trial Stories June 22, 2016

100c

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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trial Stories March 30, 2016

jury-reuters-chip-east

The endless patent battles between Apple and Samsung took an interesting turn this week when Apple claimed that the most recent court ruling violated the Seventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: the right to trial by jury.

Back in 2014, Apple was awarded $119.6M when Samsung was found to have violated three of the five patents in dispute. That award was overturned last month when an appeals court ruled that Samsung didn’t infringe one of the three patents, and declared the other two invalid.

The problem, explains Reuters, is that the appellate court didn’t just refer to the trial court record in reaching its conclusions, it also considered new evidence …

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trial Stories February 3, 2016

Apple removes ‘impact resistant’ claim from Apple Watch after losing court case over cracked screen

The BBC reports that Apple has removed the phrase ‘impact resistant’ from its description of the Apple Watch after losing a UK court case over a cracked screen. The owner said that he had been influenced by the description as he is “prone to knocking things about a bit.”

Gareth Cross, 32, from Aberystwyth, [bought] his Apple Watch Sport, but spotted a crack in the glass face 10 days later. The technology giant said work to fix the watch was not covered by warranty […]

Mr Cross took the company to the small claims court in Aberystwyth for breach of the Sale of Goods Act, and has won the case after a six-month fight. The company was ordered to refund the cost of the watch and pay £429 ($620) costs. Apple has now changed the description of the watch, removing the claim it was resistant to impact.

Cross says that he still plans to buy a replacement Watch.

Accidental damage is covered for those who pay to upgrade to AppleCare+, but not for standard warranty claims. We last year detailed the visual inspection process used by Apple to accept or deny claims.

Torture tests demonstrated that the Watch is pretty tough, but not immune to damage. The sapphire screens used on the more expensive stainless steel and Edition models is far more scratch-resistant than the Sport model, but just as vulnerable to cracks.

Photo: swns.com

trial Stories September 29, 2015

APPLE-MUSIC-free

With the first of the 3-month free trials for Apple Music set to expire tomorrow, many users will have their credit cards charged automatically for the $9.99/month service going forward (or $14.99/month for the family plan). If you’ve decided that you don’t want to continue with Apple Music experience and want to avoid being charged for your first month, we’ve put together quick and easy instructions on how to cancel your subscription to keep it from auto-renewing (which is on by default when you sign-up). Otherwise, Apple will charge the credit card linked to the Apple ID that you used to sign-up for Apple Music.  expand full story

trial Stories September 3, 2015

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A class action lawsuit against Apple, Google and other tech companies for agreeing not to poach each other’s employees has finally been settled. Steve Jobs, Google’s Eric Schmidt and others had agreed in emails not to offer higher salaries to each other’s employees in order to reduce the risk of losing valuable employees. When the emails came to light, the 64,000 employees affected successfully argued that this had limited their earning potential.

After Apple’s originally settlement offers were rejected by Judge Lucy Koh as inadequate, the company increased its offer to $415M, which the judge agreed was fair. Reuters reports that Koh has now granted final approval of this sum.

Koh did, however, reject the $81M cut the lawyers in the case had demanded …  expand full story

trial Stories December 16, 2014

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Update — Apple’s statement via CNBC: “We thank the jury for their service and we applaud their verdict.”

A jury has decided that Apple is not guilty of violating antitrust laws in the decade-old lawsuit involving the iPod, iTunes Music Store, and digital rights management usage. The jury had to determine if the iTunes updates affecting customers’ iPods were “genuine product improvements” with Apple citing security concerns for implementing the usage of DRM. expand full story

trial Stories November 11, 2014

 

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A  U.S. District judge has decided that Apple will have to face a US federal lawsuit over complaints that it prevented users from receiving text messages after switching from iPhone to Android, according to a report from Reuters. expand full story

trial Stories September 5, 2014

Apple & Google both appealing court ruling that anti-poaching settlement was too low

The anti-poaching case rumbles on … After an antitrust class-action suit last year accused Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe of secretly agreeing not to poach staff from each other, the case appeared to be all over back in April when the parties reached a $324M settlement.

Settlements have to be signed-off by a court, however, to ensure that it is considered fair to all parties. Earlier this month, Judge Lucy Koh rejected the settlement, saying the amount should have been $380M.

Two days ago, the parties resumed settlement talks with the help of a retired judge, but it appears these are not going well: Reuters now reports that Apple and Google has asked an appeals court to overturn Judge Koh’s decision.

In a court filing late on Thursday, the companies asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overrule Koh’s decision.

Koh “committed clear legal error” and “impermissibly substituted the court’s assessment of the value of the case for that of the parties who have been litigating the case for more than three years,” they wrote.

