Apple gets federal babysitter to watch over iBooks sales

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 17, 2013

Apple’s federal e-book babysitter was named Wednesday. New York Judge Denise Cote assigned former Department of Just Inspector General Michael Bromwich to monitor Apple’s compliance with antitrust laws concerning e-book sales. In July, Apple agreed to an independent monitor after being found guilt of conspiring with five publishers to fix prices.

Although Apple has called such a monitor unnecessary, DoJ prosecutors demanded the step as part of the final court remedy. Judge Cote, however, threw Apple a bone, reducing Bromwich’s monitoring duty to just two years, less than half of the five years the Justice Department had originally wanted… Read More

 

Apple slapped with class-action lawsuit on uncompensated employee security checks

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 16, 2013

It seems Apple Stores are becoming the retail version of airport security lines for employees. At least that’s the allegation of a San Francisco Apple Store worker who has filed a class action lawsuit against the iPhone maker. The lawsuit claims employees are not being compensated for security checks lasting as long as 30 minutes per day.

Each day, employees must wait in line for these security checks before leaving for meal breaks and when they end their shifts after they’ve clocked out of work, according to the lawsuit which is also filed on behalf of all nonexempt hourly workers. The lawsuit by Apple employee Taylor Kalin asks for lost wages for all employees, as well as penalties for violating labor laws… Read More

 

Apple serves blog with takedown notice over posting iTunes Radio contract

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 15, 2013

Most of Apple’s legal actions happen with other multi-billion tech firms. But sometime, the Cupertino, California company likes to scare to scare the pants off small fry. Take for example Digital Music News (DMN), which Sunday yielded to demands by Apple, removing a copy of an iTunes Radio contract.

The contract, first published by DMN in June, showed how Apple “forced sub-standard terms” on independent music publishers. Apple claimed publication of the contract violated copyright laws, a claim one law professor described as “a jerk move.”

Was Apple protecting copyrights or again using legal muscle to manage its corporate image? Read More

 

Obama refuses to veto Samsung import ban, deciding effects would be limited

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 8, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama is opting to let stand a ban on Samsung product imports. The South Korean firm had requested the American president overturn an earlier decision by the US International Trade Commission. The failure to veto the import on Samsung products follows a last-minute veto of an import ban on Apple’s iPhone 4S in August… Read More

 

Phil Schiller, Scott Forstall could testify in Samsung damages trial

By Cody Lee on Oct 4, 2013

Since Apple announced his exodus last fall, we’ve seen and heard very little from Scott Forstall. Actually, we haven’t seen him at all, and the only time we’ve heard his name mentioned has been in skeuomorphic jokes.

But that could change next month. According to a new report, Mr. Forstall could finally be forced out of hiding to appear as a witness alongside Phil Schiller in a partial damages retrial between Apple and Samsung… Read More

 

Apple officially appeals ruling in ebook pricing case

By Cody Lee on Oct 4, 2013

Apple has officially filed its appeal in the ebook price-fixing case, according to a new report from GigaOM. The Cupertino company hopes to overturn Judge Denise Cote’s ‘guilty’ verdict handed down this summer.

On July 10, Judge Cote ruled that Apple conspired with 5 major book publishers to eliminate retail price competition in an effort to raise e-book prices. But the company, of course, flatly denies the allegations… Read More

 

Apple seeks sanctions against Samsung for sharing patent license terms

By Cody Lee on Oct 3, 2013

In a new twist to their ongoing legal battle over patents and other intellectual property, Apple has filed a new motion for sanctions against Samsung in a California court for sharing confidential information.

According to the filing, Apple is accusing the Korean tech giant of illegally disclosing sensitive details of its 2011 patent licensing agreement with Nokia in order to better negotiate licensing terms for itself… Read More

 

iCloud push email reinstated in Germany

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 2, 2013

After a German appeals court a month ago lifted the injunction which prevented Apple from offering push notifications for its iCloud email service, owners of the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices in the country can finally again enjoy push notifications for incoming iCloud email messages. The feature has been disabled for German users for about 19 months after it had to be shut down following a legal wrangling with Motorola over patents. Read More

 

Apple loses fight to stop patent troll Lodsys

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 30, 2013

The beat goes on for primo patent troll Lodsys. Apple’s attempt to intervene in a concerted clipping of iOS developers failed after a patent-owner friendly judge dismissed the tech giant’s legal motion. U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap in East Texas ruled Apple’s motion “is far outside the scope” of his courtroom.

The decision effectively opens the door to Lodsys settling all cases with defendants, thereby ending a 2011 effort by Apple to shield hundreds of thousands of individual iOS developers from being sued for patent-infringement by Lodsys… Read More

 

Apple to pay AT&T iPad 3G owners $40 in unlimited data lawsuit

By Cody Lee on Sep 29, 2013

In a ruling issued last week in San Jose, California, US District Judge Ronald Whyte green-lighted a plan for Apple to pay $40 to everyone in the US who purchased an iPad 3G before June 2010.

The decision comes in response to several class action suits waged against Apple and AT&T, accusing them of advertising an unlimited data plan, and then taking it away after they purchased their iPad… Read More

 

User files class-action lawsuit against Apple over ‘Breaking Bad’ iTunes confusion

By Cody Lee on Sep 9, 2013

Last month, Apple upset tens of thousands of Breaking Bad fans when it posted on iTunes that those who had already purchased what they thought to be the entire final season of the popular series would have to pay again for the final 8 episodes.

