A class action suit filed against Apple in 2005 has gotten new life after a judge’s ruling on May 2. The complaint, which has its own website, covers consumers who purchased an iPod classic, iPod shuffle, iPod touch or iPod nano model between Sept. 12, 2006 and March 31, 2009. That’s a lot of people and a big stretch of time.
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It’s likely this would be an entirely different story if Steve Jobs was still at Apple’s helm, but the Cupertino company has now agreed to drop a number of its infringement claims against Samsung, roughly cutting the case in half, in a bid to ensure that a trial goes ahead this summer.
Likewise, Samsung has agreed to do the same — dropping five of its 12 complaints — but both companies continue to bicker over the “copycat products” that have made Samsung the world’s number one smartphone vendor.
Patent Armageddon is set to take place in less than a month thanks to dates set by Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero. The settlement talks were originally ordered by Judge Lucy Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, in hopes that Samsung and Apple’s CEOs and their chief lawyers could reach an agreement to end the 50+ lawsuits filed by the two.
Apple, Google, Intel and four other tech giants failed to convince a judge to dismiss an antitrust suit brought against them. The suit alleges that the companies conspired against hiring each other’s employees and District Judge Lucy Koh in her decision said:
“The fact that all six identical bilateral agreements were reached in secrecy among seven defendants in a span of two years suggests that these agreements resulted from collusion, and not from coincidence,”
While Apple, Google, and Intel are the three largest firms in the suit, other major companies, including Adobe, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Intuit are included.
For only the second time in recent memory, Apple has used its pile of cash to buy a hardware company and threaten survival of another tech industry. Reports say Apple is ready to spend up to $500 million to acquire Anobit, an Israel-based flash memory maker already used in the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air. It probably didn’t hurt that the purchase could free Apple’s reliance on its courtroom buddy Samsung.