Judge Koh had earlier said that Steve Jobs “was a, if not the, central figure in the alleged conspiracy.”

trial Stories August 8, 2014

Spotify starts sending invites for users to try service in Canada

After revealing plans to finally bring Spotify to Canada last month, users in the country have now started receiving invites to try the streaming music service. A reader sent in the image above and others have received their invite over the last 24 hours,.

Congratulations — you’re in!

You’ve been chosen to try Spotify in Canada before everyone else!

Millions of songs are now waiting for you. The artists you love, the latest hits and new discoveries— all for free on mobile, tablet and desktop. Happy listening!

The company initially announced last month that the service would launch in the coming months, but now seems to be launching a test of the service with select users that signed-up here. Spotify is currently available in a long list of countries around the world, but it doesn’t yet list Canada on its website.

The company appears to be offering the service in trial mode for free but doesn’t mention pricing for a premium service for Canadians. Users that receive a code can access the service here.

(Thanks Josh!)

trial Stories November 15, 2013

iphone_2007

Phil Schiller’s real testimony in the Apple v. Samsung damages trial will come later today, but he put the importance of the iPhone into perspective in his opening remarks yesterday by stating that Apple “bet the company” on it (via CNET).

There were huge risks [with the first iPhone]. We had a saying inside the company that it was a ‘bet-the-company’ product […] We were starting to do well again in iPod […] Then here we’re going to invest all these resources, financial as well as people, in creating this product …  expand full story

trial Stories October 4, 2013

Actual court drawing of Forstall

Actual court drawing of Forstall (<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/slideshow?articleId=USBRE87906V20120810&slide=1#a=1">not a joke</a>)

We’re set to get a blast from the past on November 12th when ex-Apple SVP of iOS Scott Forstall is likely to come out of hiding to testify at the Samsung damages hearing alongside his once colleague Phil Schiller.

On Friday, the two sides filed a joint pretrial statement and lists of potential witnesses they may call. Apple’s list includes Phil Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, and Scott Forstall, the former senior vice president of iOS software. Forstall’s departure was announced last October following the widely criticized launch of Apple Maps, which some observers said may have led to his firing. Both Schiller and Forstall also testified in the original trial.

Rounding out Apple’s lineup, Susan Kare, who designed the original Mac icons is also on the docket. Apple won an over $1B verdict in the initial trial but the amount was subsequently dropped to $400M by Judge Lucy Koh.

Forstall has been out of the public spotlight since his removal by CEO Tim Cook in October of last year. expand full story

trial Stories August 23, 2013

Steve-Jobs-Email-ebook-Amazon

As first spotted by GigaOm, the US Department of Justice has submitted a revised remedy proposal in the ongoing ebook case that previously found Apple guilty of conspiring with publishers to control ebook pricing. While much of the proposal remains the same as the proposal it first submitted at the beginning of this month, the report points out that the DOJ has added more information and a Steve Jobs email as an exhibit showing that Apple changed its in-app purchasing policies specifically “to retaliate against Amazon for competitive conduct that Apple disapproved of.”

While referencing the email above in which Steve Jobs and Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller discuss forcing Amazon to go through Apple’s payment system, the DOJ claims Apple “misrepresented the factual circumstances” since it allows other retailers to bypass its 30% cut: expand full story

trial Stories August 2, 2013

Apple calls DOJ ebooks remedy proposal ‘draconian and punitive’

Following the Department of Justice’s proposed settlements for the iBooks court case, Apple has submitted a response to the court that clearly shows the company is in no way interested in the suggested changes. The 31 page document is summarized quite well by the initial introduction:

Plaintiffs’ proposed injunction is a draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple’s business, wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm. Plaintiffs propose a sweeping and unprecedented injunction as a tool to empower the Government to regulate Apple’s businesses and potentially affect Apple’s business relationships with thousands of partners across several markets. Plaintiffs’ overreaching proposal would establish a vague new compliance regime—applicable only to Apple—with intrusive oversight lasting for ten years, going far beyond the legal issues in this case, injuring competition and consumers, and violating basic principles of fairness and due process. The resulting cost of this relief—not only in dollars but also lost opportunities for American businesses and consumers—would be vast.

Here is the response in its entirety (via TNW):

 

steve-jobs-ibooks

After reaching settlements with just about every publisher involved in the long-running Apple/Amazon e-book price fixing case, The United States Department of Justice today published its proposal to end the case with Apple after finding the company guilty of conspiring to fix ebook prices during trial earlier this month:

“The court found that Apple’s illegal conduct deprived consumers of the benefits of e-book price competition and forced them to pay substantially higher prices,” said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “Under the department’s proposed order, Apple’s illegal conduct will cease and Apple and its senior executives will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition in the future.”

