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Apple sues 'HyperMac' accessory maker over MagSafe, iPod cables

post #1 of 173
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Apple has filed a lawsuit against Sanho Corporation, maker of the HyperMac line of accessories, alleging violation of patents it owns related to the MagSafe charger and cables that use the iPod 30-pin connection.

The lawsuit filed this month accuses Sanho, based out of Sunnyvale, Calif., of infringing on six MagSafe- and iPod-related patents, covering a variety of products sold under the HyperMac brand. Among the products named in the suit are its magnetic power connectors, known as MBP-PRO and MBP-AIR, as well as a MacBook car charger, MBP-CAR.

Instead of mimicking Apple's patented MagSafe connectors, Sanho's products actually rely on recycled official MagSafe products made by Apple. "Our charging cables use original Apple MagSafe connectors for maximum compatibility," the company's website reads.

The suit also singles out charging and data cables that rely on the 30-pin dock connector compatible with Apple's iPod, iPhone and iPad ecosystem of devices. Named in the suit are the "HyperMac Nano," "HyperMac Micro" and "HyperMac Mini" products.

Sanho's HyperMac branding sells a number of small, portable external batteries that can provide extra power to portable devices on the go. Using the iPod 30-pin dock connector, products like the HyperMac Micro come in a variety of colors and are compatible with Apple products like the iPhone 4 and iPad.

In the suit, filed in a U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, Apple says it notified Sanho of its infringement via official letters on April 26, May 19 and June 2010 of 2010.



"Defendants manufacture, distribute, and/or sell products that infringe patents related to Apple's proprietary MagSafe connectors used to connect power adapters and other products to Apple portable computers, such as the MacBook," the suit reads. "Defendants also manufacture, distribute and/or sell products that infringe patents related to Apple's 30-pin connectors and receptacles , used to connect cables to Apple iPod, iPhone and/or iPad products."

"Defendants' infringing conduct has damaged Apple and inflicted irreparable harm for which Apple seeks, among other remedies, an award of its actual damages, disgorgement of Defendants' profits from the sale of infringing devices and injunctive relief."



The patents cited by in the suit are:

U.S. Patent No. 7,517,222 - "Magnetic Connector for Electronic Device"
U.S. Patent No. D618,189 - "Connector"
U.S. Patent No. 7,627,343 - "Media Player System"
U.S. Patent No. 7,751,853 - "Female Receptacle Data Pin Connector"
U.S. Patent No. 7,783,070 - "Cable Adapter for a Media Player System"
U.S. Patent No. D588,545 - "Connectors"
post #2 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The suit also singles out charging and data cables that rely on the 30-pin dock connector compatible with Apple's iPod, iPhone and iPad ecosystem of devices. Named in the suit are the "HyperMac Nano," "HyperMac Micro" and "HyperMac Mini" products.

Sanho's HyperMac branding sells a number of small, portable external batteries that can provide extra power to portable devices on the go. Using the iPod 30-pin dock connector, products like the HyperMac Micro come in a variety of colors and are compatible with Apple products like the iPhone 4 and iPad.

It's really too bad that Apple refuses to allow their proprietary connector to have much of an ecosystem.

It sounds to me like these products are in a woefully underserved category. I tried and tried to find an external disposable battery charger in a local store and went empty-handed into the electricity-free camping zone. No plugging my iPhone into AA power. No nothing until I got back with a dead phone and saw some obscure stuff on the 'web.

Apple's lockdowns and their proprietary ways both just plain suck.
post #3 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

It's really too bad that Apple refuses to allow their proprietary connector to have much of an ecosystem.

It sounds to me like these products are in a woefully underserved category. I tried and tried to find an external disposable battery charger in a local store and went empty-handed into the electricity-free camping zone. No plugging my iPhone into AA power. No nothing until I got back with a dead phone and saw some obscure stuff on the 'web.

Apple's lockdowns and their proprietary ways both just plain suck.

