updated 07:50 pm EDT, Mon October 6, 2008
Apple dismissal rejected
A federal court in Northern California has rejected most of Apple's motions to dismiss monopoly claims that have been filed against it in a class action lawsuit inspired by issues with the iPhone, according to InternetNews. The suit, filed last year, makes several claims against the iPhone manufacturer and AT&T, accusing the companies of illegally closing the platform to any software or modifications that they consider competitive.
The plaintiffs also allege that the companies limited data and voice capabilities after the customers signed two year contracts, without indicating the changes during the initial purchase. Another complaint involves the five year exclusive contract between AT&T and Apple, which would effectively force customers to renew with AT&T after the initial contract has lapsed.
The companies are further accused of installing lock systems to prevent other SIM cards from being installed for travel or when the customer contract has been legitimately canceled. The suit also attempts to expose legal wrongdoing with the iPhone software update that was designed to cause malfunctions in phones that had been modified to run unapproved applications or SIM cards, which also nullified the device warranties.
The court denied Apple's motion to dismiss the plaintiff's Sherman Act, computer trespass, computer fraud, and Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claims. The company successfully pushed to have the unfair and deceptive trade practices claims dismissed, although there is still room for amendment.
Apple is currently involved with multiple lawsuits from iPhone customers and AAPL shareholders, including another class action filing from a California resident that suggests violation of the Cartwright Act. Another suit from New York was initiated because of software problems, device quality, and performance that falls below advertisement claims. Another Sherman Act claim suggests monopolistic activity with iTunes. Even a Mac clone manufacturer, Psystar, that has been sued by Apple for copyright infringement has fought back with monopoly charges which are in the process of review for dismissal.