Among the key points in the proposal: expand full story

trial Stories May 29, 2013

Amazon launches ‘Login with Amazon’ sign-in service for iOS, Android & web

Amazon is announcing today the roll out of a new service called “Login with Amazon” t0 allow developers to easily offer an Amazon sign-in option in their apps, games, and websites. Amazon says in a trial with Zappos.com customers chose to sign in using the Login with Amazon service about 40 percent of the time, while a trial with Woot found customers using Amazon sign in “had the highest rate of order conversion”:

“Login with Amazon enables app developers and website owners to leverage Amazon’s trusted sign-in solution, allowing them to focus on providing a great experience for their customers,” said Michael Carr, Amazon Vice President, eCommerce Services. “Amazon customers now have a hassle-free way to quickly and securely sign-in to apps, games and websites, without having to remember yet another password.”

Amazon is making the service available free of charge to devs and has SDKs for both Android and iOS available to download through its new login.amazon.com website.

trial Stories May 24, 2013

Judge in Apple eBook case says U.S. government has evidence to prove pricing conspiracy ahead of trial

Earlier this month we heard that Apple submitted to the courts that it engaged in “contentious negotiations”– and not a pricing conspiracy– at a time when publishers were already considering methods of getting Amazon to increase pricing. According to the latest comments from a judge in the high-profile eBook pricing case, Apple might not be able to prove its case when it goes to trial early next month.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote believes that the U.S Justice Department will indeed be able to prove a pricing conspiracy took place (via Bloomberg):

“I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that,” U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said yesterday.

“We strongly disagree with the court’s preliminary statements about the case,” Orin Snyder, Apple’s lead lawyer in the case, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “The court made clear that this was not a final ruling and that the evidence at trial will determine the verdict. This is what a trial is for.”

trial Stories May 15, 2013

Image (1) iBookstore1.jpg for post 30622

In the ongoing e-book price fixing case with the Department of Justice, in which Apple is accused of conspiring with publishers to fix eBook pricing and cut out Amazon, Apple has again responded to the DOJ’s claims detailing the “tough negotiations” it went through with publishers. To further prove its point that it was not colluding with publishers to fix e-book pricing, Apple said it “one-on-one” and “contentious negotiations” at a time when publishers were already considering methods of getting Amazon to increase pricing: expand full story

trial Stories November 19, 2012

Seth Weintraub and Danny DeSilva contributed to this post.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been posting links to a mysterious Apple refurbished store that appeared on eBay about a month ago and has been hiding in plain sight ever since. Labeled only “Refurbished Outlet” with hidden corporate information and nothing in the way of contact information or a traceable backend, the store gets impressive 99.7-percent positive reviews from buyers. But, there is no information on where devices are coming from.

We thought Apple might be testing the waters to sell refurbished products directly to customers through eBay, and it seems that’s exactly what is happening. We discovered that this is in fact an Apple-run Store within eBay. It is in trial, and it could open the door to much bigger things. No one would go on the record at eBay, however.

Aside from the image fonts above, which are an uncharacteristic wreck, there are many telltale signs of Apple’s direct involvement. Just like Apple’s own refurbished products, the “refurbished outlet” products all have the following:

  • Full one-year warranty
  • Returned to like-new condition
  • iPads/iPods include a new battery
  • Received complete burn-in testing
  • Original OS re-installed
  • Repackaged with manual and cable
  • Final quality inspection by Apple

The prices on the products are also identical to the Apple Store’s refurbished prices across the board (below) expand full story

trial Stories September 6, 2012

Federal judge approves settlement with three publishers in Apple/Amazon ebook price fixing case

We noted last month that Apple filed a document with the Southern District of New York attempting to have settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice and three publishers delayed until after the high profile eBook price-fixing case goes to trial in June 2013. The Wall Street Journal reported today that a federal judge approved the settlements, which would allow Amazon and other retailers to return to its previous model and freely set eBook prices. Not surprisingly, Apple is expected to appeal the decision:

In a move that could reshape the publishing industry, a federal judge has approved a settlement with three of the nation’s largest book publishers over alleged collusion in the pricing of e-books… Apple has previously indicated in court papers that it would seek to appeal any decision approving the settlement. As a result, it could take some time before consumers see lower prices on e-books… “It’s devastating to bookstores,” said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. “For two years the settling publishers must allow vendors to discount e-books at any price they want. The court acknowledges that this restores the status quo conditions before 2010, when Amazon was able capture 90% of the e-book market. The Justice Department is reshaping the literary marketplace without submitting a single economic study to the court to justify its actions.”

trial Stories April 16, 2012

As pointed out by MacStories, Apple recently removed trials for the iWork suite and Aperture 3 from Apple.com. The webpage formerly home to the iWork trial now includes a message informing users that iWork apps, such as Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, are available through the Mac App Store. Apple removed the trial for a short while last year before returning it; however, the company also informed users last month that the iWork.com Beta service would shut down July 31. Apple does not currently offer trial versions of the $20 Mac Store apps.

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