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Tag - Court
After being largely ignored -- even after presenting evidence -- at the first bench trial and in the appeal of Apple's e-book antitrust conviction, four large industry groups representing the content creators and sellers of e-books have filed amicus curae ("friend of the court") briefs in support of Apple, urging the Supreme Court to overturn the rulings. The filings say that Amazon used loss-leader pricing to eliminate competition and abuse its monopoly, ultimately doing more harm to consumers than Apple has ever been accused of.
Apple is no longer under pressure from the Justice Department and a New York District Court for refusing to extract data from a suspect's iPhone 5s, as the defendant in the case has pleaded guilty. Jung Feng has admitted guilt on three counts related to the distribution of methamphetamine, effectively negating the need for the DOJ to try and coerce Apple into breaking its own iOS security to help the government with its case.
The judge at the head of the iPhone unlocking controversy court hearings has upped the ante somewhat. In arguments Monday, Judge James Orenstein said that forcing Apple to extract data from a suspect's iPhone 5s would be tantamount to forcing a pharmaceutical company to provide drugs for executions against company mandate.
A federal filing has shed some light on the court matter involving Apple's unwillingness to unlock an iPhone 5s owner's phone running iOS 7. The filing, made yesterday, points out the suspect's name, as well as device type, and notes that Apple has had no problem unlocking devices with court order in the past. Additionally, the US attorneys claim that Apple has no legal standing to decline the search warrant on the basis of tarnishing the brand of the company.
Apple has filed its brief with the US legal system, reiterating that it cannot decrypt all of its phones on demand, but still has the "technical ability" to unlock older phones. However, the device in question, one of the estimated 10 percent of devices on an operating system older than iOS 8 can be unlocked by Apple, and the company will do so if has been given clear legal authority to do so -- but would rather the judge not request the company do so.
Apple's contentious time spent with e-book antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich has may be coming to a close. A letter filed jointly by Apple and the US government claims that the computer manufacturer has "implemented meaningful antitrust policies, procedures, and training programs that were obviously lacking at the time Apple participated in and facilitated the horizontal price-fixing conspiracy found by this court," and recommends that the antitrust monitor's tenure need not be extended.
Apple and Samsung have agreed to participate in court-supervised mediation to try and finally find a settlement sum satisfactory to both parties over the first of their two US patent trials, which originally ended with a judgement against Samsung for $1.05 billion. Through various legal actions, that sum has been whittled down to half of its original amount, and is about to be re-scrutinized yet again in yet another damages retrial. The two companies will be meeting with a new judge sometime on or before November 15.
A Supreme Court docket entry revealed on Wednesday that Apple will file a petition to have the court overturn its 2013 conviction of leading a conspiracy to fix e-book prices. The request for time to file a petition for certiorari was filed by former Solicitor General Seth Waxman, now of the WilmerHale legal group, and Theodore Boutrous of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. The original conviction was handed down in a bench trial by Judge Denise Cote, but was upheld on appeal this past June by two of the three judges on the federal panel.
As has been predicted for some time, the US government is clashing with technology companies over the encryption of personal data when it comes to law enforcement. The Justice Department is accusing Apple of disobeying a court order that it turn over text messages, in real time, between suspects in a guns-and-drugs case who are using iPhones. Apple has said the messages are encrypted without third-party keys, and thus it cannot comply with the order. Microsoft is also fighting the government, over whether emails stored outside the US should be given to US officials.
US District Court Judge Rodney Gilstrap has denied Apple a chance at a new trial to clear its name from charges that it willfully infringed on patents owned by patent troll Smartflash last February, but has decided to retain the dismissal of the original $532.9 million awarded to the company for damages, clearing the way for a damages retrial later this month. Judge Gilstrap reversed the jury's award, but not its findings of infringement, after he determined his own instructions on calculating royalties may have confused the jury.