updated 10:40 am EDT, Wed September 5, 2007
Apple video, iPhone suits
Apple is facing two fresh lawsuits connected to its technology, according to reports. The first was filed by California's MedioStream, accusing Apple of violating a 2006 patent for a "method and system for direct recording of video information onto a disk medium." The patent specifically addresses applying compression and resizing preferences to video, formatting a stream for various TV standards. Because of the broad nature of the claim, all Apple computers are considered in violation of the patent; MedioStream is further suing other system builders, including Acer, Dell and Gateway.
Lawyers for MedioStream suggest that any sale of these infringing computers harms the company's business, and that a jury trial must occur to block future violations and recover financial damages.
The second suit was filed by two private California residents, "Mr. and Mrs. Stiener," who say that Apple deliberately misled consumers as to the practical costs of the iPhone. The couple claims that the iPhone battery only withstands 300 charging cycles, requiring annual replacements that may cost as much as $115. Because this information was only posted online after the June 29th launch, and it is not mentioned in packaging or promotional material, the Stieners say that Apple has broken both good faith and the California Commercial Code. The latter requires manufacturers to define their products in terms of real-world performance.
The suit has class-action status, and should it succeed, both Apple and AT&T will have to pay damages to any affected Californians. Similar, separate lawsuits were filed in mid-August and in late July.