Lawsuit Stories June 28

AAPL: 93.59

1.55
Stock Chart

Reuters reports that South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Apple for possible anti-competitive practices in the country. This appears to support an earlier unconfirmed report in Korea Times that FTC was examining the legality of Apple’s contract terms with mobile carriers.

Sources said Apple Korea has pressed carriers into buying a minimum volume of promotional iPhones and sharing the burden of repair costs […]

In April, the FTC ordered the rectification of 20 unfair provisions in contracts with its certified repair service partners. The contracts included stipulations that the repair firms could not file lawsuits against Apple Korea within a year after any dispute.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it echoes an earlier case in France …

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Lawsuit Stories June 22

AAPL: 95.55

-0.36
Stock Chart

Shenzhen Baili, the Chinese company that last week managed to win a Beijing patent office ruling that the iPhone 6 copied its own Baili 100C smartphone, is effectively defunct, reports the WSJ.

[Parent company] Digione had collapsed, brought down by buggy products, mismanagement and fierce competition, according to former employees and investors. Digione has been absent from China’s mobile-phone market for at least a year and Baidu has accused it of squandering its investment.

When the WSJ attempted to track down the company behind the alleged patent, it found no signs that it was still operating …

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Lawsuit Stories June 17

AAPL: 95.33

-2.22
Stock Chart

Update: Apple has now issued a statement.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE models are all available for sale today in China. We appealed an administrative order from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month and as a result the order has been stayed pending review by the Beijing IP Court.

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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9to5toys 

Lawsuit Stories May 23

AAPL: 96.43

1.21
Stock Chart

Lawsuit Stories April 20

AAPL: 107.13

0.22
Stock Chart

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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Lawsuit Stories April 18

AAPL: 107.48

-2.37
Stock Chart
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