Court gives Apple final approval for e-book settlement with consumers

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

During a hearing Friday in Manhattan, a United States judge gave Apple final approval to pay $450 million to settle claims that it conspired with five publishers to raise e-book prices on the iBooks Store.

Reuters reports that Judge Cote approved what she called an “unusual” accord. The ruling came after Apple in July agreed to pay big bucks to settle price fixing allegations that the government and class action lawyers leveled against the Cupertino firm. Read More

 

iPhones found to infringe pager tech, Apple ordered to pay $23.6M in damages

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2014

Bloomberg is reporting this morning that Apple’s iPhone and other devices have been found to infringe half a dozen pager technology patents owned by a Texas company called Mobile Telecommunications Technologies LLC.

Six patents owned by Mobile Telecommunications Technologies are valid and infringed, a federal jury in Marshall, Texas, has found.

The iPhone maker was ordered to pay the Texas company $23.6 million in damages. Read More

 

Judge green-lights lawsuit against Apple over text message delivery issue

By Cody Lee on Nov 11, 2014

Federal judge Lucy Koh has green-lighted a lawsuit against Apple over its long-standing iMessage issue that causes some former iPhone users to not receive their text messages, reports Reuters. The lawsuit was filed in May by San Jose, California resident Adrienne Moore.

Moore says Apple didn’t properly warn her that she’d quit receiving text messages after switching from an iPhone to a Galaxy S5. There’s no word yet on what kind of damages Moore is asking for, but she is seeking class action status, which would allow others to join the suit. Read More

 

Law firm investigating CVS and Rite Aid for potential class action suit over Apple Pay

By Cody Lee on Nov 4, 2014

Law firm Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe has launched an antitrust investigation into CVS and Rite Aid over their decision to stop accepting Apple Pay in their retail stores. As noted by MacRumors, the firm, which specializes in class action lawsuits, made the announcement on their blog last night.

Attorneys for Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe say that the two retail chains may have violated anti-trust laws, and the situation has class action potential. “Consumers with phones that support Apple Pay may be able to participate in a class action to restore the service at CVS and Rite Aid retail stores.” Read More

 

FTC drags AT&T to court over ‘deceptive and unfair’ throttling of unlimited data users

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

It’s sad that we’ve grown accustomed to greedy carriers and their unlimited data deals. Not only does unlimited service typically come with lots of strings attached, carriers have dumb excuses ready once folks realize their data speeds are being throttled.

Having decided not to let it slide, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now taking AT&T to court over what it called “deceptive and unfair data throttling” policy.

As announced on Twitter and via a media release, the FTC’s federal court complaint alleges that the Dallas, Texas headquartered firm in some cases reduced data speeds for unlimited customers by up to 90 percent while failing to explain in clear and concise manner why and when throttling would take place.

“AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data,” reads the complaint, “and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise”.

“The issue here is simple: ‘unlimited’ means unlimited,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. AT&T’s other sin: the company avoided mentioning throttling to customers who were about to renew their unlimited contracts. Read More

 

Apple defeats $94 million patent infringement suit

By Cody Lee on Oct 23, 2014

Apple on Wednesday defeated a civil suit put forth by GPNE, a non-practicing patent holding company in Honolulu, that was seeking nearly $100 million in damages. The company alleged that three iPhone and iPad models infringed on its pager technology patents.

A jury in the US District Court of San Jose disagreed, and rejected all of patent infringement claims. Apple applauded the verdict, calling GPNE a “patent troll,” a term given to companies who acquire patents for the sole purpose of collecting licensing and lawsuit fees. Read More

 

Bose and Beats settle noise-canceling patent infringement suit

By Cody Lee on Oct 10, 2014

Premium audio company Bose Corp. and the now Apple-owned Beats Electronics have settled their patent infringement suit, reports Bloomberg. The two companies a U.S. court in Delaware they’ve settled their claims, and asked the International Trade Commission to cease its investigation.