You werent able to find an external charger for an iPhone? Another foolish lie or showing just how incompetent you are since Apple licenses their 30-pin Dock Connector? (I'm just asking questions here)
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post #4 of 173
I thought I vaguely, vaguely recall Apple licensing MagSafe to someone to make third party power peripherals for Macs ... maybe it was all a fanciful dream.
post #5 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You werent able to find an external charger for an iPhone? Another foolish lie or showing just how incompetent you are since Apple licenses their 30-pin Dock Connector.

I was not looking for any random "external charger".

Of course Apple licenses their 30 pin connector, Captain Obvious.
post #6 of 173
You need a hobby. Too much anger.
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You werent able to find an external charger for an iPhone? Another foolish lie or showing just how incompetent you are since Apple licenses their 30-pin Dock Connector.
post #7 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You werent able to find an external charger for an iPhone? Another foolish lie or showing just how incompetent you are since Apple licenses their 30-pin Dock Connector.

Most external chargers require electricity. It's true that there's no reason why a AA battery hookup couldn't be made legitimately by using the licensed dock connector, but it's also relatively difficult to find a AA battery backup for the iPhone out in the middle of Nowheresville.
post #8 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgkin View Post

Most external chargers require electricity. It's true that there's no reason why a AA battery hookup couldn't be made legitimately by using the licensed dock connector, but it's also relatively difficult to find a AA battery backup for the iPhone out in the middle of Nowheresville.

Thank you.

And BTW, I was looking in a suburb of one of the top-10 biggest cities in the US. The suburb alone has a population of over 100k. I went to both a Radio Shack and a well-stocked specialty electronics store, as well as lesser, but more local possibilities, like Walgreens.

Nothing.
post #9 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgkin View Post

Most external chargers require electricity. It's true that there's no reason why a AA battery hookup couldn't be made legitimately by using the licensed dock connector, but it's also relatively difficult to find a AA battery backup for the iPhone out in the middle of Nowheresville.

You can't find a lot of things in Nowheresville but that doesn't mean I blame the builder of a product because I didn't think ahead.
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post #10 of 173
There are 2 separate issues at hand.

1. The iPod dock issue. Yes, if they used the dock connector without Apple's license, their products should be pulled. There ARE plenty of devices out there that can provide battery charge for an iPod or iPhone. If you don't want to pay Apple, just make a device that provides USB power to charge it. Then you can use the standard USB cable. No big deal.

2. The mag safe connector issue is different. They acquire Apple manufactured MagSafe connectors and wire them to another charging station. How can Apple control this? That seems wrong. They aren't making the connector, they are simply modifying it. A manufacturer of a product can't decide how it's being used once it's been sold. That would be like a hard drive manufacturer saying someone can't buy their external drive and extract the drive and put it in their own case. There is no warranty once you modify the device, and it's usually not cost effective, but if you want to do that, go right ahead.
post #11 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgkin View Post

Most external chargers require electricity. It's true that there's no reason why a AA battery hookup couldn't be made legitimately by using the licensed dock connector, but it's also relatively difficult to find a AA battery backup for the iPhone out in the middle of Nowheresville.

Seriously, you can't find suitable Apple products but your small town is bristling with Sanho products? That's absurd.

I have a few inexpensive iPod chargers from RichardSolo, and anyway you're far more likely to find Griffin's or Belkin's licensed Apple stuff in a store (since you're opposed to online shopping, apparently) than some random company's niche Apple products.
post #12 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You can't find a lot of things in Nowheresville but that doesn't mean I blame the builder of a product because I didn't think ahead.

Well said Solips! Of course, they will figure out any reason to blame Apple for denying them the ability to buy a dock-connecting AA charger on-the-spot at a general store in the middle of Hicktown, Utah.

The world would come crashing down if it were actually determined that they were incapable of thinking intelligently and purchasing it ahead-of-time from a retailer that carries it.
post #13 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You can't find a lot of things in Nowheresville but that doesn't mean I blame the builder of a product because I didn't think ahead.

