i’LL See You in Court

Assuming the Mayan calendar got it all wron, and we’ll all live to see 2013, then Apple’s got a day in court to look forward to.

As ruled by Manhattan judge Denise Cote, on June 3rd, 2013 the tech giant will be called forward to respond to the allegations that it helped to orchestrate a coalition of major book publishers (including MacMillan, Penguin Group, Hachette, HarperCollings and Simon & Schuster) in order to set a mandate that any publisher who sold their books via iTunes would not be able to sell them for a lower price anywhere else.

Where the monopoly accusation gets tricky is the idea that any possible coalition that may have been formed was potentially done with the intention of breaking up the stranglehold monopoly that Amazon held on the eBook industry at the time. Apple’s official statement on the subject treads incredibly close to supporting this theory when spokesperson Tom Neumary said at the time of the accusation:

“The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.”

For an official statement, it’s pretty gutsy. In fact, it reads to me more like the title of OJ’s book (“If I Did It“) than it does an outright hands in the air denial.

Nevertheless, as HarperCollings, Simon & Schuster and Hachette have all settled out of court, its down now to MacMillan, Penguin and Apple themselves to face the Deparment of Justice accusation next year.

The ramifications of this future decision will obviously be far-reaching if Apple is found guilty, but even an innocent verdict raises the uncomfortable question of whether or not a tech giant just got away with a business crime under the basis that it was for “the greater good.”


First iPhone 4 class action suit surfaces

iPhone 4 antenna.A class action suit has been filed against Apple and AT&T for, you guessed it, the antenna issue.

More specifically, the suit claims the following on the part of the designated companies:
• General Negligence (APPLE and AT&T)
• Defect in Design, Manufacture, and Assembly (APPLE)
• Breach of Express Warranty (APPLE)
• Breach of Implied Warranty for Merchantability (APPLE and AT&T)
• Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose (APPLE and AT&T)
• Deceptive Trade Practices (APPLE and AT&T)
• Intentional Misrepresentation (APPLE and AT&T)
• Negligent Misrepresentation (APPLE and AT&T)
• Fraud by Concealment (APPLE and AT&T)

Quite the list of infractions, don’t you think? While I agree that there shouldn’t be such widespread incidence of this problem, I don’t think it’s out of the question to ask people to hold the phone a bit differently. Maybe that’s just me.

Also, am I the only person not having this problem?

Read the full brief over at Gizmodo.


Apple sues HTC

Apple vs. HTC.It seems like Apple is filing hundreds of patents a day, so it’s not really much of a surprise that the company throws out an infringement suit from time to time. Today, it’s HTC. Apple filed a suit against HTC claiming infringement of “20 Apple patents related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture and hardware.”

The suit seems more appropriately targeted at Android, though HTC is marginally involved with things like Sense UI and obviously the hardware. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that the real issue is with Google’s OS, and maybe some multi-touch stuff here and there. Whatever the case, old Stevie isn’t happy. A press release quoted him with the following: “We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

If the lawsuit succeeds it will likely end in HTC being forced to license patents from Apple for its devices. The only other recourse would be placing a halt on the import and sale of HTC devices, which seems pretty unlikely.

Source: Apple