The world is so used to seeing Apple and Samsung battle out one copyright infringement lawsuit or the other that one wonders how they have the resources to take on other legal battles. I guess whoever is in charge of the legal department of those companies must be seriously overworked.
In this case Mobile Star did not steal any of Apple’s technology but are using the Apple name to make money for themselves. Basically Apple is saying the company has been selling chargers and other accessories for Apple devices and passing them off as the original.
This is where the idea of fake chargers come in I suppose. From the gist of the lawsuit, you get the distinct feeling the chargers actually work very well, and perhaps are as good as the ones produced from Apple sanctioned vendors. And because they work very well, people would always patronize these ‘fake chargers’ instead of the ones from Apple.
Part of the lawsuit which was posted by Patently Apple read:
Apple brings this action to protect its customers from dangerous counterfeit power products such as power adapters and charging cables that Amazon.com LLC (“Amazon.com”) sourced from Defendant Mobile Star LLC (“Mobile Star”) and sold through its internet-based e-commerce platform located at www.amazon.com. Mobile Star also supplied Groupon, Inc./Groupon Goods, Inc. (“Groupon”) with dangerous counterfeit Apple power products that Groupon then sold to consumers through Groupon’s e-commerce platform. Counterfeit power products, such as those supplied by Mobile Star, pose an immediate threat to consumer safety because, unlike genuine Apple products, they are not subjected to industry-standard consumer safety testing and are poorly constructed with inferior or missing components, flawed design, and inadequate electrical insulation. These counterfeits have the potential to overheat, catch fire, and deliver a deadly electric shock to consumers while in normal use. A white paper recently published by the consumer product safety and testing organization UL (formerly Underwriters Laboratories) reported that counterfeit Apple charging products often “lack the safety features necessary to protects users from shock and fire hazards,” and UL tested twelve counterfeit Apple power adapters that “were so poorly designed and constructed that they posed a risk of lethal electrocution to the user.”1 The safety of Apple’s customers is of paramount importance to Apple, and Apple devotes significant resources to ensuring its power products meet industry safety standards and are subjected to rigorous testing for safety and reliability. Apple brings this suit to stop Mobile Star from any further distribution of counterfeit Apple products to the public.”
I bet you don’t expect anything less than that from a company like Apple. They would claim they are just trying to protect their own companies. But the truth is they are only trying trying to protect their own bottomline; that is profits.
I definitely understand why a company like Apple would decide to protect their business. And calling them fakes is their right too. But thing is, to browbeat a small outfit like Mobile Star is what I don’t fancy from big companies with limitless funds.
A lawsuit like this might be too expensive for a small outfit like that to handle. It might run them out of business. Which is what Apple really want, not the little amount they might get in settlement if they won the case.
And to be honest, calling chargers like that fakes are just blatant lies as far as I am concerned. Talk about giving a dog a bad name to hang it. It is not as if Mobile Star branded the chargers with the Apple name or insignia; I am sure they only advertised the chargers as capable of charging iOS devices.
Most of us obtain our smartphone accessories like that. We go to third party sellers and buy these accessories because the ones from the manufacturers are not available; or even if they are available can be so expensive it doesn’t make sense to waste money on them when there are cheaper alternatives.
And can somebody tell me when the sale of these unofficial ‘fake’ chargers have affected the the growth of these companies to the point of recording big annual losses? Yeah, never.
Anyway, Apple is saying you should stop buying chargers or other iOS accessories from Amazon because 90% of them are fake.
image credit: theverge.com; patentlyapple.com; techcrunch.com; iphonepedia.com