Several months ago, we heard of the first known case of law enforcement requiring a suspect to unlock their phone with Face ID. Forbes reports today, however, that a California judge has ruled that, even with a warrant, the government can’t force people to unlock their devices via biometric features.
legal Stories January 14, 2019
legal Stories December 27, 2018
As the heated legal saga between Apple and Qualcomm only continues to intensify, the California chipmaker is now insisting that after asking Chinese courts to impose an all-out iPhone ban in the region, it won’t rule out imposing Chinese civil procedure to fine or detain legal representatives from Apple for disobeying the sales ban, according to Global Times China.
A lawyer representing Qualcomm said that under Chinese rules of civil procedure, Qualcomm has the right to ask a court to fine or detain Apple’s four legal representatives in China or bar them from leaving the country.
Further, the company is said to be dissatisfied with Apple’s flippancy towards the Chinese injunction as compared to the recent German one, which saw Apple immediately ban sales of iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in the country.
legal Stories March 1, 2017
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit made a decision today to throw out the verdict of a two-year old legal case against Apple based on data storage patents. The original verdict reached by a Texas jury stuck Apple with $533 million in damages.
legal Stories July 12, 2016
Apple today has been hit with a lawsuit by Texas-based Somaltus LLC, which claims that the charging system used by the iPhone violates a patent it acquired from Snap-On Technologies. Snap-On Technologies originally acquired the patent in 2010 for an “integrated battery service system” that performs a “plurality of services related to devices/components that are coupled to the battery.”
legal Stories July 7, 2016
Apple today has been revealed as the target of yet another lawsuit. This time, Pennsylvania resident Samuel Lit is suing Apple over a 2008 patent covering web carousel technology. Lit claims that the design of the Apple.com homepage, which cycles through a variety of different products, infringes upon his patent.
legal Stories May 5, 2016
Earlier this year Immersion Corporation, one of the leading companies in haptic feedback technology, filed a lawsuit against Apple over haptic technology used in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and Apple Watch. Today, the company has filed a second lawsuit against Apple and AT&T in which it says the MacBook and MacBook Pro violate one patent relating to haptic feedback. Additionally, Immersion says the iPhone 6s infringes on three more of its patents not mentioned in the first lawsuit.
legal Stories March 21, 2016
Update #2: Apple has responded to the latest filing from the Department of Justice saying that if the government is unable to succeed in unlocking the device on its own, Apple will demand to know everything about the method by which it tried.
Update: The judge has granted the DOJ’s motion to vacate the hearing.
Apple was set to face off against the FBI in court tomorrow regarding its refusal to unlock the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen. Now, however, the government has moved to vacate tomorrow’s hearing, saying that it has found an outside method with which to unlock the iPhone.
legal Stories March 10, 2016
Update: Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell has said that the FBI’s latest filing is a “cheap shot” and notes that the tone of it “reads like an indictment.” Sewell went on to add that the FBI is “so desperate at this point that it has thrown all decorum to the wind.” Furthermore, the Apple executive said that the brief was meant on the FBI’s part to “vilify” Apple.
The Department of Justice has today filed its latest response to Apple in their fight over unlocking the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen. The filling comes a week after the two sides faced off before the House Judiciary Committee over the issue. In the filing, the Justice Department accuses Apple of deliberately increasing security to prevent it from being able to comply with governmental requests.
legal Stories March 9, 2016
As Apple’s battle with the FBI drags on, the company’s senior vice president of software and services Eddy Cue has sat down with Univision to discuss the case. In the interview, Cue echoes much of what his colleagues have said before regarding the case, including that it should be decided in Congress and several other points.
legal Stories March 7, 2016
As Apple continues to fight a court order asking it to unlock the iPhone of one the San Bernardino gunmen, the company is also involved in a similar case in New York. Last week, a New York judge ruled that the government couldn’t force Apple to unlock a device, but now, Reuters reports that the Department of Justice is fighting the ruling and is again citing the All Writs Act as reasoning.
legal Stories March 3, 2016
Apple and the FBI are set to start its court battle for the San Bernardino case in a couple of weeks, March 22nd. In support for Apple’s position, over 40 companies, organizations and individuals will file amicus briefs later today to rally against the government order for Apple to compromise its own iPhone security measures. Facebook, Google, Dropbox, Microsoft, Snapchat and more will sign on to briefs in the case, according to sources.
