelligent things lying on their backs at the bottom of a pond". Case closed.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Jon, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 5:21pm

    Extension Cords

    I have seen extension cords with LEDs in the ends for a LONG time. Money grubbing, patent troll. I hope you need a Verizon service tech out to your house!

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 5:58pm

    Ummm.... My Norelco beard trimmer also has an led in the plug

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 9:21pm

    Re: existing power adapters

    2 laptops, both with LED indicators on the power supplies, plus an indicator on the targus universal supply. Treo 700, indicator lights on both the wall and car chargers. HP printer, light on the brick. HP scanner, same. Ryobi multitool kit, light on the battery charger (power supply by proxy?). So on and so forth - I might have a couple of power supplies that DON'T have an indicator light. This patent is FOS.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Aug 11th, 2007 @ 7:21am

    Re: Extension Cords

    I was going to mention extension cords as well. I'm wondering if adding an LED to something makes it patentable, if so I'm adding an LED to absolutely nothing and then patenting it that way everyone who sells an LED will owe me millions. Clever, eh?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Aug 11th, 2007 @ 2:11pm

    extortion

    The only way to put a stop to this sort of b**ls**t is to throw the b*****ds in jail - the patent holder and his lawyer - for attempted extortion.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    inc, Aug 11th, 2007 @ 4:27pm

    I think this was one of the first uses for an LED. I should just patent breathing. It's something new and you all should pay up now.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Lars Calls, Aug 11th, 2007 @ 7:38pm

    Re: LED's at Plugs

    Likewise, I have a 24" extension cord with 4 female receptacles on one end and 4 LED's. I also have a power adapter for one of my devices with an LED in the plug. Maybe I should tell the lawyer so he find more people to sue.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Lars Calls, Aug 11th, 2007 @ 7:41pm

    Re: HP 8250

    My HP Photosmart 8250 has an LED in the plug at the printer end.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Shohat, Aug 12th, 2007 @ 3:08am

    Old School

    I have a toaster oven. It's probably from somehwere in the 80s .
    When I plug it in, small light thingy turns on.

    OH MY GAWD.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Jason Hartzog, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 9:58am

    Patent Reform

    I just filed a patent on a stick that you beat the hell out of patent trolls with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 4:40am

    Re: NEVER

    TEh idiot is sitting on your chair. Apple are getting sued, not doing the suing. RTFA before posting next time, or even TF headline, which clearly says "Apple sued" (in the present tense) not "Apple sueing"

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Phil, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 10:30am

    Power Adapter With Embedded LED Patented, Apple Su

    Ah patent trolls, how we loath you all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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