By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2014
Apple’s proprietary digital rights management software, FairPlay, that prevented users from loading songs from rival music stores on early iPods, did not harm consumers nor did it violate the United States antitrust laws, an eight-person jury has determined.
As reported by The Verge, the jurors have sided with Apple in a decade-long suit and have not found Apple guilty of exploiting FairPlay DRM as a lock-in preventing rival music stores from syncing with iPods. Though the iPhone maker is off the hook now, an appeal will be filed with a higher court. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 9, 2014
A videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, recorded in 2011 shortly before his passing and played during the iPod class-action lawsuit, could be made public if news organizations such as The Associated Press, CNN and Bloomberg succeed in proving that releasing the two-hour video is in public interest, CNET reported Tuesday.
And boy would it be interesting to watch Jobs make a series of snarky comments. Asked whether he had heard of Real Networks, Apple’s late co-founder asked “Do they still exist?” All told, he responded 74 times with “I don’t remember,” “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall.” Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 3, 2014
A decade-old class-action lawsuit over the iPod and Apple’s practice of locking the media player to its iTunes ecosystem is kicking off this week and with it comes a videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, recorded in 2011 shortly before he died.
It’s full of snarky comments and as if that wasn’t enough, attorneys have unearthed emails between Apple executives and other evidence casting light on the company’s inner workings at the time.
The suit revolves around the iPod, iTunes and FairPlay, Apple’s digital-rights management (DRM) system for copy-protection of music sold through the iTunes Store. FairPlay was dropped in 2007 following the ‘Thoughts on Music’ open letter by Steve. Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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