It's well known that Apple likes to exert rather more control over its corner of the industry than most manufacturers, and third-party accessory specialist HyperMac looks to have crossed the line - to its cost.
Mac owners will be aware that modern Apple equipment uses a clever little device called a MagSafe Connector, which quickly disconnects in the case of tripping over a dangling wire, for power. As well as being a very clever design, it's patented - meaning that third-party manufacturers are SOL if they want to produce compatible chargers or accessories, giving Apple a nice little earner.
HyperMac, however, figured out what it thought was a neat little loophole.
Wanting to produce an external battery accessory for MacBook owners who needed a bit more life between charges, HyperMac quickly realised that a battery you can't connect wasn't much use. And, although it couldn't make the connector cables, due to the patent restrictions, it decided it could re-use existing connectors.
So, HyperMac started buying old or broken MagSafe chargers, stripping the patented MagSafe Connector from the end, and wiring it in to their third-party batteries. They're not making the MagSafe Connector, so they're not falling foul of the patent, right?
Sadly, Apple felt differently - and HyperMac has decided to pull the product "as part of our ongoing comprehensive licensing negotiations with Apple regarding a wide array of technologies and issues."
In a statement to customers, HyperMac stated: "We have decided to cease the sale of the MacBook charging cables and car charger on November 2, 2010." Although the company will continue to market its battery accessories after this date, they won't come with the MagSafe cable - making them rather useless as charging accessories.
So far Apple has remained tight-lipped on whether it feels like licensing the MagSafe technology to HyperMac in order for the accessories to remain on the market, but that's almost certainly a big part of the company's "ongoing comprehensive licensing negotiations."