Tag - Legal
In all the research we've done analyzing Apple's four decades and in all the slicing through it week by week, we've never asked whether Apple has made more products or more legal cases. For this week of March 19 through 25 in the years 1976 to 2016, we get a rare situation where Apple wins in the courts –– and perhaps shouldn't have.
Apple's three-year legal case over price-fixing of e-books has ended, with the US Supreme Court saying that it will not allow the company to appeal. The court will not listen to Apple's contention that a 2014 settlement requiring it to pay $450 million in costs and damages is wrong. That's the Supreme Court's right, and all legal cases have to end somewhere, even if more nebulous ones do seem to go on for a lot longer. Yet this isn't a nebulous case -- and the result, in my opinion, is wrong.
Apple has now presented a legal response that officially challenges the Department of Justice over its demands that the company creates access to an iPhone sized as part of the San Bernardino workplace violence case, which the FBI has consistently characterized as a "terrorist" incident -- a move critics say is really the agency leveraging the tragedy in an effort to weaken privacy laws, and which Apple's attorney's called "forbidden" by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.
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.
Silicon Valley powerhouses are giving opinions on the ongoing Apple-versus-Samsung court battles. In an amicus curae filing, Dell, Ebay, Facebook, Google, and HP are asking the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that Samsung turning over full profits of some phones found in violation of Apple patents would set a dangerous trend, and threaten the entire industry with waves of patent-infringement lawsuits which would stifle innovation, and limit choices for consumers.
Judge Lucy Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has accepted a revised settlement offer from the two parties in the case, which would end the Silicon Valley worker poaching class-action suit. The $415 million counter-offer is $90 million more than the older deal, and exceeds what the judge asked for to approve the deal. Focusing dissent on what attorneys and a objector asked for individually, Judge Koh has set the next hearing for July 9, which should end the case once and for all.
Apple paid more than twice as much in taxes in Australia for 2014 as it did in 2013, but still managed to grow profits in the country -- despite increasing scrutiny about its legal but aggressive tax avoidance techniques. According to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Apple paid AU$80.4 million in taxes for 2014 ($64 million US) compared to just AU$36.4 million (roughly $32 million US at the time) in 2013.
A new lawsuit has targeted Google, Rdio, Sony, and Apple (including Beats Music) over the music royalties associated with pre-1972 recordings, new reports say. Zenbu Magazines, which owns copyrights on many pre-1972 songs, says that the companies have been making money streaming recordings without paying their copyright holders. Within US copyright law, compositions have been protected since 1831, but sound recordings were only added in 1972, meaning that while owners of pre-1972 compositions have been paid for public performances, people holding equally-aged recording rights typically haven't.
In response to an Apple lawsuit over LTE patents, Ericsson has filed one of its own, according to Reuters. The Swedish firm notes that a license agreement between the companies has expired for some time, and that two years of negotiations have yielded no results. It's asking the court to determine whether a tendered license offer is fair.
A new lawsuit filed against gyroscope and accelerometer supplier for Apple, InvenSense, accuses the company of failing to tell investors about the concessions it made to secure a recent deal. InvenSense parts are used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Executives should have warned investors, the suit alleges, that Apple was given a "sweetheart deal" that would hurt profits. "Instead of revealing the true condition of the company and its prospects, defendants hid those facts from investors and chose to issue strong guidance and paint a picture of a bright future with a new mega-customer," the complaint reads. More seriously, the suit charges that investors were led to buy stock at inflated prices, while insiders sold off $5.3 million in shares.