Taiwan has warned local PC makers about a new patent for Apple’s MacBook Air notebook that might result to another legal skirmish. The Cupertino-based tech giant has been on hot pursuit of companies infringing its patents. Ultrabooks may as well be in danger of a lawsuit.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Apple patent D661296 for the external triangle-shaped cross section of ultrathin MacBook Air notebooks. Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in particular, fears that this patent could give the American company an upper hand against Taiwanese PC makers. Ultrabooks have light and thin designs similar to the MacBook Air.
“We are recommending that PC vendors be careful,” said Xue Shuhua, a public relations staff of the IPO, Wednesday.
Xue mentioned that Apple is still hounding Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC in several complaints regarding the former’s patents. Apple sought, and still is seeking, to ban the import of HTC phones into U.S. territory. Legal battles consequently pushed HTC to postpone shipments of its latest units to the country. The decision was due to a ruling of the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Taiwan’s IPO intends to discuss matters with local PC makers. It has yet to determine a proper date and the names of companies that will attend the meeting. Xue said, “Companies that manufacture ultrabooks should avoid the Apple patent when producing their products.”
Taiwanese PC makers Acer and Asus both ship their ultrabooks in the U.S.
Acer answered in a statement, “Apple’s patent on the teardrop profile design is different to Acer’s ultrabook design. Hence, currently, the patent has no impact on Acer.”
Ultrabook founder Intel has yet to comment on the issue.