A government officer from Taiwan is warning local PC vendors of a new Apple patent for the MacBook Air that could be used in legal action in an attempt to stop the sales of Ultrabooks from competitive manufacturers. Apple has already tried this tactic on Samsung, attempting to halt sales of the company’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus smartphone. In both cases Apple has successfully halted sales of the devices in the United States.
The Cupertino company received a U.S. patent last month for the exterior wedge-like design of its MacBook Air devices. The intellectual property office of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, though, is worried that the patent could create legal trouble for manufacturers of Ultrabooks due to the fact that the laptops also feature thin and light designs similar to the MacBook Air.
According to a statement from Xue Shuhua, a public relations staff member with the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan, “We are recommending that PC vendors be careful.” Xue also noted that Apple has already targeted HTC in several patent-related complaints that have tried to ban the import of the phone to the United States.
These legal battles have delayed the shipments of the company’s newest smartphones to the U.S. as a result of a U.S. International Trade Commission ruling. “Companies that manufacture ultrabooks should avoid the Apple patent when producing their products,” Xue added. The office is scheduled to hold a meeting with Taiwan PC makers, though has yet to decide when and which companies to invite.
Two of the top Ultrabook manufacturers in the world are Acer and Asus, both out of Taiwan. Acer commented on the patent saying, “Apple’s patent on the teardrop profile design is different to Acer’s ultrabook design. Hence, currently, the patent has no impact on Acer.”
Well, it seems Apple’s intentions are clear. If they can’t beat a company then they are simply going to patent every single aspect of the smartphone, tablet and laptop so that no company in the world will be able to produce something without violating one of Apple’s patents. Hasn’t Apple ever heard of healthy competition?
Source: Computer World – Taiwan warns PC makers that new Apple patent could target ultrabooks
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