While Apple decided to hold out for a court battle — that it eventually lost — five of the publishers involved in the iBookStore price fixing antitrust case have already reached settlements with the DOJ. Two of those publishers, Penguin and Macmillan, are already sending out emails to customers to notify them that they’re eligible to receive iTunes credit, or a check for the settlement.
Apple is no stranger to lawsuits and with all the cash its been making the past few years, the lawsuits from patent trolls have been piling up. According to a new study on lawsuits from non practicing entities (patent trolls), Apple got slammed with more patent lawsuits (171 total) in the last five years than any other company.
One of the key patents in Samsung and Apple’s neverending patent dispute was ‘381, the so-called “bounce back” patent. As you might recall, the patent describes the way in which an iPhone, when inertially scrolling a document, will bounce back when it reaches the top. It’s a little detail, but it’s one of the few patent infringement verdicts Samsung hasn’t been able to weasel its way out of.
Not that that has stopped Samsung from trying, but it looks like the dispute over the famous bounce back patent is finally over. On late Thursday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh denied Samsung a motion for a new trial regarding the ‘381 patent. Finally.
If I told you that Apple had a monopoly over all of the apps sold through the iTunes App Store, what would you say? Would you stammer for a little bit, eyes boggling, trying to understand how an injustice like this could happen in our tightly regulated markets? Or would you say, “No kidding, Sherlock. The App Store is their exclusive proprietary platform. It’s a walled garden,” and then, perhaps to emphasize what an idiot you think I am, slowly twirling one finger around your ear while using another to rapidly flick your lower lip up and down while googling your eyes?
I can’t blame you; I’d probably do the latter myself. Yet would you believe that an antitrust complaint was filed against Apple because there aren’t third-party app stores allowed on the iOS platform? Of course someone did. The case has been dismissed by a U.S. District judge, but not because it was a stupid complaint, but because the plaintiffs made a procedural mistake.
Not too surprisingly, the five major publishers originally named in the U.S. Department of Justice’s e-book case regarding their collusion with Apple on pricing have now themselves filed a complaint regarding the Justice Department’s proposal to eliminate the use of the agency model in any Apple agreements with publishers for a period of five years.
Publishers like the agency model as it allows them to set prices for e-books, instead of the distributor, as Amazon did before Apple’s own iBooks system launched on the iPad.