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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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"
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 172
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 172
    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)
  • Reply 3 of 172
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 172
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 172
    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.



  • Reply 6 of 172
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 172
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 172
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 172
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 172
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 172
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,006member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 172
    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?
  • Reply 13 of 172
    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
  • Reply 14 of 172
    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!
  • Reply 15 of 172
    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?
  • Reply 16 of 172
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 172
    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!



    The changes are cosmetic. The main problems remain unaddressed.
  • Reply 18 of 172
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 172
    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
  • Reply 20 of 172
    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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