It was the TV network’s fault— it was AMC’s decision to split the fifth (final) season into two parts. But iTunes user Noam Lazebnik, of Ohio, feels that Apple deserves some of the blame too, and he’s filed a class-action lawsuit against the company… Read More

 

Apple can keep 30 percent cut on sales, injunction in DOJ ebooks case confirms

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 6, 2013

Like a prisoner on Death Row, Apple has delayed its penalty for weeks, offering up objection after objection to a proposed Department of Justice ebook antitrust settlement. Friday, federal judge Denise Cote issued an injunction, giving federal lawyers much of what they wanted.

Among the prohibitions against Apple: a five-year ban on so-called ‘most-favored-nation’ clauses in publisher contracts that would prevent ebook sellers from using rival services, such as Amazon. Also part of the penalty package was a requirement that Apple stagger contract negotiations with the five publishers that had already settled… Read More

 

Google-owned Motorola becomes first convicted patent troll

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 6, 2013

Google may have become the first convicted patent troll, after a federal jury Thursday fined the internet giant $14.5 million related to licenses held by Motorola. The Seattle-based jury upheld Microsoft’s claim that the Google-owned Motorola demand $4 billion to license Wi-Fi and video patents that were supposed to be available under fair and reasonable terms.

The finding comes just a week before Apple’s appeal of a similar claim against Motorola is to be heard. This week’s judgement against Motorola opens a legal can of worms for both Google and Motorola, according to one keen patent observer… Read More

 

Court rules iTunes FairPlay DRM did not monopolize digital music sales

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 4, 2013

A California appeals court provided Apple some good news for a change, ruling Apple’s FairPlay DRM software did not monopolize digital music sales. The decision has affirmed a lower court’s dismissal.

In a Wednesday ruling, a three-judge San Francisco court found that although Apple controlled 99 percent of the digital music and digital music player market after imposing FairPlay, the company did not prevent rivals from competing.

The lawsuit had claimed Apple’s DRM prevented songs purchased at iTunes from playing on anything other than its iPod… Read More

 

German appeals court finally lifts 18-month iCloud injunction against Apple

By Cody Lee on Sep 3, 2013

A German appeals court has finally decided to lift the injunction that has prevented Apple from offering push notifications for its iCloud email service in the country. The feature has been disabled for German users since February 2012—so about 18 months.

The injunction spawned from a lawsuit by Motorola Mobility, which as we all know is now owned by Google. The company claims that Apple’s iCloud push notification feature infringes upon its patents, and is seeking both a permanent ban and punitive damages… Read More

 

Court rejects faulty iPhone power button suit

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 30, 2013

A California U.S. District judge derailed a potential class-action lawsuit against Apple and AT&T earlier this week, rejecting a complaint that the two companies conspired against fixing a defect in the popular iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S handsets. Two California consumers had alleged a “wiggly” power button presented a safety hazard which both the tech giant and the carrier kept hidden in order to sell more of the handsets.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess dismissed the argument for a racketeering charge, ruling the safety hazards were “speculative” and occurred beyond the product’s warranty period. The court’s rejection could influence a second similar federal lawsuit still making its way through the legal system… Read More

 

In proposed settlement, customers could receive up to $3 per e-book downloaded

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 30, 2013

While much recent discussion regarding Apple’s guilty verdict on e-book price-fixing charges, we’re now getting the first glimpse at how consumers may benefit. Based on a proposed $162.25 million fund established by the five publishers who earlier settled, consumers could receive up to $3.06 per New York Times bestselling e-book they downloaded to their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

The exact amount depends on whether your purchased e-book was listed on the NYT bestseller list, with a smaller $0.73 disbursed if your e-book did not make it on the list… Read More

 

E-books: judge says Apple needs outside monitoring

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 28, 2013

Apple seems to have succeeded in keeping government watchdogs from roaming the corridors of its Cupertino, California headquarters. A proposal by the Department of Justice (DoJ) to install an external antitrust monitor to oversee Apple activities was greatly curtailed Tuesday. Instead, New York federal judge Denis Cote ruled that any monitor would be limited to overseeing Apple’s antitrust policies and employee training.

A proposal by the DoJ to watch over all of Apple’s distribution efforts for potential antitrust action was also trimmed, the judge saying she doesn’t want government investigators interfering in the iPhone maker’s “flexibility to innovate”Read More

 

Apple: DOJ’s revised e-book remedies a ‘broadside’ favoring Amazon

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 27, 2013

Even after the end of a formal antitrust trial, both sides in ebook pricing case continue to argue. Apple said the Department of Justice’s latest version of proposed penalties are a “broadside” favoring rival Amazon. The comments by Apple’s legal team came as the government and the iBooks company hammer out details largely in public.

Apple’s remarks centered on the DOJ’s insistence that an outside antitrust monitor be named to ensure against anticompetitive practices in the ebook industry. In July, Apple was found guilty of ebook price-fixing and colluding with publishers against Amazon… Read More

 

Apple and Samsung win bid to keep secret financial details

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 23, 2013

Apple and Samsung were both ordered to make public their profits and other financial details pertaining to their business, as part of last October’s copyright infringement lawsuit that saw a US jury award Apple a billion dollar in damages over Samsung’s patent infringement practices. Needless to say, both companies filed motions to keep sensitive data private.

Today, as Reuters reports, both technology titans won their respective bid to keep secret financial details. A federal US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC rebuked the trial judge who had previously ordered the financial information from both Apple and Samsung be made public… Read More

 
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