Again.

I was searching in a big city. I planned ahead, and started searching many days before departing. This is a category with nearly no licensees, and perhaps zero licencees.

Please try reading the posts you are responding to. Maybe twice, and again after you compose a response, but before you post it?
post #14 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You can't find a lot of things in Nowheresville but that doesn't mean I blame the builder of a product because I didn't think ahead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You werent able to find an external charger for an iPhone? Another foolish lie or showing just how incompetent you are since Apple licenses their 30-pin Dock Connector? (I'm just asking questions here)

Bad form dude, really bad form. You're not asking questions, you're insulting. You're not defending Apple, which isn't your responsibility anyway, you're attacking someone else's expression of THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES and their desire to see the MagSafe connector licensed to 3rd party manufacturers.

C
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post #15 of 173
This is off post but I noticed the new header. That's nice and I like it! Are you planning to revamp the whole site as well? Pure CSS3 and HTML5! w00t!
post #16 of 173
This is an interesting angle on patent issues. If a startup car company were to build a car around undamaged engines recycled from wrecked Porsches, and sell it as the HyperPorsche, would the Germans have a case? I don't know, I'm just throwing it out there. Any patent attorneys lurking?
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post #17 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgkin View Post

Most external chargers require electricity. It's true that there's no reason why a AA battery hookup couldn't be made legitimately by using the licensed dock connector, but it's also relatively difficult to find a AA battery backup for the iPhone out in the middle of Nowheresville.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post

You need a hobby. Too much anger.

Newtron is a troll. Flat-out. Without exception.

Googling iPhone charger AA gave a half dozen results on the first page, all that do what he wanted and use the 30 pin connector. To boot there are at least a half-dozen solar versions too.

So BlackSummerNight, back off the Newtron defense force, he posts with only the tiniest sliver of fact (he couldn't find something at a battery store) and then jumps to ridiculous conclusions, always vehemently anti-Apple, and always completely without merit. Enough so that other posters on the board have openly wondered if Newtron is a paid anti-Apple PR plant. I also wonder this, because nobody with so much hatred for anything Apple does would keep spending money on the company at the rate Newtron's posts indicate he does.
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post #18 of 173
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Originally Posted by supremedesigner View Post

This is off post but I noticed the new header. That's nice and I like it! Are you planning to revamp the whole site as well? Pure CSS3 and HTML5! w00t!

The changes are cosmetic. The main problems remain unaddressed.
post #19 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjojade View Post

That would be like a hard drive manufacturer saying someone can't buy their external drive and extract the drive and put it in their own case. There is no warranty once you modify the device, and it's usually not cost effective, but if you want to do that, go right ahead.

????
Of course I can't take a Lacie hardrive out repackage it and call it something else. A company certainly can't buy old iphones for example pull out their processors and then put them into their phone and call it something else. This should clearly also apply to their mag safe power cable. I don't understand how this could even be debated. It seems pretty cut and dry.
post #20 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

This is an interesting angle on patent issues. If a startup car company were to build a car around undamaged engines recycled from wrecked Porsches, and sell it as the HyperPorsche, would the Germans have a case? I don't know, I'm just throwing it out there. Any patent attorneys lurking?

Actually, I was thinking that it will be very interesting to see how this case turns out for just that reason. Good catch.

C
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post #21 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by supremedesigner View Post

This is off post but I noticed the new header. That's nice and I like it! Are you planning to revamp the whole site as well? Pure CSS3 and HTML5! w00t!

Like the new iTunes it's now monochrome. Apple stock quote used to be red or green to show up or down which helped it to be seen. Not sure I like the absence of color.

Also off topic, but related to this: the AI iPhone app is very strange. Whenever I open it it goes to an old story (probably the first one I looked at when I first got the app), and I have to scroll way down to find the headlines of new stories. Why is that? Am I using it wrong. There was a regular on here who used to decry the app. Are you out there? Can you advise?
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post #22 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


Googling iPhone charger AA gave a half dozen results on the first page, all that do what he wanted and use the 30 pin connector.

