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Class action lawsuit filed against Apple

updated 07:50 am EST, Fri February 18, 2005

Class action lawsuit

A new class action lawsuit filed on Thursday against Apple alleges that the company has engaged in acts of unfair and unlawful business practices, breach of contract, and misappropriation of trade secrets. The lawsuit was filed by three firms and five defendants as a class action on behalf of both resellers and consumers in the San Francisco County Superior Court. The 26-page complaint includes allegations of violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Song Beverly Act, warranty abuse, unfair and unlawful competition related to delivery and pricing of goods to resellers, improper repair/warranty costing, unfair price competition, and more. The suit seeks injunctive and compensatory damages as well as legal fees and punitive and exemplary damages for some violations.

The complaint is filed in two separate classes--on behalf of consumers and on behalf of resellers. It lists up to 25 "John Does" whom they say have acted as a co-conspirator, agent, or alter ego of or for the other Defendants. The document says it will be amended once the names of the unknown persons are available.




The complaint also alleges that Apple sold used computer equipment repackaged as new products, unfairly misrepresented the actual time of warranty for its products, and has also misrepresented warranty repairs and their associated costs. The plaintiffs argue that Apple is not properly reflecting the repair costs or requirements on equipment, unfairly shifting some of the burden of warranty repair costs burden to the reseller channel. Apple, at times, has refused to compensate for, or accept returns of, defective parts provided for repairs, according to documents obtained by MacNN.



The plaintiffs say that preferential delivery of goods to Apple's own retail stores and extension of education/government and other discounts--sometimes below the cost of goods obtained by resellers--to unqualified persons has done irreparable damage to channel business.



Documents show that plaintiffs are also alleging misappropriation of trade secrets by Apple. The suit claims that Apple has used confidential reseller information to build its own list of clients, in an effort to bolster its own direct sales and bypass the reseller channel. The plaintiffs argue that Apple would request a formal RFP (request for pricing) from resellers with



The lawsuit follows a similar claim made by a group of resellers in MacAdam vs. Apple, which was filed in 2003. It alleged, among other things, breach of contract and fraud by Apple and is still pending trial in a Santa Clara Court.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Wow

    Can you actually file a class action lawsuit on like five different matters which covers, technically, different classes of people? I can't see how they can combine consumers and retailers into one class.

    Guess they're trying to get this into the court systems before Congress finally reigns in some of this class-action ludicrousness.

  1. Kesey

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    yea

    I'd have to agree that their warranty/repair practices are borderline.

  1. dave a

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    some valid concerns

    Apple's cutting out licensed resellers is almost certainly illegal. You can't just ignore contracts like that. It's pretty clear the Apple Stores get merchandise long before the resellers.

  1. macjockey

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    maybe everyone can join

    think about it, have you ever taken your computer in for repair only to be told your warranty has expired, when you know the computer is less than a year old. Or if your AppleCare hasn't expired.

    Have you ever taken your computer in for repair and the tech tell you that your computer has been previously taken apart and missing parts or screws in the wrong place?

    Have you just opened your brand new Mac and boot it up only to find someone elses data on the hard drive?

    Well I have! Where do I sign up?

  1. tpressman

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I've been there...

    My powerbook was DOA when I got it and when repaired, I was told it was "already opened". It was not reassembled correctly and now suffers from what Apple support claims to be "cosmetic" issues. The friggin' case is popping apart! They refuse to fix it even under my AppleCare. Sign me up too. I love the products, but hate their support. Better than other comp companies, but still not what I expect from Apple.

  1. David Esrati

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    product availabilty

    When the 12"ai Powerbook was introduced- I tried 3 local retailers to find one with a superdrive- and an airport extreme card. None had any- or could get a date-
    I called the Apple store in Cincinnati- they not only had them- they had a pile of them.
    If this isn't s******* your own dealers to keep a bigger margin- I don't know what is.
    I hope all the independants win big.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    well..

    i'm not saying Apple hasnt done anything wrong.. but instead of complaining and sueing, maybe these companies should have changed thier business model.

    Apple has every right to enter the retail market. And when they did, some of these businesses should have realized that this would put a big dent into sales.

    After all, if Apple is f****** everyone like they claim, why isnt all the other Mac Stores joining in? I have 5 local stores near my house and they all seem to be doing fine... and they're also not suing! hmmmm...

  1. alex627

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    To LouZer

    Shut your freaking trap you corporate apologist republican mouth-piece. Tool. The courts are taking our rights as citizens and flushing them down the toilet and you think class-action lawsuits are ludicrous. Of course it is just fine and dandy for corporations to trample people's rights in the name of profit.

    Eat it you corpora-fascist capitalist swine. Go tell it to Limbaugh. You make me sick.

  1. abe2

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: well..

    maybe these companies should have changed thier business model.

    WTF???!?!?!?

    How the h*** do you 'change your business model' when your supplier violates the contract you have with them and screws you over??

    Explain that.

  1. abe2

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Don't feed troll alex627

    it's a complete moron

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