Tags lawsuit

Bizarre Beijing ruling says iPhone 6 copies Chinese phone, Apple must halt sales

Bloomberg reports a Beijing Intellectual Property Office ruling that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus violate the design patent of a Chinese phone, and that Apple must cease sales of both models within the city.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus infringe on Shenzhen Baili’s patent rights because of similarities to its 100C phone, the Beijing Intellectual Property Office wrote in its decision. Apple, whose iconic gadgets helped define the modern smartphone industry, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Bizarre intellectual property rulings are not unusual in China – witness Apple losing the exclusive right to the iPhone trademark there last month – but this one does appear to set a new record, as the iPhone 6 looks nothing like the Baili 100C …

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Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Baili 100C, Beijing Intellectual Property Office, china, iPhone 6, Lawsuit

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Ben Lovejoy

June 17th

Apple

Mac

Apple hit with dumbest patent troll claims yet: ‘iPhone makes phone calls & sends emails’

Patent trolls – companies that buy old patents purely to sue companies for claimed infringements – love to get their hands on very generic patents, as those give them the maximum number of possible targets. But Texas-based Corydoras Technologies LLC wins the prize for the dumbest claims yet against Apple. It is alleging, among other things, that the iPhone infringes its patents by making phone calls and sending emails …

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Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Corydoras Technologies LLC, iPad, iPhone, Lawsuit, Patent, Patent troll, Texas Eastern District Court

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Ben Lovejoy

May 23rd

Apple

Mac

Apple agrees to pay $24.9M to settle Siri patent lawsuit, but it may not end there

Apple has agreed to pay $24.9M to settle a long-running lawsuit alleging that Siri violated a patent owned by a New York institute and exclusively licensed to a company in Dallas. The patent predates the launch of Siri by four years.

The Albany Business Review notes that Apple was sued not by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which holds the patent, but by Dallas-based Dynamic Advances, which licensed it. The company reportedly receives $5M now, and the balance after meeting unspecified conditions. In return, Apple gets a license to use the patented technology for three years.

The settlement means that the patent trial, due to take place in New York next month, will no longer proceed. However, that may not be the end of it …

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Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Dynamic Advances, Lawsuit, Nuance, Nuance Communications, Patent, Rensselaer, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Siri, Siri lawsuit

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Ben Lovejoy

April 20th

Apple

Mac

After Apple Music launch, fans sue Kanye West over Tidal exclusivity promise

After bringing his new album to Apple Music and Spotify, fans are suing Kanye West claiming they purchased subscriptions to West-backed music app Tidal on the promise the album would be exclusive to the service.

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Filed under: Apple Music Tagged: Apple Music, Class action, exclusive, kanye west, Lawsuit, subscription, Tidal

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Jordan Kahn

April 18th

Apple

Mac

Judge rejects class-action over AppleCare’s subpar replacements, calls lawyer ‘manifestly incompetent’

Apple-Care

Remember that class-action lawsuit alleging AppleCare+ customers were being given subpar replacement products? This week a federal judge rejected the case while calling the plantiffs’ lawyer “manifestly incompetent” and suggesting the counsel orchestrated the entire case.

ArsTechnica reports the judge’s rejection this week claimed the lawyer encouraged the plaintiffs to purchase AppleCare plans and record interactions with Apple employees “for the purpose of initiating this lawsuit.”

But none of the plaintiffs were disgruntled consumers who went looking for a lawyer after getting bad service. Galindo was a paralegal for Renee Kennedy, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit, and Adkins had also worked for Kennedy in the past. Kennedy gave them both “monetary gifts to thank them for their excellent work,” and both women used those “gifts” to buy AppleCare Plus, referred to as “AC+” in court papers.

While the case isn’t entirely over, it won’t be a class-action and therefore will likely be on a much smaller scale than it might have been otherwise (if it doesn’t eventually get thrown out altogether).

Under Apple’s current policy for AppleCare plans, the company promises to “exchange the Covered Equipment with a replacement product that is new or equivalent to new in performance and reliability, and is at least functionally equivalent to the original product.” It’s not always the case — the judge found one plaintiff in the case was actually given a brand new device as a replacement — that’s another way of saying you might get refurbished replacement units (or parts for repairs).


