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Zenbook Production Halted By Apple

David Gilbert by

MacBook Air Patent

Apple has been granted its sixth design patent for the MacBook Air since September 2009 and if reports are to be believed, the company is already forcing manufacturers to stop production of an Ultrabook with a very similar design.

The US Patent and Trademark Office has officially published a series of 19 newly granted patents for Apple today including one for the design of the MacBook Air which credits the late Steve Jobs and UK-born Jonny Ive for the iconic design.

Apple has been waging war with Samsung and other manufacturers over their smartphone and tablet designs for the past year or so, complaining that Samsung has been “slavishly copying” the design of the iPhone and iPad.

Apple Macbook Air Patent

Now it seems as if Apple could be getting ready to take the fight to the slew of Ultrabook manufacturers who have released slim and light laptops in the past six month, many of which have had more than a passing resemblance to the MacBook Air, which has been around since 2008.

According to a report in the Chinese-language Commercial Times, Apple has forced Pegatron, one of the companies which assembles iPhones for Apple, to cease the production of the Asus Zenbook because the Cupertino-based company believes the Zenbook is too similar to the MacBook Air.

Pegatron, which is one of the companies whose factories are being investigated by the Fair Labor Association regarding concerns about working conditions, will stop producing the Asus Zenbook by the end of March, leaving Asus to look elsewhere for a production partner. Pegatron has only recently won iPhone orders from Apple and is hoping to join Foxconn in assembling the iPad 3 too.

Apple Macbook Air Patent

While Apple won’t be able to go after all Ultrabooks – such as the Lenovo Yoga and HP Envy 14 Spectre – but there are plenty out there which will be worried about getting a legal letter in the door from Apple – such as the Dell XPS 13 and the Samsung Series 9.

We really hope Apple doesn’t go after Ultrabook manufacturers and we suspect it may not happen, as if it did, it would likely anger Intel and that's would mean Apple could be forced to look elsewhere for its CPUs in the future.

Source: Patently Apple and 9To5Mac

Image Credit: 9To5Mac

Go to comments

Greg Shewan

February 16, 2012, 7:36 pm

Wow... someone at Cupertino needs to put their big boy pants on.

Nik Bates

February 16, 2012, 11:47 pm

Do Apple really belive people will buy the Air if they ban this.... yeah of course they will as only the sad buy a notebook because of what it looks like not what the spec or the os is.


February 17, 2012, 3:27 pm

Nik Bates - I bought the air because at the time it did have the specs, price that were UNMATCHED by anyone. I got my 11 inch macbook air, 4gb ram, 128gb SSD and 3 year applecare warranty for just over £900 (student discount excluded, it would have been about £1050)

I don't think you can beat that spec even now. And when I say, match the spec, I want you to find me a netbook shell that has the specs I've just listed...Exactly it doesn't exist in that price range...nor do the other manufacturers do the student subsidy of Apple...

Before you bring up the computers Apple may have been producing in 2008 and prior, please do a little research. There is nothing that matches the Macbook Air at the moment. The Aspire S5 looks attractive, but that is still a few months away...

Nik Bates

February 17, 2012, 10:28 pm

Sounds like a fanboy whos looking for Apple v Windows fight

And your so right i cant find a i5 laptop with 4gig of ram any where (sarcasm intended)

o wait heres one for £450 (http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/... guess i'l have to get my own Ssd and install it myself with the £450 i've just saved.


February 18, 2012, 12:30 am

Someone needs to have a BIG word with the guys at the patent office because Apple are getting patents for ridiculous things these days and it's becoming a joke. Someone at the patent office needs to apply a bit of common sense before allowing these patents. How can apple possibly patent the look of a laptop, or a tablet for that matter. It's disgusting.

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