Bose originally filed the complaint against Beats in July, claiming that Beats Studio and Studio Wireless headphones, which both feature “adaptive noise cancelation,” infringe on five of its noise-canceling patents. Clearly a settlement was reached here, but terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read More

 

Appeals court tosses out VirnetX’s $368 million victory over Apple

By Cody Lee on Sep 16, 2014

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit tossed out a verdict today handed down by a Texas jury in late 2012 that would’ve forced Apple to pay $368 million to patent holding firm VirnetX. The jury determined that Apple’s FaceTime feature infringed on on the firm’s intellectual property.

The Wall Street Journal reports this afternoon that the appeals court has ruled that the verdict was “tainted” by erroneous jury instructions in the case and therefore is invalid. It also held that some trial testimony from a VirnetX IP “expert” should have been completely excluded from the case. Read More

 

Shareholder files class action suit against Apple over anti-poaching agreements

By Cody Lee on Aug 15, 2014

It looks like tech employees aren’t the only ones upset with Apple’s anti-poaching agreements. Shareholder R. Andre Klein has filed a class action lawsuit against the Cupertino company, saying the deals caused it to grossly mismanage its assets, mislead its investors, and hurt its overall value.

According to the filing, Klein is suing on behalf of all Apple shareholders and has named a number of its executives as individual defendants including Tim Cook, and even the late Steve Jobs. He is seeking a jury trial, and asking for a settlement that would resolve “millions of dollars in damages.” Read More

 

Judge rejects $324 million anti-poaching settlement from Apple and others

By Cody Lee on Aug 8, 2014

In 2011, tech employees levied a class action anti-poaching lawsuit against Apple, Google, and other companies. The suit covered more than 60,000 workers, who claimed the firms conspired to keep their salaries lower by entering in a non-poach agreement with one another.

It was reported in April that Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe had reached a settlement for $324 million, but apparently Judge Lucy Koh (yes, that Judge Koh) didn’t like that number. Judge Koh officially rejected the proposed offer today, saying that it needed to be higher… Read More

 

Apple drops permanent injunction quest in Samsung lawsuit

By Cody Lee on Jul 29, 2014

Apple filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in California yesterday, dropping its cross-appeal of Judge Lucy Koh’s final judgement in its lawsuit against Samsung. The motion officially ends the company’s pursuit of a product ban.

Now, this is just for the 2012 trial, not the one that ended in May. Apple had been looking to win a permanent injunction against all of Samsung’s infringing devices in that case, and filed multiple appeals, but it appears to have given up on this particular battle… Read More

 

EU officials upset as Apple remains mum on proposed IAP policy changes

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2014

In-App Purchase, a way overused feature which provides a way for supposedly free games and apps to ask users for cash in order to enable advanced features or unlock virtual items, is increasingly drawing ire of regulators across the globe.

In-App Purchases are notorious for fooling less-informed adults and kids into downloading so-called freemium apps so it’s no wonder the European Union officials have repeatedly warned that companies like Apple and Google should stop labeling free-to-download apps that contain In-App Purchases as “Free”.

Companies could soon be forced to make the “true cost of apps” unambiguously clear before purchase, according to a complaint the European Commission filed today… Read More

 

Apple agrees to pay $450 million to settle e-book price fixing case

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 16, 2014

Reuters is reporting today that Apple has agreed to pay $450 million to settle its long-standing e-book price fixing federal court case with class action lawyers and state district attorneys.

As a reminder, the government alleged that Apple conspired along with five major U.S. publishers to fix e-book prices to the detriment of consumers, denying them the choice of price, while stifling competition.

$400 million of the $450 million will cover damage to consumers, with the remaining $50 million earmarked for recovery if liability must be retried… Read More

 

Apple wins lawsuit against Emblaze over live video streaming patent

By Cody Lee on Jul 12, 2014

In a verdict handed down late yesterday by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Apple defeated a lawsuit brought on by Emblaze Ltd. The company claimed that the iPhone-maker infringed on one of its patents.

