Apple Cracks Down on Unlicensed Accessories in Court

apple cracks down on unlicensed accessories in court made for iphoneIf the iPhone charger you bought on eBay for 37 cents doesn’t wear Apple’s shiny “Made for iPhone” logo, Steve Jobs and Co. didn’t get their cut of the profit. And they’re none too happy about it. According to Bloomberg, Apple has turned its legal guns on the manufacturers of unlicensed third-party accessories.

The majority of Apple accessories, including the menagerie of white plastic add-ons you might pick up at your local Apple store, are manufactured legally under Apple’s MFi licensing program, which skims 20 to 25 percent of each sale off for Apple in exchange for use of Apple’s intellectual property. Apple also provides manufacturers with technical information, hardware connectors, and testing tools, then certifies each gadget for compatibility.

But in an effort to skip paying the piper, a growing number of companies have forgone Apple’s channels and produced completely unlicensed accessories on the cheap.

It’s not hard to see the appeal. A simple dock connector to USB cable, for instance, goes for $19 at the Apple store, while any number of eBay vendors would be happy to sell a generic version for 99 cents – with free shipping to boot.

In its lawsuit, filed July 22 at a federal court in San Francisco, Apple claims the companies making this type of accessory violate up to 10 of its patents and trademarks. Accessory makers named include Accstation, Boxware Corporation, Crazyondigital, Eforcity Corporation, Everydaysource, Itrimming, and United Integral.

Besides the patent and trademark infringement, Apple alleges that unlicensed accessories often malfunction – for instance, draining a battery instead of charging it.

Still willing to gamble with accessories that cost a fraction of the Apple store price? Don’t expect the grey market to dry up any time soon. Apple’s current suits only target U.S. companies, but many are made overseas in China or Taiwan, out of Apple’s legal reach. Case and point: Apple managed to successfully sue a company making unlicensed MacBook chargers last November, but a quick visit to eBay turns up no shortage of $10 “OEM equivalent” MacBook chargers.

Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for February 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Mobile

Need more power now? Here's how you can fast charge your iPhone

The new iPhones have almost everything an iOS addict could want -- except for a fast charger. If you need your iPhone powered back up in a hurry, here's everything you need to know to get your iPhone charged up quickly.
Mobile

New rumors suggest the iPhone 2019 will continue to use Lightning over USB-C

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Mobile

How to check your IMEI number on an iPhone, Android, or other device

If you're wondering how to check your IMEI number, then this guide will show you how to do it, regardless of what phone you have. You can find your IMEI number using the dialer, in settings, or in a couple of other places.
Computing

These are the 6 best free antivirus apps to help protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Mobile

The Apollo Traveller is the fastest recharging power bank we’ve ever used

Power banks are getting better all the time, but the Apollo Traveller from Elecjet hits new heights in terms of charging and recharging speeds thanks to the use of a graphene composite for cooling. Here's what happened when we tried it out.
Computing

Get ready for new AirPods, MacBooks as rumored dates for Apple WWDC 2019 emerge

Apple developers and fans alike look forward, every year, to the company's World Wide Developer Conference, WWDC, and for this year, we already have the rumored dates that might bring us Apple's latest tech announcements.
Computing

This Mac keyboard is slim, dark, and clicky, but it’s still not perfect

There aren't many great mechanical keyboards for Macs. The Keychron K1 is just the latest attempt to join that hallowed group, but does its blend of style and substance tick all the boxes?
Computing

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Mobile

Need a date for Valentine's Day? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Computing

One of these monitors will look great next to your new MacBook Pro

Apple doesn't make its beloved Cinema Display monitors anymore, which makes finding the best monitor for the MacBook Pro more difficult. In this guide, we break down some of our favorites and offer something for every size and budget.
Mobile

Smartwatch sales soared in 2018, with Apple leading the charge

The NPD Group, a market research organization, has reported smartwatch sales soared in 2018. Apple is leading the charge, but it's clear there's still room in the market for competitors, as Samsung and Fitbit also did well.
Mobile

Worried about extra data charges? Here's how to check your usage on an iPhone

It's common to get a little nervous about nearing data limits. Keep your peace of mind by checking how much data your iPhone is using. Our guide on how to check data usage on an iPhone helps you stay in control.