More on the mysterious MagSafe connector

More on the mysterious MagSafe connector

Summary: I mentioned in my posting yesterday that Apple's new MagSafe power connector is both an asset and a liability. Today I want to look at its patent status...


magsafe-animation.gifI mentioned in my posting yesterday that Apple's new MagSafe power connector is both an asset and a liability.

There was a piece on the Japanese Mac Treasure Tracing Club Web site on 26 February 2006 that stated "Because Apple acquired a patent for MagSafe, third party manufacturers cannot sell an adapter with with such a connector." It also goes on to say that Apple is not going to give permission to do so.

Ironically the breakaway power cord standard was developed years ago by Underwriters Laboratories for use on chocolate fondue fountains and countertop deep fryers.

I think that there's a good chance that Apple may "bless" a particular manufacturer with the rights to make a MagSafe car/airline adapter at some point (as they have done with Griffin Technologies and other third party developers on iPod projects in the past). A potential candidate could be Kensington as they make a 120W adapter for notebooks now.

I'm even more interested to see if the upcoming consumer "MacBook" will share the same giant brick as the MacBook Pro

So how many extra 85W MagSafe power adapters and MBP batteries did you buy?

Topic: Apple

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  • US patents are ridiculous

    I can't believe Apple recieved a patent for that. Magnetic power cords have been on Japanese hot water kettles since 1980. Look at any Zorushi or other imported hot water kettle and it has a magnetic break away power cord. The fact that apple can steal something that's been around for decades and get a patent for it shows just how ridiculous the US patent system is.
    • Apple has not been granted a patent, yet.

      It is patent pending, why do so many people jump to judgement when they have absolutely NO foundation to make such a call?

      Come on DNN, ANYONE can be Patent Pending on a product, file a Provisional Patent, and boom... "Patent Pending" which affords someone 1 year of research and development before they have to file a formal patent application.

      The US Patent system protects the little guy who can shell out anywhere from about $150 if they do it all themselves to $10,000+ if they bring a lawyer to the table and both depend on the number of unique claims. I recommend an attorney, but one is not needed.

      The Patent system has its flaws, just like someone piping up that a system is ridiculous when they don't know what they are talking about.