Reread the part of my post where I said I found them via mailorder upon my return. And please lighten up on the personal remarks.
post #23 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgkin View Post

Most external chargers require electricity. It's true that there's no reason why a AA battery hookup couldn't be made legitimately by using the licensed dock connector, but it's also relatively difficult to find a AA battery backup for the iPhone out in the middle of Nowheresville.

Fixed that for you. Buy it right now and stash it in your sleeping bag or risk being labeled a procrastinator too. \

http://www.thepocketsolution.com/PSI-35159.html

http://www.buy.com/prod/apple-ipod-i...211421329.html

http://www.google.com/products/catal...1241795585072#

http://www.google.com/products/catal...7407863458230#

I'd keep going but the choices are endless. So much for having difficulty finding one!
post #24 of 173
First, go to Walmart.com and search for "USB charger." You will find literally dozens of options for charging your iPod. You just need your USB-to-30-pin cable.

On the other hand, it is annoying that Apple doesn't license the MagSafe adaptor. How much money do they make selling their own power bricks that it makes sense to lock them down? Presumably the answer is something like "it's not the revenue from selling Apple-branded power supplies for MacBooks, it's the cost (in terms of dollars and good will) that they would bear from MacBooks damaged from bad knockoffs.
post #25 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Reread the part of my post where I said I found them via mailorder upon my return.

"No nothing until I got back with a dead phone and saw some obscure stuff on the 'web."

From what others have posted, doesn't look all that obscure. Looks more like you'd just rather be mad at Apple than blame yourself for not doing a very good job at finding what was out there.
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post #26 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Thank you.

And BTW, I was looking in a suburb of one of the top-10 biggest cities in the US. The suburb alone has a population of over 100k. I went to both a Radio Shack and a well-stocked specialty electronics store, as well as lesser, but more local possibilities, like Walgreens.

Nothing.


Ummm, This is why you have the web... Search and thou shalt find!
post #27 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Fixed that for you. Buy it right now and stash it in your sleeping bag or risk being labeled a procrastinator too. \

http://www.thepocketsolution.com/PSI-35159.html

http://www.buy.com/prod/apple-ipod-i...211421329.html

http://www.google.com/products/catal...1241795585072#

http://www.google.com/products/catal...7407863458230#

I'd keep going but the choices are endless. So much for having difficulty finding one!

Back up battery from monoprice is cheaper.

I will say that it is true that you might not always be able to find a charger or external battery pack that has an apple connector.

I find it hard to believe though, that you could not find an AA battery based solution that outputs power via usb.I see them at a lot of stores and they are usually pretty cheap too. Left your synch cable at home? I do that all the time and I can usually find one at almost any store that sells power adapters and such. I have never been accused of being the sharpest tool in the shed, but if I can find and put together a charging solution at a gas station in the middle of no where why can't you? Perhaps you are exaggerating just a wee bit? \
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post #28 of 173
Back to topic.

I was furious when I read Apple's legal action against HyperMac.

I have a long-life HyperMac battery. Said to last around 10-12 hours. If Apple does not allow other manufacturers to make these products for the Mac -- and Apple does not -- then it is just plain spitefulness.

There's going to come a day, possibly in the next iteration of Windows, then Windows -- which might not be AS good as OSX -- but it's good enough. I might hop off the train.
post #29 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

It's really too bad that Apple refuses to allow their proprietary connector to have much of an ecosystem....

Do you *ever* know what you're talking about?

The issue here is unauthorised and unlicensed use. Apple would probably be more than happy with these guys if they stopped using their property without permission or even asked permission.

