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Apple sues Atico International over iPod accessories

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Friday, May 16, 2008
News Categories: Apple

In a case that outlines the legal strategy that will be used against companies that create iPod accessories without joining Apple’s Made for iPod program, the company has filed suit against Atico International over a series of patent and trademark infringements relating to the latter’s iPod accessories. Apple is claiming infringement of a patent on remote controls, infringement on the design patents for its Universal Dock well, as well as three Dock Adapters, and trademark violations relating to the Made for iPod, iPod mark, and iPod image trademarks. Apple has also alleged that Atico is unfairly competing with Apple in violation of federal law based on its use of Apple’s trademarks, falsely suggesting that its products are associated with Apple. Some of Atico’s products are being sold at Walgreens under the Living Solutions brand; offerings include an AM/FM Alarm Clock Radio with iPod Dock, a Portable Boom Box with iPod Dock, and the JBL On Stage-styled Portable Speaker with iPod Dock. Apple’s complete filing is available here.

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Comments

1

ever greedy Apple.

Posted by iJay on May 17, 2008 at 4:10 PM (PDT)

2

If it doesn’t work at the standard that Apple strives for I don’t want it. I applaud Apple for ensuring that accessories are up-to-scratch.

Posted by Dan Woods on May 18, 2008 at 12:13 AM (PDT)

3

I want the after-market products I purchase to perform as they should. Furthermore, using Apple’s brand sans permission is against the law. Apple is in business to MAKE MONEY and ensure high quality. Since when is that “greed?”

Posted by RNB in Bakersfield, CA on May 19, 2008 at 12:25 PM (PDT)

4

The reality is that Apple made a very bad tactical error when their desire to maintain control over their accessories resulted in rendering a whole collection of previously-manufactured accessories incompatible with current-generation iPods. Bear in mind that many of these video accessories for the fifth-generation iPod were manufactured under the authorized Made-for-iPod program, which was never advertised as a “Made-for-iPod-5G” program.

The need to keep control of their branding and ensure quality accessories is commendable, but when it leads to leaving their upgrading customers with potentially hundreds of dollars of accessories that cannot be used with the new iPod models, and they’re not forthright about that fact (many customers had to discover this the hard way after upgrading), then that’s going to leave a bad taste for many people and lead to no other possible conclusion than greed as a motivating factor.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on May 20, 2008 at 6:33 AM (PDT)

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