Think of this as a teaser for a heavyweight match that will take place in a few months. A judge has ordered that Apple and Amazon attempt to reach a settlement over use of the word “Appstore” before their big court date in the summer. Apple, the technology giant, claims that they own rights to the phrase and had already sued the e-commerce site Amazon.com. A judge had ruled that Apple had no claim to the fictional phrase. U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte has urged the two companies to gather this spring in attempts to avoid a later clash over the intellectual property, copyrights, or trademarks. If no settlement is reached, Apple and Amazon will soon go before a judge in Southern California over using “Appstore”. Read moreGoogle+
You might think twice before uploading your next picture. There is a class-action lawsuit has been filed against Instagram in regards to their newly updated Terms of Service. The photo-sharing company recently announced a change in their TOS that, in some eyes, relinquishes their users’ ownership of personal photographs they chose to upload. In theory, the Facebook-owned company would be able to use any added pictures and images to promote their own brand. The civil suit, based out of Northern California, contends that the pictures’ rights should be retained by the photographer and technically do not belong to Instagram. These proposed changes are scheduled to take effect early in 2013 and include the company’s advertising access to any personal information given by the end user. Read MoreGoogle+
Apple recently acquired a patent that would disable an iPhone’s camera, recording ability and even put it into sleep mode. The patent characterizes its function as “forcing certain electronic devices to enter ‘sleep mode’ when entering a sensitive area”. There are certainly some benefits of this feature that would make life a little less annoying. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to never enjoy a film without the interruption of someone’s cell phone? College lectures would be silent of ringtones and it could even cut down on cheating. While these functions appear to be harmless and even beneficial, there are serious legal questions being raised that cause some to worry about other uses of the patent. What exactly is a sensitive area and who gets to determine this?
While you were gawking at the new kind-of-better-in-some-ways-I-guess Macbook Pro at this week’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple’s law team was quietly paying out a settlement to a Australian government regulators. Apple shipped their newest 4G-compatible iPhones and -Pads to Australia, where ravenous consumers quickly snatched them up. There was one catch: the electronics did not actually work with any LTE networks in the country. Luckily, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was ready to slap Apple around with a lawsuit, alleging that Apple knowingly advertised this whole 4G business despite being well aware that the technology wouldn’t work. Sensing an uphill court battle, Apple quickly settled the case (if I had to guess, I’d say it was a pretty clever tactic to hide the negative press among all the buzz for their WWDC event). The outcome: Apple must pay a fine of $2.25 million to the Australian government, and will also probably have to pick up the tab for $300,000 worth of legal fees. Though they aren’t required to, Apple is also offering refunds to customers who felt cheated. What a nice company.Google+
A 25 million-strong class action lawsuit against Apple has come to a close, with the tech giant now obliged to give the complainants their choice of a $15 reimbursement or a special cover for their iPhones. Should all members of the class action suit choose the money, the total amount paid by Apple could be up to $375 million.
In 2010, Apple release its much-hyped iPhone 4, the latest in the succession of popular smart phones. Early users soon found that the phone suffered poor reception when held normally due to the ill-chosen placement of the phone’s internal antenna. When notified of the flaw, Apple offered the stale solution of “holding the phone in a different way”. Users scoffed at the lame response, as reception was only lost when holding the phone in the usual manner, which has been the norm of cell phone usage for decades. Incensed users brought the company to a class action lawsuit, alleging consumer fraud in that the company misrepresented the device’s ability to function in order to increase sales.
The terms of this settlement apply to any purchaser of the iPhone 4, which early numbers indicate may be 25 million people. If you are eligible to benefit from this refund, Apple is obligated to contact you via email by April 30th, 2012. After that, purchasers have 120 days to claim their refund. If you have not been contacted by April 30th and think you are still eligible, contact Apple’s customer service.Google+