Via The New York Times, support was not immediate. Company execs were initially worried about the consequences on the industry if Apple lost out to the FBI. Bloomberg reports Samsung supports the idea of encryption but will not commit to file an amicus brief for its smartphone rival, the Samsung statement said it remains undecided on its court position …
legal Stories February 27, 2016
Following the revelation that Apple’s top lawyer Bruce Sewell will testify before Congress this coming week over encryption, another attorney for the company has sat down with CNN to discuss the ongoing case. In the interview, current Apple representative and former United States solicitor general Ted Olson discussed how what the government is asking Apple to do is “limitless.”
An appeals court on Friday overturned a ruling that would have forced Samsung to pay $120 million in damages to Apple for patent infringement, reports Reuters. In this specific case, one of several patent battles between the two companies, Apple claimed that Samsung infringed on its “quick links” patent.
legal Stories February 18, 2016
Following Apple’s refusal to unlock an iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a Republican out of North Carolina, plans to propose a new bill that would impose criminal penalties on companies that don’t comply with those types of orders. Citing people familiar with the matter, the report says that Burr’s plan isn’t finalized yet and that it’s unclear how many other lawmakers support the idea.
legal Stories February 4, 2016
In the patent battle that feels as if it will never end, Apple has today asked the Supreme Court not to review Samsung’s latest appeals request in the two companies’ ongoing patent feud. Back in December, it was announced that Apple and Samsung had reached a $548 million settlement, but with a catch. Samsung said in its part of the agreement that it reserved the right to reclaim reimbursement should any position of the trial be modified…
legal Stories January 25, 2016
According to a report out of Bloomberg, notorious patent troll VirnetX is seeking $532 million from Apple, claiming that Apple has taken its intellectual property without permission. VirnetX holds a variety of patents relating to technology used in creating Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs. The company claims that Apple’s own VPN technology, as well as its FaceTime and iMessage services, all infringe on its patents.
legal Stories January 13, 2016
A new bill proposed in New York could see that all phone manufacturers be required to implement a way for law enforcement agencies to access and decrypt user devices. This bill is somewhat similar to the Investigatory Powers Bill currently being debated in the UK, which Apple has voiced its opposition towards. Apple and Tim Cook have repeatedly stated that government agencies should not have any access to user devices or data, whether be through a built-in backdoor or other means.
legal Stories December 29, 2015
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.
legal Stories October 24, 2015
Earlier this week, Apple stated that it would be nearly impossible for it to access the data on a passcode-locked iOS device running iOS 8 or later. The company also noted, however, that even if it were possible, it would not feel comfortable doing so as to not tarnish the trust it shares with its customers. The Department of Justice has now dismissed that argument, saying that Apple should be required to unlock encrypted data because iOS is “licensed, not sold” to customers (via DailyDot).
legal Stories October 19, 2015
What OS X El Capitan’s license really says, according to a programmer/lawyer
We all know the features of OS X El Capitan pretty well by now: Split View multitasking, new San Francisco system font, overhauled Notes app, and smaller changes throughout. Before anyone upgrades to El Cap, however, we’re all faced with the usual scrolling wall of text that we’re asked to read and agree to before ever using OS X: the licensing agreement.
I’m guessing virtually no one reads beyond the first paragraph if even that, but Robb Schecter, a self-described programmer/lawyer, took for one the team this year and translated El Cap’s license into plain English. These 7 points tell me more than I admittedly knew before:
legal Stories October 16, 2015
Earlier this week, Apple was found guilty in an ongoing patent lawsuit initiated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the time, Apple was said to potentially owe the university’s patent licensing arm $862 million in damages. Today, however, Reuters reports that the jury in the case, after much deliberation, has ordered Apple to pay $234 million in damages.
legal Stories August 25, 2015
Germany’s top civil court today has ruled against Apple in a case pertaining to the company’s swipe-to-unlock input method. Judges in the case explained that swipe-to-unlock is not sophisticated enough to be awarded patent protection. This ruling falls in line with a similar ruling that favored Motorola back in 2013 (via Bloomberg).
legal Stories August 19, 2015
Following a request for a rehearing of its battle with Apple earlier this summer, Samsung last week had its plea denied by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, putting the case on its last leg. Samsung was hoping that the federal appeals court would reconsider the U.S Federal Circuit Court’s decision to uphold damages from a 2012 ruling. Following last week’s rejections, Samsung’s final option would be to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and now it appears that the company is doing just that.