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Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Bloomberg reports on a court victory for Apple today in its very long legal battle with Samsung:
Bloomberg said:
Apple's $539 Million in Damages Is a ‘Big Win’ Over Samsung
Apple Inc. won $539 million from Samsung Electronics Co. in the final throes of the companies’ U.S. court struggle over smartphone technology, seven years after the start of a global patent battle.

Apple sought about $1 billion in a retrial of a case that originally produced a verdict of that amount in 2012, while Samsung argued it should pay only $28 million this time.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A lawsuit over Apple's App Store walled garden has reached the U.S. Supreme Court:
Reuters said:
U.S. top court mulls Apple's App Store commissions in antitrust case
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take up Apple Inc’s bid to escape a lawsuit accusing it of breaking federal antitrust laws by monopolizing the market for iPhone software applications and causing consumers to pay more than they should.

The justices said they would hear Apple’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling that revived the proposed class-action lawsuit by iPhone buyers over commissions that the Cupertino, California-based technology company receives through its App Store.

The case could expand the threat of antitrust damages against companies in the rapidly growing field of electronic commerce, which generates hundreds of billions of dollars annually in U.S. retail sales.
 


From CNN:
Apple and Samsung have finally ended their seven year-long legal fight over patent infringement.
The two companies have agreed to a settlement, according to court documents filed Wednesday. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal.

The dispute began in 2011 when Apple accused Samsung (SSNLF) of copying the iPhone's design and infringing on patents for features like double-tapping to zoom. The settlement comes after Apple (AAPL) won a $539 million jury award in May.

Litigating the case cost the two companies hundreds of millions of dollars and resulted in several rulings and appeals. In 2012, a jury ruled Samsung must pay Apple more than $1 billion for copying various hardware and software features of the iPhone and iPad. A federal judge later reduced that penalty by $450 million.

Their fight eventually landed in the Supreme Court, which in 2016 reversed an appeals court ruling that Samsung must pay $399 million for patent infringement. Justices sent the case back to the lower court to determine just how much Apple should receive.
 




Apple's "reality distortion field" may have gone over the legal line this time...
If Apple loses a lawsuit due to artificial inflation of episode counts, Amazon could be next — it seems to be common practice to count junk like five-minute “teasers” (ads), documentaries, and “related content” as episodes.
 


If Apple loses a lawsuit due to artificial inflation of episode counts, Amazon could be next — it seems to be common practice to count junk like five-minute “teasers” (ads), documentaries, and “related content” as episodes.
That's really as it should be. There is a difference between a "video clip" included in the package and an "episode" of the show. If it's too difficult to distinguish them for some reason, then call them "videos", not "episodes".
 


Class action lawsuits are often a farce. If Apple loses the suit, it will probably be forced to give members of the class something like a $5 iTunes gift certificate for each season they bought.

Many years ago, Microsoft was found guilty of overcharging or misleading buyers of MS Office for Mac. Members of the class, myself included, received a coupon for a $25 discount on a purchase of Microsoft software by X date. As the date approached, I received a notice that the date was being extended because so few people used their coupons. Sure, exactly what people want to do is spend more money with a vendor that has ripped them off in the past.

There are class action lawsuits that result in the guilty party actually sending cash refunds. The suits that provide a discount with the guilty vendor only benefit the lawyers.
 



As reported in 9to5Mac and confirmed by TechCrunch, Apple is closing two Apple Stores in Plano and Frisco, Texas. They will be replaced by a new store in a shopping mall 13 miles to the south.

Plano and Frisco are cities north of Dallas. Plano is the ninth largest city in Texas, and home of many corporate headquarters. Frisco is just north of Plano, and has explosive growth. The Willow Bend store in Plano was the third retail Apple Store opened, on August 3, 2001.

So why would Apple take away the stores? The answer is that 25% of all US patent litigation is filed in Marshall, Texas, due to its "rocket docket" rules, refusal to dismiss meritless claims, and a jury pool sympathetic to patent trolls.

In the past patent trolls could use Marshall as a friendly court for a suit against any company. But the US Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that they have to file in districts where the company is incorporated or has an established place of business, which means that the company would need to do business in the Eastern District of Texas, where Marshall is.

The Eastern District of Texas is mostly rural, with only two large cities: Plano and Frisco. The district border is just south of Plano. So by moving the Apple Stores further south, Apple no longer does business in this district, and is not at risk of being sued in this court.

So it is a sound business move by Apple, aside from ditching a few hundred thousand Apple customers in the area.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Just one chapter of many in this epic battle:
Reuters said:
Apple infringed three Qualcomm patents, jury finds
Mobile phone chip supplier Qualcomm Inc on Friday won a legal victory against iPhone maker Apple Inc, with a jury in federal court in San Diego finding that Apple owes Qualcomm about $31 million for infringing three of its patents.

... The case is part of a series of lawsuits around the world between the companies. Apple has alleged that Qualcomm engaged in illegal patent practices to protect a dominant position in the chip market, and Qualcomm has accused Cupertino, California-based Apple of using its technology without compensation.

... The companies’ legal battle will reach a crescendo in April, when an antitrust case filed by Apple in early 2017 heads to trial and challenges the foundation of Qualcomm’s business model of licensing its patents to mobile device makers and selling them chips.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's an update on a class-action lawsuit over Apple's secret throttling of iPhones in a previous iOS update:
Mikey Campbell said:
Apple's $500M agreement to settle iPhone throttling controversy gets preliminary approval
... Under terms of the deal, class members, which include iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus and SE device owners who performed certain software updates, will receive $25 each for their troubles. That payout could reach up to $500 per instance should collective claims and attorneys fees not reach $310 million. Class counsel is asking for 30% of the $310 million pool, or $93 million, and $1.5 million in expenses.
 


Here's an update on a class-action lawsuit over Apple's secret throttling of iPhones in a previous iOS update...
At least it's (a tiny amount of) cash. Some years ago Microsoft settled a class action suit by providing a $25 coupon to be used for the purchase of a new Microsoft product. They actually claimed to be surprised when so few recipients used the time-limited offer. You can be sure that the lawyers were not paid in coupons.
 


Does the [Apple] settlement require the $25 be paid in the form of a check? A $25 Apple Store Gift Card or a $25 iTunes gift card? (I suspect gift cards.)
 


Does the [Apple] settlement require the $25 be paid in the form of a check? A $25 Apple Store Gift Card or a $25 iTunes gift card? (I suspect gift cards.)
The article linked by Ric doesn't actually say cash. However, within that article is a link to the report on a legal site which says:
During the hearing Friday, class counsel and attorneys for Apple both said the deal is fair, considering the litigation was hotly contested from the get-go and considering class members will receive cash payments of at least $25.
The "at least" depends on legal costs and the number of claimants.

I would guess (hope?) that legally, "cash" means cash in the form of a check or possibly credit card refund, and not a gift card.

Both articles say that the payment goes to iPhone owners "who performed certain updates," but neither gives any details.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
This shareholder lawsuit against Apple seems to have real merit:
Reuters said:
Apple must face U.S. shareholder lawsuit over CEO's iPhone, China comments
A federal judge said Apple Inc must face part of a lawsuit claiming it fraudulently concealed falling demand for iPhones, especially in China, leading to tens of billions of dollars in shareholder losses.

While dismissing most claims, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled late Tuesday that shareholders can sue over Chief Executive Tim Cook’s comments touting strong iPhone demand on a Nov. 1, 2018 analyst call, only a few days before Apple told its largest manufacturers to curb production.

#appleabuse
 


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