A federal judge has ruled that Apple can go ahead with its suit against a maker of unlicensed accessories for iPhones and iPods.
Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied a bid by eForCity, the accessory company, to have the suit dismissed.
The original complaint was brought in July. Apple said that eForCity and several other companies - Itrimming, Everydaysource, United Integral, Crazyondigital and Boxwave, all owned by Jack Sheng, infringed on Apple's patents and trademarks by offering unauthorized accessories for various devices. The accessories included chargers, docking cradles, and cables.
The court said Apple has met the standard for filing an infringement complaint. EForCity had argued that Apple's suit wasn't specific enough. EForCity says in its filing that Apple doesn't explain which invention the company is infringing on. The filing says that Apple has asserted seven claims, threatened to sue on an additional 223 of them, but was not making any reasonable inquiry about whether those claims were in fact infringed.
Two of the companies being sued entered settlement agreements with Apple in February, prohibiting them from selling their products unless licensed by Apple.
Apple had in place a program called MFi, which basically asks that manufacturers and resellers of accessories to use a logo that says Made For iPod. The company also asks that resellers license the technology to make connectors and cables that fit various apple products.
In November, a company called Sanho was forced to stop selling power cables designed to work with iPads and MacBooks after Apple filed a similar suit. Sanho has continued to sell chargers and batteries, but it now sells them with cables that don't use any of the proprietary connectors to Apple machines.