US Customs is seizing refurbished Apple batteries and calling them "counterfeits"

I’m talking about the rational basis that would be legitimate to justify an imposition on liberty. I’m not talking about how trademark works, since clearly the issue is that trademark is broken.

It’s completely relevant as analogy when discussing the reasoning you are using. Again, the way trademark works is broken.

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“Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark (or a substantially similar mark) on competing or related goods and services.”

And what is the “competing or related” good here?

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So, I’m assuming you’ve removed all the “Chevrolet” branding from, say, your pickup truck after you had the oil changed somewhere other than a Chevy dealer. Or replaced the alternator. I mean now that you have done something to it you don’t have the right to call it a Chevy any more since you don’t have a contract with Chevrolet or explicit permission to change your oil or alternator. You certainly couldn’t sell it as a “Chevrolet” truck any more now that you have “refurbished” it. :-/


Not selling me a new battery, forcing me to buy an entire new laptop, definitely fits my definition of asshattery.


Trademark abuse or not, aside… THIS!! If they’d just replace batteries in otherwise perfectly functional goods, to prolong their life, rather than refusing to service ‘vintage’ goods, then the world might think they were slightly smaller arseholes than they are. Way to go, on the environmental/social responsibility, Apple!


They do that. I just had the battery replaced in my 6 year-old MBP. They warned me that the availability of spares from them was about to finish. If it lasts another 6 years, I’ll be more than satisfied. If not, I’ll go to a repairer who (hopefully) has parts, genuine or not. Quick question. Can you buy a genuine battery for a 6 year-old Dell or Lenovo from the manufacturer?

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For $20 at Walmart.

Really? I was just browsing the Dell site, and they seem substantially more expensive than that from Dell. Why would Dell sell them to Walmart for so little?

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Why do you assume you’ll be able to get 3d party parts? Or 3d party service? Apple has been trying to drive 3d party repair agents out of business.


Or call it a used battery?

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That’s why I said “hopefully”. The MBP is still going strong after 6 years (with a new battery and keyboard - replaced as a module). No other laptop I’ve ever owned has lasted anywhere near as long. I’m already happy. Anything more is just a bonus.

I am aware of their escalating war against third-party repairers, though. I can’t say I think that’s a good idea. But my experience with Apple reliability and (occasional) support has been pretty-much flawless over the years so I am not likely to factor the third-party repair issue into future purchase decisions.

I’m not sure many of the Walmart batteries are “genuine”. Doesn’t mean that they are bad, of course, and may be great value.

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I replaced a Thinkpad battery on a 10-year-old model last year. May not have been Lenovo original, cannot recall. But these are pluggable/removable batteries without undoing the case. Apple batteries require the case to be undone - a design decision deliberately taken to discourage device life-extension by mere customers. I did not need a Genius to replace my battery - or to tell me it could not be done.


I’ll put up with the inconvenience of having someone else do it once every 6 years-or-so. I’m not really bothered.

The internal battery decision also allows a more compact overall form-factor without the additional external caeswork that is required for removable batteries. That may, or may not, matter at all to a customer. Apple perhaps thinks it does.

Increasingly, Apples are un-repairable. I’ve gotten good use out of my past two MBPs, but one had a nice removable battery that just poped out. And both had upgradable RAM. No more. My current MBP has soldered in RAM, proprietary soldered in SSD, and a soldered in battery - meaning increased profit for Apple because I couldn’t order a lower spec’d machine and use 3d party RAM and SSD upgrades. Some newer Apple devices have unique batteries that may never have 3d party versions. But, Microsoft is following the Apple model. Their surface book 2 laptops are completely soldered in, just like Apple.

At some point I think governments need to prohibit devices from having the non-replaceable rechargeable batteries that turn what should be durable goods in to disposable items. Bose noise cancelling earbuds shouldn’t be disposables, but the limited lifespan rechargeable battery says they actually are. And with Apple prohibiting refurbished batteries and using the power of customs enforcement in multiple countries to do it, increasingly Apple computers and phones are to. My last MBP was put on the “unsupported” list, so I can’t get it fixed by Apple, even though it works other than the low charge state battery and DVD that doesn’t eject well.


I’m fed up of wafer-thin. Optimum thinness was achieved a long time ago. Apple marketing tries to persuade the customer that it matters, not because Apple thinks it matters functionally, but because Apple thinks it matters that it has some (any) form of differentiation in the marketplace.


It does allow for smaller phones, but I’m sick of the race to be the thinnest. My Note 4 is more than thin enough for me, and it has a removable back and user replaceable batteries. The problem now is getting a genuine Samsung that isn’t an actual scratch built counterfeit or a crappy 3d party battery that under performs. There are still issues even with user replaceable batteries. OTOH, the whole Note 7 debacle wouldn’t have nearly been a big deal if the batteries weren’t all soldered in.


Governments? Do the environmentally responsible thing? What are you smoking? ;-(

Well, the EU did manage to get charging standardized mostly on micro USB for a while - that was a great thing. But, yeah, I don’t hold out a lot of hope for requiring rechargeable batteries to be replaceable. I just had to toss a beard trimmer for lack of replaceable rechargeable, even though it still worked otherwise. (It was glued together, so I didn’t try to replace them myself, and soldering leads onto batteries, as sometimes needs to be done for replacements, freaks me out) :frowning:

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