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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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…
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…