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.

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Companies: apple

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Comments on “Power Adapter With Embedded LED Patented, Apple Sued For Infringement”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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.

spencermatthewp says:

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.

Jack Poller says:

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.

Ron says:


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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