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, AppleCare, Class action, Lawsuit, Refurbished

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Jordan Kahn

January 8th

Apple

Mac

Biometric company’s lawsuit accuses Apple of underhand tactics to gain access to heart-rate tech for Apple Watch

heartrate

Biometric specialist Valencell – whose technology is licensed by iRiver, LG, Sony and others – has filed a lawsuit accusing Apple of using underhand tactics to gain access to its patented technology for use in the Apple Watch.

The company claims that Apple violated three of its patents for improving the accuracy and reliability of heart-rate data when using the photoplethysmography (PPG) approach used in the Apple Watch. But the lawsuit alleges more than just patent infringement, reports AI: it also claims that Apple used deceptive techniques to get access to the technology …

Specifically, it suggests that Apple feigned interest in a partnership agreement with Valencell, and that IP addresses belonging to Apple were used to download white papers using fake contact details.

 Apple […] obtained such white papers by providing fictitious information. On March 27, 2013 and May 5, 2014, one or more Apple agents downloaded the “PerformTek Precision Biometrics: Engaging the Burgeoning Mobile Health and Fitness Market” white paper from Valencell using fictitious names. On March 10, 2014 and April 23, 2015, one or more Apple agents downloaded the “Earbud-Based Sensor for the Assessment of Energy Expenditure, Heart Rate, and VO2 max” white paper from Valencell using fictitious names. On April 1, 2015 an Apple agent downloaded the “Earbud-Based Sensor for the Assessment of Energy Expenditure, Heart Rate, and VO2 max” white paper from Valencell using a fictitious

It alleges that seven Apple employees did this. The lawsuit names these individuals, and says that all seven not only worked on the Apple Watch, but were specifically involved in development of the heart-rate sensor.

A separate lawsuit makes similar allegations against Fitbit for technology used in the Charge HR and Surge.

In the run-up to the launch of the Watch, Apple focused attention on the advanced heart-rate monitoring capabilities of the device, whose accuracy has been found to rival dedicated monitors. The company adjusted the behaviour of the heart-rate monitor in watchOS 1.0.1.

We have invited Apple to comment on the allegations and will update with any response received.


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple watch, Fitbit, fitness, Health, heart rate, Lawsuit, Valencell

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Ben Lovejoy

January 5th

Apple

Mac

Apple hit with class action lawsuit over iOS 9’s performance on older iPhones

ios-9-features

In a new class action lawsuit, Apple is being accused of deceptive trade practices and false advertising due to its claims of iOS 9 being compatible with older iOS devices, primarily the iPhone 4s. The lawsuit claims that iOS “significantly interferes” with the performance of the iPhone 4s and that Apple is in the wrong for not allow users to downgrade to older versions of the operating system.

The lawsuit, which has more than 100 backers, goes as far to say that the iPhone 4s was rendered essentially unusable by the iOS 9 update (via AI). The members of the suit claim that app performance, of both first- and third-party apps, was hindered by the update, as was general device performance and touchscreen responsiveness. Some members claim they experienced freezes and crashes, as well.

The actual performance of the device is just the beginning of the suit, however. The lawsuit asserts that Apple, through “internal testing and/or through other means,” was aware of the effects iOS 9 would have on the iPhone 4s, yet it went through with the update and even advertised things like increased performance and battery life as improvements in the update. The plaintiffs argue that Apple should have at least warned iPhone 4s owners of the potential issues.

It doesn’t stop there, however. The suit goes on to argue that because of the iOS ecosystem, users are far more likely to buy a new iOS device than switch to a competition platform like Android. The plaintiffs argue that users don’t want to reinvest in nontransferable content such as apps.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking more than $5 million in damages.

iOS 9 was criticized across the board when it first launched for slowing down even the newest generation devices. In our poll, 43 percent of some 33,000 responders said their iPhone was “significantly slower after the update.” iOS 9.1, however, claimed to fix that issue for most. The plaintiffs in this case, however, argue that the primary issue is “planned obsolescence” on Apple’s part.