More specifically, Emblaze accused Apple of infringing on its live video streaming patent, with its HTTP live-streaming service (HLS) that it asks 3rd-party apps like MLB at Bat and WatchESPN to use. But the trial’s jury found otherwise… Read More

 

Beijing ruling spells trouble for Apple’s Siri in China

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 9, 2014

Apple’s ability to use Siri as a competitive weapon in the 1.33 billion people market of China – its second-largest market by revenue – could be compromised. A Beijing court has now ruled against Apple by upholding the validity of a patent related to the personal assistant feature held by a Chinese company called Zhizhen Network Technology.

The ruling clears the way for Zhizhen to continue its own case patent infringement case against Apple. Specifically, the Shanghai-based firm is now asking the court to block Apple from selling devices with Siri installed. The iPhone maker is of course expected to appeal the verdict… Read More

 

Apple reaches settlement in $840 million e-books antitrust lawsuit

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 17, 2014

Apple has settled with U.S. states and consumers that were seeking damages for alleged price fixing on e-books, protecting itself from a trial where it could have faced up to $840 million in claims. Bloomberg was first to report on the news, claiming that a trial had been set for July after Apple was found to be conspiring with book publishers to raise e-book prices as part of an illegal scheme…  Read More

 

Italian watchdog to Apple: respond to In-App Purchase allegations or else…

By Christian Zibreg on May 21, 2014

Italy’s Antitrust and Competition Authority is probing Apple, Google, Amazon and Gameloft over accusations that these companies are intentionally misleading consumers who download freemium smartphone and tablets apps without realizing In-App Purchases are needed to unlock more features.

According to a new report, Italian investigators have asked Apple and others to submit their defense within the next twenty days or face a fine of up to €5 million each (about $6.84 million), although the punishment would be proportional to each company’s size… Read More

 

Dutch court upholds sales ban of older Samsung Galaxy devices

By Cody Lee on May 21, 2014

Recode reports that a Dutch appeals court has upheld a lower court’s sales ban of some older Samsung Galaxy devices that infringe on Apple’s IP. The patent in question involves how iOS users are able to peak at the next photo in a gallery by swiping the current image.

The ruling will apply specifically to the Galaxy S2, and the Galaxy Ace—both of which include Samsung photo apps that run an exact copy of the feature—and it could possibly be extended to other Samsung devices found to similarly infringe on Apple’s European patent… Read More

 

Settlement talks stall as Samsung calls Apple a ‘jihadist’ and the trial ‘Apple’s Vietnam’

By Christian Zibreg on May 20, 2014

The Korea Times reported yesterday that Apple and Samsung were negotiating an out of court settlement that would potentially put an end to the long standing legal drama. Less than 24 hours later, lawyers for both companies have told a California court that they’ve been unable to resolve their differences and reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

And as settlement talks dissolve without an agreement in sight, a court-mandated update on these discussions has revealed how mistrustful the two parties have grown of each other. According to Samsung’s top lawyer who referred to Apple as a “jihadist,” the trial will go down in history as “Apple’s Vietnam”Read More

 

Apple and Samsung could settle patent disputes out of court by the summer

By Christian Zibreg on May 19, 2014

Apple and its frenemy Samsung have been embroiled in a complex web of lawsuits spanning continents but now a resolution to the long standing patent dispute that has fascinated watchers around the globe could be within reach as the two technology giants are reportedly engaged in settlement talks, according to a Korean newspaper.

The unexpected development arrives hot on the heels of a surprising Reuters report last week confirming that Apple and Google put an end to a dispute with Motorola Mobility which Google inherited after snapping up Motorola 2011.

That agreement even has the two sides banding together on a patent reform, though it excludes cross-licensing of their respective mobile patent portfolio and Apple’s lawsuits with other Android makers like Samsung… Read More

 
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