Apple lawsuit wrap-up for June 2012

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June 2012 was a quiet month for lawsuits, but as the saying goes, it’s always quietest before the storm. This month’s theme is judges who make up laws as they go or just decide cases based on how busy they are or, quite possibly, what they ate for breakfast that day.

  • Over a year ago there was a kerfuffle over Apple keeping track of a person’s location, which some felt was a violation of their privacy. Apple modified how iOS stores location data, but it wasn’t enough for some people, and they sued. Now the case has been given the go-ahead and it will be argued that Apple violated California consumer laws.
  • A man kept the only copies of very important photos on his Time Capsule and that unfortunately suffered a hard drive failure. Naturally, he’s suing Apple claiming the failure is a breach of contract. This is a ridiculous lawsuit because hard drives are guaranteed to fail which is why you have a back-up to begin with. If he had his only copy of files on his Time Capsule, then that wasn’t really a back-up at all and he should have been more responsible.
  • The antitrust lawsuit against Apple and publishing houses is set to start on June 3, 2013.
  • An Australian Federal Court judge ordered Apple to pay $2.25 million dollars as a fine for “falsely marketing the 4G capabilities of its latest iPad.” Apple did offer to give people a refund if they returned their iPads, but very few people did so. However the judge apparently didn’t need facts as he wrote “I have no doubt that given the promotion by Telstra of the superiority of its 4G network, many purchasers will have felt decidedly short-changed.”
  • Kodak is trying to sell their patents and Apple is making things difficult by claiming ownership of ten of these patents. In retaliation, Kodak is suing Apple to stop them.
  • A judge reversed his tentative decision to cancel Apple’s patent-infringement trial against Motorola less than one week before it was set to start. Apple wants a hearing that could see the sales ban of certain Motorola products, and both Apple and Motorola will be allowed to argue for injunctive relief.
  • Another judge refused Apple’s desire for an injunction that would ban sales of the new Samsung Galaxy S III because it would overload her calendar. Since she is busy with Apple’s trial against Samsung that is scheduled to begin in July she didn’t want to take on any other case. A judge is supposed to look at cases based on their validity, not on whether she’s busy.
  • A Dutch court found Apple guilty of infringing on Samsung’s Universal Mobile Telecommunications System patent by using Intel and Infineon baseband chips in the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4 and the iPad 1 and 2. Apple will have to pay a licensing fee to Samsung although Apple will probably appeal the ruling.
  • Samsung is suing Australia’s patent commissioner on “claims that the official didn’t follow protocol when granting Apple certain standard patents.”
  • HTC acquired eight patents from Google and used them in a legal battle against Apple. Unfortunately for HTC, a judge threw out five of them saying “HTC failed to acquire all substantial rights in the relevant patents.” HTC could have appealed the decision, but they decided to file a motion to dismiss.
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