Apple is an eco-friendly computer company that epitomizes the 21st century turn to technology and increases the happiness of our lives. Its marketing strategy is centered on younger people, showing them that they can be smarter and better than the old generation. Thanks to the massive profits that its amazing product line has brought it, Apple has also been one of the biggest targets for lawsuits in American business.
This week, Apple won its lawsuit against Psystar, a computer reseller that had been selling Mac OS X in clone computers. The legal decision should allow Apple to contend its copyright-infringement case against future violators that will inevitably crop up.
Thanks to this decision, Apple will most likely be entitled to attorney fees from Psystar and recover whatever damages the company can prove belong to them. In a likely scenario, Apple will simply look to close Psystar down for good starting at the damages hearing on December 14th.
This case started last year when Psystar started selling PCs with Mac OS X installed at a fraction of the cost of an iMac or other Apple built computer. Attorneys for Apple argued that the licensing agreement for the operating system does not allow third parties to install it on anything other than an Apple computer. Psystar, based in Miami, Florida counter-sued in August of 2008 claiming that Apple was monopolizing its Mac OS X operating system, but had its case dismissed in October.
In another looming battle, this time with a bona fide competitor, Apple is gearing up for a legal battle with Verizon over its new advertisements regarding the coverage of the 3G/4G network. Verizon has stated “The truth hurts” in its legal reply to a pair of lawsuits filed earlier this month by AT&T demanding that their new ads be pulled from television. At the heart of the case is a pair of 3G coverage maps that AT&T has claimed are “false” and “misleading.” Moreover, they claim it is causing “irreparable harm” entering the holiday shopping season. The official comment from Verizon was, “AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon’s ‘There’s a Map for That’ advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon’s ads are true and the truth hurts.”
Another day, another lawsuit for AT&T and Apple, as they were also hit with a class-action lawsuit over the iPhone 3G S’s initial inability to support multimedia text messages (MMS). Apple stated before the release of the iPhone 3G S that it would not support MMS when it was released in the United States. Did that matter to Francis Monticelli? It did not, as he is alleging that Apple and AT&T misled the public when it touted MMS as a feature in the new phone.
MMS was activated on AT&T’s United States network on September 25th. Monticelli is seeking class-action status for the lawsuit and unspecified damages normal to such legal action. No official statement has been released by AT&T or Apple regarding this specific lawsuit.
Earlier this month, a class-action lawsuit filed in San Francisco accused iPhone game developer “Storm8” of selling games with “malicious software codes” and for violating the App Store’s privacy policies. Storm8 issued an official response in its own forums, arguing that they have done everything within their power to correct the situation. The response claims that all phone numbers obtained by the legacy code were destroyed after the situation was identified and that the company fully intends to defend itself in court. There has been no statement from Apple or App Store representatives about their level of involvement with the case, but it’s clear that this might be the first of many brought against game developers and perhaps the App Store itself.
With great successes in the world of business, companies in desperate economic times are bound to feel the sting of lawsuits from any and all angles. When it’s a company in the spotlight with deep pockets, such as our friends at Apple, the incentive is too great. The legal win over Psystar was a step in the right direction for Apple’s legal team. Now, it’s time to set its sights on their big competitor at Verizon, while at the same time handling all the other situations as they develop.