Filed under: iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, iOS 9, iPhone 4S, Lawsuit, legal

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Chance Miller

December 30th

Apple

Mac

Lawsuit against Apple for undelivered texts to Android phones now completely dismissed

imessages

Back in August, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh threw out a class action lawsuit against Apple from former iPhone users complaining that text messages were no longer delivered when they ported their number to an Android phone. The lawsuit alleged that Apple was guilty of “interference” with their messages.

That wasn’t quite the end of it, however. Three of the plaintiffs persisted in individual claims against Apple, alleging that the company was in breach of the Federal Wire Tap Act by ‘intercepting’ their messages. The court has now dismissed these claims – with, it turns out, very good reason …

As Business Insider reports, Apple requested a dismissal after discovering that the claim appeared to be spurious.

Apple […] discovered that two of the three plaintiffs in the case had gotten rid of their old iPhones after they filed the suit against Apple. They are thus unable to demonstrate whether texts sent to their phone numbers went to their Apple or Android devices, Apple claimed. One of the plaintiffs also previously asked that she be dismissed as a “named plaintiff” in the case.

The three plaintiffs were a husband, wife and family friend. Judge Lucy Koh dismissed the case in a single-paragraph order.

The Court has granted the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Apple Inc. See ECF No. 112. Accordingly, the Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment in favor of Defendant. The Clerk shall close the file. IT IS SO ORDERED.

The original issue appeared to have been caused by a bug in the iMessage system, arising where someone switched to an Android phone without first disabling iMessage on their iPhone. While Apple later solved the problem by creating a web-based tool, it continues to recommend that people switch off iMessage on their iPhone before switching devices.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Android, Apple Inc, Class action, class action lawsuit, iMessage, iMessage bug, iMessages, Lawsuit

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Ben Lovejoy

December 23rd

Apple

Mac

Apple facing second (unrelated) lawsuit over excess data usage, this one for iPhone 5/5s

DSC_3401

Apple is already facing one class action lawsuit alleging that customers were unknowingly using up substantial amounts of mobile data, and it now faces a second.

The issue at stake in this new suit is that the iPhone 5/5s could silently switch from WiFi to LTE under some circumstances, resulting in mobile data usage even when the phone was on WiFi. This was fixed for Verizon users back in September 2012, but law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP claims that Apple didn’t fix it for AT&T users until more than two years later.

According to the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, Apple knew about the defect “almost immediately,” yet failed to fix it for AT&T wireless subscribers for years, and did not even disclose the defect. The defect affected all versions of iOS 6 and 7 and was only resolved with the release of iOS 8.1 in October 2014.

The firm said that the problem occurred when streaming video, when the phone was working so intensively it shut down other functions to cope, causing it to switch off WiFi. (Swift here refers to the name of the CPU on the A6/A7 chip rather than the programming language.)

In the iPhone 5 and 5S, when a consumer streamed high volumes of data for a period even as short as a couple of minutes, the graphics processing unit (GPU) would take over all video decompression, decoding and presentation to the display. Because the Swift central processing unit (CPU) no longer played a role in the video decompression, decoding and presentation process, the Swift CPU would go to sleep to conserve battery life. Once the Swift CPU was asleep, the iPhone 5 and 5S would automatically switch from streaming data via a Wi-Fi signal to streaming data via a cellular signal.

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP said that because Apple was allegedly aware of the defect but failed to either fix it or warn customers, the company violated California consumer laws, “including the Unfair Competition Law, the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the False Advertising Law.”

Anyone wanting to join the class action suit can do so via the firm’s website.

Photo: AnandTech


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple Inc, AT&T, class action lawsuit, iPhone, Lawsuit, LTE, mobile data, mobile data lawsuit, Verizon, Wi-Fi

Check out 9to5Mac for more breaking coverage of iOS Devices, iPhone, and Apple Inc.

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Ben Lovejoy

December 18th

Apple

Mac

VW Hires GM Ignition-Switch Attorney To Develop A ‘Menu Of Remedies’ For Diesel Owners

With Volkswagen facing over 500 lawsuits in the wake of developing and fitting an emissions-cheating defeat device to millions of its diesel vehicles, the company has hired Ken Feinberg to oversee its Dieselgate woes—the attorney who oversaw the compensation program for the General Motors ignition-switch defect.

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December 18th

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