Well, after one hour spent reading all the previous posts, I try to add my knowledge about why Apple is not happy for unauthorized usage of their Magsafe connectors.
The point is that Apple is not selling these spare connectors as OEM components. It is unclear where Hypermac purchases the "original Apple Magasafe connectors", as Apple has no product line for them.
I know, because I wanted to buy some of these connectors for a project here at the Parma University lab, and I was answered by the Apple Store that the only way to get these connectors is to buy a whole power supply and cut the chord...
And definitely this is not what Hypermac is doing... This would make their products much more expensive than what they are...
They probably have found a way to purchase the connectors from the Chinese factory who manufactures them for Apple, or through some other trick. But the purchase was not authorized by Apple: till now they refused to sell these connectors as OEM parts to everyone.
So this is the infringement, as these connectors are probably stolen, or purchased through a backdoor of the official Apple supply chain.
If there was a legal and official way for purchasing the magsafe connectors, there would be no case. As a Magsafe power connector is definitely something designed to be connected in between of a power source and a Macbook, in the moment you sell such connectors, you cannot later complain for them being used exactly for the purpose they were built for.
But Apple does not sell them, so Apple complains because Hypermac found the way to get these connectors illegally.
Patent law is not so relevant here, that's only a venial civil infringement, just matter of money for royalties. Here we see a true crime, as, without a crime, I do not see how the hell Hypermac gets these connectors.
Actually, just the opposite. It's not a criminal law that applies (or "true crime") from illegal activity, but rather patent law that applies here. The connector isn't rocket science; it's extremely easy to replicate and there are plenty of manufacturers with the ability to do so. However, in cloning the connector, they're violating a patent that Apple owns on the connector.
Apple could have licensed the connector to Hypermac or offered batteries themselves, but unfortunately, they continued to refuse to license to anyone who could provide longer-lasting options for MacBooks.
Macslut, what you say is true, if Hypermac was manufacturing its own Magsafe connector.
But on their web site, they claim to be not violating Apple's patent, because they are not manufacturing the patented components, they are purchasing them from Apple (although they do not explain through which channel).
Which, in my knowledge, cannot be true.
Or, at least, Apple refused to sell the same components to my University, and we were told that Magsafe connectors can be lawfully purchased only buying a complete Magsafe power adaptor....
Now, I do not have insider's knowledge about the origin of the Magsafe components employed by Hypermac.
But only two cases are possible:
1) They really purchase them from Apple factories, through some sort of unauthorized backdoor. In this case their claim is true, but there is something illegal, or at least unauthorized, in the purchasing channel, which made Apple to react.
2) They actually manufacture the connector themselves, or by means of some subsidiary, in which case you are right, they are violating the Apple's patent. But, as I did explain, this would be just a minor, civil infringement, something which does not involve jail.
In this case, the severe penal crime is the false declaration on their web site. It depends on the country, but such a false statement is a major penal crime in most juridical environments. Here in Italy, for example, such a false statement is a crime which can cause up to 3 years in jail!