Besides which, a company that's so grey-market that Apple's high-powered legal team can't even find the actual owners *names* to sue them is hardly a reputable company of any kind. These guys are fly-by-night shysters and deserve what they get.
post #30 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

I went to both a Radio Shack.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=3848038


Maybe they didn't have it in that particular store but if you asked a sales person maybe they could have had it shipped to you or the store the next day.

You really need to look into things before you sound off and look like a "troll" or whatever they like to call you.

Frankly, I don't mind hearing the opinion of people different than mine but at least if you're are hell-bent on being the vocal minority have some facts and intelligence to offer.
post #31 of 173
Apple is being absolutely ludicrous here.

The real problem here is that Apple REFUSES TO LICENSE ITS MAGSAFE CONNECTOR!!

Therefore, without HyperMac doing what they're doing, we have ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO PROVIDE EXTERNAL POWER TO OUR MACBOOKS if we are away from an electrical outlet!!

Apple can go f*ck themselves this time around. I hope HyperMac wins this case, and kicks Apple to the curb.
post #32 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Apple's lockdowns and their proprietary ways both just plain suck.

Apparently we have discovered still something else you seem to know nothing about. FYI patents have to be vigorously defended or you will lose them ... by law.. This is not rocket science .... well, except maybe in your case.
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post #33 of 173
http://gizmodo.com/5643951/apple-sue...t-infringement

For those looking for the patent law that applies here it seems gizmodo found it for us.
post #34 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Apple is being absolutely ludicrous here.

The real problem here is that Apple REFUSES TO LICENSE ITS MAGSAFE CONNECTOR!!

Therefore, without HyperMac doing what they're doing, we have ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO PROVIDE EXTERNAL POWER TO OUR MACBOOKS if we are away from an electrical outlet!!

Apple can go f*ck themselves this time around. I hope HyperMac wins this case, and kicks Apple to the curb.

I feel your pain. I wanted a 12v (automotive power plug) charger for my macbook. I was really shocked when I found out that the only ones available were made by these folks. And the reason it was so expensive was because they had to build it from an Apple magsafe adapter because Apple refuses to license magsafe. Ended up using a 12v to 120 v inverter then plugging in my magsafe adapter to charge my macbook.

Frustrating to say the least.
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post #35 of 173
This really sucks. Apple needs to provide low-cost licensing for the MagSafe. Acceptable alternatives would be to have a secondary charging port or replaceable batteries.

What this means for me is that I'll need to buy a PC simply because I couldn't power my MacBook on some of the trips I go on.
post #36 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

The changes are cosmetic. The main problems remain unaddressed.

You can fix that by refusing to post anymore!
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post #37 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celemourn View Post

Bad form dude, really bad form. You're not asking questions, you're insulting. You're not defending Apple, which isn't your responsibility anyway, you're attacking someone else's expression of THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES and their desire to see the MagSafe connector licensed to 3rd party manufacturers.

C

His comment had nothing to do with MagSafe, which I hate not being licesnsed, but with him blaming Apple for his inability to find a battery charger with a 30-pin Dock Connector connected or standard USB connector that could use the iPhone's native cable, with or without a simple adapter.

PS: how long has Apple used the USB-capable 30-pin Dock Connector and how many devices does that cover?
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post #38 of 173
No no no. You come out and praise these guys for recycling your parts. Then you call greenpeace and tell them to find another manufacturer whose parts are being recycled to a degree that Apple's are. Then you win a special award and apology from them and gain a bunch of "green" customers.
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post #39 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

This really sucks. Apple needs to provide low-cost licensing for the MagSafe. Acceptable alternatives would be to have a secondary charging port or replaceable batteries.

What this means for me is that I'll need to buy a PC simply because I couldn't power my MacBook on some of the trips I go on.

Buying a PC will be a lot cheaper than buying what you need in advance?

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post #40 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You can't find a lot of things in Nowheresville but that doesn't mean I blame the builder of a product because I didn't think ahead.

You are just a mean ASS. Chill the hell out. The guy was making a comment and you say LIE and incompetent.

You need to take your meds and a nap.
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