Thursday, January 18, 2007, 09:00 pm PT (12:00 am ET)
Briefly: 802.11n fee, Jobs' mansion woes, Apple targets British firmApple has lowered the price of entry for recent Intel Mac owners who want 802.11n access. At the same time, Steve Jobs' initially approved demolition of a classic home has been denied. And yet another device maker has suffered the wrath of Apple's legal team over alleged trademark misuse.
Apple confirms, lowers 802.11n Enabler fee
Apple tonight confirmed a circulating story that it would charge owners of recent Airport-equipped Macs for a patch that will enable 802.11n wireless in Mac OS X. The company, however, appears to have changed its mind about the privately documented $4.99 fee following customer reaction and will now plans to charge just $1.99
Apple spokeswoman Lynn Fox additionally confirmed that the Sarbannes-Oxley Act was largely to blame for the fee. The law's provisions require that companies charge for significant features added to already-purchased products, Fox said.
Speculation about retroactive updates to the faster Wi-Fi standard arose when dissections of the MacBook Pro and other computers released since August revealed hidden 802.11n support in their chipsets.
Jobs denied demolition rights
In a surprising turn of events, local authorities last week revoked the permit initially granted to Apple chief exeuctive Steve Jobs that would have let him demolish a decaying mansion on his property.
The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco overturned a previous decision that was to have seen the Jackling estate — which Jobs infamously characterized as an "abomination" — razed in favor of building a new, smaller home.
In explaining its decision, the court claimed that Jobs had not shown proof that it would be unfeasible to bring the 1926 building back to its former glory, drawing in part on the arguments made by a preservation group named Uphold Our Heritage.
Although the permit had been granted dating back 2001, just a year after Jobs moved out of the property, UOH successfully blocked the demolition last January when presiding Judge Marie Weiner agreed with the group's argument that Jobs had not proven restoring the house was beyond his means.
British firm in hotseat for alleged iPod trademark violation
Apple is continuing to squeeze companies it believes are treading on its coveted iPod trademark, AppleInsider has learned. A young British company named Securipod Ltd. said on Thursday that it received a Cease and Desist letter from the Cupertino firm, claiming that the inclusion of "ipod" in its name might create confusion.
The Watford, UK-based startup flatly rejected the notion, saying that its upcoming first product had very little to do with Apple's signature music device and that the legal action was ironic given Apple's current lawsuit troubles. "[Our] directors are bemused as to how a biometric wallet could be confused with an iPod MP3 player, but an Apple iPhone could not be confused with a Cisco iPhone," Securipod said in a statement.
Though the fledgling company still hopes for a June release of its wallet, named Biouno, design and marketing manager Mark Watson observed that Apple's flippant attitude towards trademarks was potentially ruinous for smaller companies. "The 'silly tiff' [of a trademark dispute] as referred to by Apple can cost businesses tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees to fight for the right to protect their names," he said.
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