Two major developments this week in separate, high profile Apple lawsuits. It's like going back in time to tell the court "my bad." Step into our DeLorean today and we'll travel back in time to revisit some courtroom drama that is back in the news again.
Smurfberries, zombie toxin, city cash, and gems just got real expensive for Apple. A nine-digit settlement proposal is now on the table, as Apple agrees to foot the bill for kids who racked up in-app purchases on their parents' iTunes accounts. That's right; Cupertino will be taking responsibility for parents who refuse to take responsibility for the actions of their own kids. What the Smurf, right?
Hearings began this week in David Einhorn's lawsuit against Apple, and right away the rockstar hedge-fund manager got the court to lean a little in his favor. This case is going to be fast and furious, particularly with an Apple event just a few days away that Einhorn would like to see postponed. Is Einhorn just playing the role of greedy investor, trying to puppet-string the stock market with a slick PR campaign? Or does this lawsuit actually have some legitimate legs?
A few weeks ago, we mentioned the growing discontent from some Apple investors, and the lurking potential for legal action. Well, last Thursday one of Cupertino's high-profile investors did just that, and launched a lawsuit against Apple in Federal District Court in Manhattan. A few days ago, Tim Cook responded like a parent answering a child who won't stop asking for a pony. Nobody likes to get swept into a high-profile lawsuit, do they?
David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, a shareholder in Apple, filed a federal lawsuit against Cupertino today in response to a proposal set for a shareholder vote on February 27. According to Einhorn, Apple is hoarding large amounts of cash. Apple, as you might have guessed, disagrees with many of the statements made by Greenlight.
Finally, some clarity on the $1 billion jury ruling from the big trial with Samsung last summer. Samsung had a wish list that included dismissing the case entirely, while Apple made a pitch for triple damages, among other things. Judge Lucy Koh finally ruled on most of the issues; would Samsung get off scot free, or would Apple be lugging an even bigger check to the bank? Also, if you are able to invest in companies, and one of the companies is doing really well and earning a lot of profit, is your next move really to sue them?
Apple and Samsung reached a major agreement in court. No, not to settle their claims against each other and put an end to the Patent Wars. Instead, the two business partners finally agreed on which products they would each allow the other company to add to the next super trial between their alter-egos in court. But aside from pithy headlines and ten-digit jury awards, are any of these products in risk of being banned in the United States?
This week, Apple finds itself in several rather awkward courtroom dramas: being asked by a U.S. judge to find a way to go away; being sued by a European Union nation for something it should have fixed a year ago; and being railroaded by a Russian company for failing to police the App Store. All aboard! It's time for another trip on the Law & Apple Express.
Apple is not the boss of every word in the English language, and Samsung is on the verge of breaking the U.S. Patent system forever. The Patent Wars roll on, and to what end? If Apple is going to try to corner the market on words, and no company in the United States is going to be stopped from putting copycat products on store shelves until it is too late, these lawsuits will never stop. Join us for another week of Law & Apple as we try to make some sense of this nonsense.
In a year dominated by Apple and Samsung courtroom battles, it is only fitting to wrap up week 52 with more legal drama from our two favorite frenemies. There will be no singing of Auld Lang Syne from these two as the New Year rolls in, and unless something miraculous happens, it looks like even more of the same for 2013. Last week, however, Apple drew a firm line in the sand and dared the United States court system to cross it.