HyperMac Dropping MagSafe Gear Over Patent Lawsuit

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Portable battery recharger maker HyperMac announced on Monday that it will stop selling its MagSafe charger cables for Apple laptops on November 2. The announcement comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed against the company by Apple over patent infringement claims.

“As part of our ongoing comprehensive licensing negotiations with Apple regarding a wide array of technologies and issues, we have decided to cease the sale of the MacBook charging cables and car charger on November 2, 2010,” HyperMac said in a statement.

RIP HyperMac MagSafe chargers

“While we will continue to sell the same batteries together with the rest of our product line after November 2nd, they will not be able to charge MacBooks without the cables.”

Apple filed the patent infringement lawsuit against Sanho, the maker of HyperMac portable battery chargers, in late September. According to the filing, the HyperMac product line infringes on six different patents related to Apple’s MagSafe charger connector, the iPod and iPhone dock connector, and cables.

The HyperMac product line includes several sizes of portable chargers for Apple’s MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, as well as the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPod.

Since Apple’s laptops all use a proprietary magnetic charger connector, Sanho has been collecting and using cables built by Apple in its own products. Apple alleges the company doesn’t have permission to use the cables and MagSafe connectors it culls from other sources.

Sanho president Daniel Chin told Engadget his company is currently negotiating with Apple over MagSafe licensing issues, “and ceasing the sale of the MagSafe cables was a perquisite for negotiations to go on.”

HyperMac said it has a limited supply of MagSafe-based products left, so the remaining inventory will likely sell out quickly.

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11 Comments Leave Your Own

geoduck

Sanho has been collecting and using cables built by Apple in its own products. Apple alleges the company doesn?t have permission to use the cables and MagSafe connectors it culls from other sources.

Not 100% comfortable with this.

We’re not talking software here. These are physical products. Also let’s take HyperMac at their word and they are just buying used parts and recycling them.

If I want to build and sell cars I can take used Chevy or Ford engines and put them in my products. That’s been done for decades. If I want to sell an airplane, I can take instruments out of other airplanes and put them in what I’m selling (assuming they pass FAA muster). That’s been done for years. If I want to sell computers, I can take a power supply out of other computers and include them in my product. It would be dumb given the cost of power supplies but I could do it legally. If I want to buy used Macs and sell the parts on my web site I can do it legally. There are a number of companies that do that.

How can Apple claim that there is something special about the MagSafe plug? It’s just another part on the used components market.

Intruder

I agree. I think this is a bad move by Apple.

ctopher

Interesting…

There’s an article on Ars about the doctrine of “First Sale” but I can’t post a link to it because TMO says it’s blacklisted?

How about I can’t even put the url in the text. Look for if-you-buy-an-imported-watch-do-you-really-own-it

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Typical Apple. They’ll find some way to spin screwing their customers so it’s “protecting them”. Give their PR people a couple weeks.

jas

It frustrates me that because of Apple’s ridiculous policies with “Magsafe” that I can’t buy a 12V adapter that I can use to CHARGE my MacBook Pro in my car or RV (the car/airline adapter to RUN the computer, but not charge it).  I am thus forced to the more inefficient route of using a power inverter with my AC adapter.

OK, fine, so Apple doesn’t want to make the product I want.  They should at least let someone else make it.

MacKeeper_fan_Mod

This should have been done a long time ago. HM is taking legitimate power cables, cutting off a part of it, and adapting it to their battery. Nevermind the part about the Made-4-Mac program, how about the liability. If something goes wrong with your Mac as a result of these cables, who do you think is on the hook for repairs? Not HM.

I’m sure Psystar can use their expertise.

jfbiii

HM would be on the hook. This is patent abuse on the part of Apple, plain and simple. Even when you factor in the fact that they have a fiduciary duty to stockholders, this is still ridiculous and they deserve to have their teeth kicked in for it in a courtroom.

Pat Mahon

How can Apple claim that there is something special about the MagSafe plug? It?s just another part on the used components market.

Because Sanho are using those parts to plug their product into a Mac. What is the point of making proprietary parts if they are going to let other manufacturers use them unlicensed?

geoduck

What is the point of making proprietary parts if they are going to let other manufacturers use them unlicensed?

But that’s just the point. Sanho is not manufacturing knock-off copies. They are using parts that are already made and Apple has already sold. These are physical parts. Unlike software when you buy a computer you own it. You don’t own the right to copy it but the item itself is yours. You can sell it, and that person can resell it. Otherwise Honda could say you could not resell your old car. If that weren’t the case then Kohler could force you to send your old faucet back to them and not install it somewhere else and then sell that place. Nor could you put it on the table at the garage sale. More to the point Apple would go after Small Dog Electronics for selling this. There’s really no difference legally, philosophically, or ethically in selling a complete “reconditioned” MacBook power supply complete with MagSafe adaptor and selling your own power supply with the same used MagSafe adaptor. Apple sold the part and got their money. Someone used it. Then they sold it to someone else.

Pat Mahon

Apple sold the part and got their money. Someone used it. Then they sold it to someone else.

OK, so I get your comparisons with software licensing or automobile hardware but I think (with all due respect) you are missing the point here.

It’s not about Apple getting their money for the initial sale of the Magsafe. It’s about the HyperMac products being bought in quantities above and beyond other batteries because of the unlicensed Magsafe connector. Plus, if Sanho did not have to legally stop selling the products in order to negotiate a license with Apple, they would not be doing so. An admission of guilt if ever there was one. And a desperate bid to appease Apple so they can possibly still make money off the back of Apple’s design in the future.

The fact that Apple are negotiating a license goes to show that they are happy to let a third party manufacture produce a product they are not interested in but they are a business, not a charity. Pay the license Sanho or move on. Simple!

James

Ahem.

Fuck you (in the face) Apple.

That is all.

PS - the patent system is repulsively broken.

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