As we always say here, the legal sector of the Cupertino giant has no slack! Apple is now in the midst of three new imbroglios: one because of native iOS features, another for an alleged patent infringement involving Beats brand products and the last related to iTunes Store gift cards, which would be used in a big scam.
Without further ado, let’s check it all out!
While Apple is “used” to receiving lawsuits, other companies are used to suing it. I speak of Maxell, a manufacturer of electronics and storage solutions that had already confronted Apple in court last year.
Now, the company has filed a new lawsuit against Apple, in which it accuses it of violating five of its patents with iOS resources. The complaint, filed with the West Texas District Court (United States), also cites that some Apple products, such as iPhone 7 it’s the 16-inch MacBook Pro, allegedly infringe some of Maxell’s patents.
For example, the manufacturer says that the facial recognition feature of the Photos app (Photos) violates patent 10,176,848 (“registration and categorization of photos of a specific person”). Another patent mentioned in the complaint, 7,203,517, describes a method to reduce the instability of the Wi-Fi connection from the use of mobile data (basically what the Wi-Fi Assistance feature does).
In addition, Maxell claims that the iPhone’s unlocking system, its photo editing tools and its AirPlay and Bluetooth sharing capabilities violate three other patents.
Maxell claims that Apple is aware of the existence of patents and alleged infringements, but that it has still infringed them. The manufacturer requires a jury trial, in addition to the payment of damages and corrections (preliminary and permanent) on iOS and on the aforementioned gadgets.
Similarly, another lawsuit filed against Apple for One-E-Way also the accusation of patent infringement – the infringing devices, however, would be the headphones and speakers of the brand Beats.
Presented in the California District Court (USA), the One-E-Way lawsuit alleges that Beats wireless devices incorporate patented technologies since 2001 – which are quite comprehensive and used not only by Apple, say passage.
More precisely, the patents numbers 7,865,258 and 8,131,391, both entitled “Wireless digital audio system”, cover a method of using CDMA technology (Code-division multiple access) to facilitate the reproduction of soundtracks by Bluetooth, in addition to solving possible interference problems.
According to One-E-Way, headphones Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, Powerbeats3, BeatsX, Beats Solo Pro, Beats Solo 3 and Beats Studio 3, in addition to the speaker Beats Pill +, the aforementioned patents would be infringed – as well as AirPods, whose relay technology is also cited.
Apple incorporates proprietary technologies that allow quick switching of devices and robust connections with the help of its H1 and W1 chips in Beats AirPods and headsets. In this sense, the process cannot distinguish how patents introduce new technologies beyond the use of Bluetooth – there is also no information on why Apple is the only manufacturer identified in the process.
Anyway, One-E-Way wants payment of royalties for the patents allegedly infringed, as well as coverage of attorney fees.
ITunes Store gift cards
Finally, a collective action filed last week against Apple claims that the company would not only be facilitating alleged fraudulent schemes involving iTunes Store gift cards (so that users can purchase products and services from the virtual store), as well as be profiting from the activity. ?
This lawsuit was also opened in California and, according to the plaintiffs, the Cupertino giant has the power to cancel fraudulent transactions made on the iTunes / App Store, but “fails to act in the interests of its customers”.
In its supporting documents, Apple notes that online scams (mostly related to its stores) generally follow a “pattern”, in which the criminal convinces the victim to send money to him in the form of an iTunes Store Gift Card. With a card number in hand, scammers can redeem funds by making purchases from the applications they control. Alternatively, scammers can resell the card number in illegal markets.
As highlighted in the process, Apple knows where gift cards are purchased, the Apple IDs to which card values are applied and how the values are used. The company also withholds payment made with gift cards for approximately 45 days before transferring money to developers / companies, a period that can be used to investigate complaints and reverse fraudulent transactions.
According to the US Federal Trade Commission (Federal Trade Commission, or FTC), the losses of victims who reported iTunes Store gift card scams exceeded $ 93.5 million between 2015 and 2019. Although the exact numbers are unknown, the lawsuit claims that only a small percentage of affected consumers actually report.
Considering that Apple charges a 30% commission on the value of a product / service distributed on the iTunes / App Store, if the value of collective fraudulent transactions is $ 100 million, for example, Apple would have been left with around $ 30 millions in illicit commissions.
Therefore, consumers allege a series of violations of California laws (at least ten of them) and seek recognition of class action status, as well as unspecified damages payments and court fees.
via AppleInsider [1, 2, 3]