Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a tech company, but if one did not know that, he or she might swear that it is a law firm. Apple has found itself in so many courtrooms in recent years over various issues from patent infringement cases, to anti-trust to class-action consumer lawsuits, that some chairs in courtrooms just might have signs taped on them that read, “RESERVED for Apple, Inc. Staff and Legal Counsel Only.”
In this installment of Apple Watch (not to be confused with iWatch), we will give you a glimpse into a couple of cases that seem to be moving forward – meaning that those reserved chairs just might have people sitting in them before very long.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.: American Ban Stand?
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) makes no bones that there is no love lost between it and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., the No. 1 handset competitor to the Apple iPhone. And Samsung is more than holding its own thanks to its alliance with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and its Android operating system, which puts Apple CEO Tim Cook up against Google boss Larry Page in that “thermonuclear war” that the late Steve Jobs vowed to have against Google.
Richard Padilla of MacRumors reported on the latest developments in the legal wrangling between the two smartphone giants, as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reportedly is due to file with a federal appeals court a request for a U.S. import ban on several Samsung devices which were found to have infringed several Apple patents in a U.S. jury decision a year ago this month. The motion is being filed even as the case undergoes an appeals process because of how the case was handled by the judge and jury.
Judge Lucy Koh in the original trial said that while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was entitled to damages due to the patent inringement by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., she did nto believe there was enough justification to issue an import ban on the infringing Samsung devices. Most of the devices, however, have been reportedly removed from U.S. shelves voluntarily by Samsung. While Samsung appeals the original jury decision, Apple is appealing the import ban rejection with the appeals court.
The damage award was initially $1 billion, but Koh reduced it to about $540 million due to jury error in calculating the damages for the infringing patents.
Head of the Class (Action)
Our next Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) legal eagle update takes us to San Francisco, where Philip Janquart of Courthouse News Service reports that a federal judge has denied an Apple motion to dismiss a class-action alwsuit that alleges third-party apps uploaded from the Apple App Store collects user data without the user’s consent in violation of Apple’s own stated policy.
The case was brought up by Maria Pirozzi, an Apple customer, who filed a suit a year ago claiming that Apple misled her by stating that its iOS 4 platform (on which Pirozzi’s iPhone runs) was secure that apps could not collect user data or information from the Web or from other apps. After having her first complaint tossed, she filed an amended compalint that specified the issues, claiming that Apple violated three California state laws regarding unfair competition, false and misleading advertising and consumer’s legal remedies.
U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar accepted the legal arguments by Pirozzi, who was apparently able to establish proof of financial loss and harm as well as showing evidence of misrepresentation by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) claiming that apps could not get info from other apps and in fact had not prevented such from happening. Tigar then ruled that the case can move forward with the class designation, rather than leaving Pirozzi to fend for herself and all other claimants individually. There was no word yet as to when the class-action would be scheduled for an initial hearing.
These legal wrangles have become all too commonplace with Apple, so how do you think investors like fund managers David Einhorn and David Tepper would respond to such things? If Apple is found liable, how much of a damage award to make people like Einhorn and Tepper take notice? While you form your arguments for the comments section below, take a look at this video about the Apple v. Samsung case.