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

 

DOJ: Apple used in-app purchases as club against Amazon

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 23, 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice Friday tweaked its ebook settlement offer, including emails between Steve Jobs and Apple’s marketing head. The revised settlement charges Apple altered its in-app purchasing policy “to retaliate against Amazon for competitive conduct that Apple disproved of.”

The email exchange between Jobs and marketing chief Philip Schiller discussed how to counteract an Amazon commercial showing how the internet retailers app allowed ebooks to be read on either the iPad or the Kindle… Read More

 

OtterBox wins $2 million court victory against counterfeiters

By Cody Lee on Aug 20, 2013

Counterfeiting is a major problem that all brand-name manufacturers have to deal with—whether they make clothes, jewelry, bags or, as Apple could certainly attest to, electronics. It’s a tough issue to fight, too, and companies rarely get restitution.

But that’s not the case this time. Popular Apple accessory-maker OtterBox has just won a major victory against a New-York-based company. Not only did a US District Court judge issue a permanent injunction, but it awarded $2 million in damages… Read More

 

Judge tosses App Store monopoly suit

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 16, 2013

Back in 2011, a suit was leveled against Apple of California, alleging its tight control of the App Store and the way it handles third-party software distribution for the iPhone constitutes a monopoly. The plaintiffs charged consumers can only get apps only from the App Store due to Apple’s decision to shut out thrid-party app stores on its platform.

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, dismissed the suit over a procedural blunder. The plaintiffs, the ruling explains, have failed to prove they’ve been “deprived of lower cost alternatives” or “paid higher prices for Apple-approved applications”, or had their iPhones “disabled or destroyed”Read More

 

Apple’s ebook damages trial tentatively scheduled for May 2014

By Cody Lee on Aug 15, 2013

US District Court Judge Denise Cote sent out an order on Tuesday, made public last night, calling for all parties involved in Apple’s e-book case to prepare for a damages trial set for May 2014. Apple could wind up owing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

Back in June, Judge Cote found the Cupertino company guilty of conspiring with 5 major book publishers to raise the price of ebooks. At the time of the ruling, the court hadn’t set dates for any of the follow-up hearings. But yesterday’s order helps fill in the blanks… Read More

 

Samsung posts bond with ITC, suggesting it continues to infringe on Apple patents

By Cody Lee on Aug 14, 2013

Last Friday, Samsung was dealt a huge blow as the ITC ruled that some of the company’s mobile products infringe on two of Apple’s patents. As a result of the ruling, those products will be banned from US import next month unless President Obama steps in.

Following the decision, Samsung released a statement saying that the order wouldn’t affect product availability in the United States, indicating that it had developed a workaround. But the fact that it posted bond with the ITC today tells a much different story… Read More

 

Brazil sues Samsung over alleged factory labor problems

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 14, 2013

Samsung is reportedly facing a $108 million lawsuit from Brazil, which is claiming “serious” labor violations at the smartphone maker’s Manaus factory. At least 2,000 workers suffered injuries after being forced to work 15-hour days and not getting enough break time, a Brazilian labor organization claims Wednesday.

The website of the group Reporter Brasil cites Brazil prosecutors and the government’s labor ministry. In 2011, the South Korean smartphone maker paid $200,000 to settled similar charges over working conditions made by the government… Read More

 

Judge says Apple could renegotiate iBook contracts with publishers

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 13, 2013

The judge in the government’s antitrust lawsuit has weighed in on settlement negotiations between the Department of Justice and Apple.

The iPhone maker could reopen staggered renegotiations with e-book publishers, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote reportedly said Monday.

Government lawyers had recommend that Apple agree to drop its current e-book contracts and abstain from a new agreements for five years. Judge Cote, who ruled Apple conspired with publishers to raise prices of e-books ahead of the iPad’s launch, also wants to hold another hearing, possibly to review guidelines she is suggesting… Read More

 

Apple’s request to suspend e-book ruling denied

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 9, 2013

Today’s a big day for Apple as the company faces some major legal showdowns. First, the United States International Trade Commission handed down its final ruling on the long-running complaint against Samsung, ordering an import ban on infringing Samsung smartphones and tablets, which will take effect at the end of the 60-day Presidential review period.

It’s a major win for Apple in its long-standing dispute against Samsung. However, the company is also waging another major battle, this one concerning the U.S. government’s e-book price fixing allegations.

Apple’s agency business model – where publishers get to price their iBooks themselves, with Apple keeping its standard 30 percent cut – has unfortunatelly suffered a major setback as its request to suspend Judge Cote’s ruling in e-book case has been denied… Read More

 

DoJ again accuses Apple of conspiring with publishers

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 9, 2013

In another twist to the e-book case involving Apple and five major book publishers, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) on Friday said Apple and publishers have “banded together once again,” arguing strict regulation is necessary. Apple of course argued a stay. The government may be attempting to gain leverage here by accusing (again) Apple of conspiring with publishers ahead of today’s decision on punishment in the e-book antitrust case… Read More

 

Publishers file objection to DoJ’s e-book settlement proposal on Apple’s behalf

By Cody Lee on Aug 7, 2013

The Wall Street Journal is reporting this evening that the five book publishers who settled with the US government in the e-book antitrust case have filed an objection with the court on Apple’s behalf.

In the filing, the companies argue that the Department of Justice’s settlement proposal for Apple, which it submitted last week, would violate their settlement agreements they had before the trial began… Read More

 

Patent troll VirnetX expands patent suit against Apple

By Cody Lee on Aug 6, 2013

If you’re not familiar with the name VirnetX, you should be. The Internet security software and technology company (also known as a patent troll) has filed a patent infringement suit against every major tech company in the business, including Apple.

In fact, last fall Apple was ordered to pay VirnetX a staggering $368 million after a Texas jury found the iPad-maker guilty of infringing on its IP. And the battle is far from over, as the security firm just announced that it’s been awarded two new patents… Read More

 

Liquid damage suit members receive notice about cash payout from Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 5, 2013

Earlier this year, Apple has agreed to pay $53 million to resolve a consumer class-action lawsuit involving faulty moisture indicators in older iOS devices falsely interpreting that a device had been damaged by water, prompting Apple to unjustly deny customer warranty claims based on these defective indicators.

According to details made public on the settlement’s website, eligible customers are now being contacted via email about the class-action settlement and damages. Specifically, owners of older iPhone and iPod touch products may be entitled to a cash payment from Apple… Read More

 

Apple calls DoJ e-books settlement proposal ‘draconian’ and ‘punitive’

By Cody Lee on Aug 2, 2013

Earlier today, the Department of Justice filed new court documents, offering Apple a settlement for its e-book price fixing case. The iPad-maker was found guilty last month of conspiring with 5 major book publishers to raise e-book prices.

In the filing, the DoJ essentially asked that Apple completely restructure its e-book business model. And unsurprisingly, it filed its own brief this afternoon, calling the proposal a “draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple’s business…” Read More

 
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