Bridging the Apple Community and Keeping Tabs on the Rumor Mill.

Category Archive for ‘lawsuit’ rss

Google faces lawsuit in the UK over Safari data collection

Way back in 2012, Google agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle FTC charges over the company’s use of tracking cookies in the Safari browser. Now the company is being sued in the UK for the same issue, according to a report in The Guardian.

Defense contractors took an explosive drone on a Delta flight

Employees from AeroVironment allegedly brought a drone with explosives attached to it in a carry-on bag, on a Delta flight in April 2015. As Bloomberg reports, the flight had 230 passengers and when another employee, Mark Anderson, discovered …

Apple Demands $1 Billion From Samsung for Design Patent Violations as New Damages Trial Kicks Off

Apple and Samsung are back in court this week for a damages retrial that will determine just how much Samsung has to pay Apple for infringing on Apple design patents. Samsung was found guilty of violating the patents back in 2012, but the two companies have been fighting over the amount of money Samsung should pay as a result for the last six years.

The core issue between the two companies is whether the damages should be based on the total value of the device, or whether Samsung should pay a fee based just on the elements of the phone that it copied.


Apple is of the opinion that its payment should be based on the full value of the iPhone, while Samsung is arguing that it should pay a lesser amount based only on a portion of the iPhone’s value. “They’re seeking profits on the entire phone,” argued Samsung lawyer John Quinn. “Apple’s design patents do not cover the entire phone. They are entitled to profits only on [infringing] components, not the entire phone.”

Yesterday was spent picking jurors, while opening arguments and testimony started today. Key Apple executives like Tim Cook and Jony Ive will not be testifying during the trial, but Richard Howarth, senior director of the Apple Design Team will discuss the design process, and Susan Kare will also take the stand to talk about user interface graphics design.

Apple vice president of product marketing Greg Joswiak was first up to testify this afternoon, where he said that the design of the iPhone is central to Apple’s products and that Apple took a huge risk with its development.

Joswiak: With the #iPhone, “we were really risking everything that was making Apple successful at the time…We really were betting the company.” #appsung

— Mike Swift (@Swiftstories) May 15, 2018

Back when the verdict of the lawsuit was originally decided in 2012, Samsung was ordered to pay $1 billion, but that was eventually reduced to $548 million.


Of that $548 million, which Samsung paid to Apple in 2015, $399 million was earmarked for the design patent infringements. Samsung at the time argued that it had been ordered to pay a “disproportionate” sum for the design violation, and appealed to the Supreme Court for reduced damages.

Samsung’s appeal was somewhat successful, and the Supreme Court ordered the U.S. Court of Appeals to redetermine the amount Samsung owes Apple for the design patent infringement, which leads us to the trial that’s taking place this week.

Apple is asking for a $1 billion award from Samsung during the damages retrial this week, and has argued that while it’s a lot of money, “Samsung infringed millions and millions and millions of times.” Samsung, meanwhile, has asked the jury to limit damages to $28 million.

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over 'Defective' Keyboards in Recent MacBook, MacBook Pro Models

Apple has been hit with a class action lawsuit over “defective” keyboards in recent MacBook and MacBook Pro models.


The lawsuit, filed in Northern California district court, alleges that the low-profile, butterfly-switch keyboards in 2015-and-later MacBook and 2016-and-later MacBook Pro models are “prone to fail,” resulting in “non-responsive keys” and other issues, according to court documents obtained by MacRumors.

The lawsuit was filed by law firm Girard Gibbs LLP on behalf of MacBook Pro owners Zixuan Rao and Kyle Barbaro, residents of San Diego, California and Melrose, Massachusetts respectively.

The proposed class:

All persons within the United States who purchased, other than for resale, a model year 2015 or later Apple MacBook, or a model year 2016 or later MacBook Pro laptop, equipped with a “butterfly” keyboard.

The complaint notes that keys can become unresponsive when small amounts of dust or debris accumulate under or around them:

Apple’s butterfly keyboard and MacBook are produced and assembled in such a way that when minimal amounts of dust or debris accumulate under or around a key, keystrokes fail to register. […] As a result of the defect, consumers who purchased a MacBook face a constant threat of non-responsive keys and accompanying keyboard failure. When one or more of the keys on the keyboard fail, the MacBook can no longer serve its core function: typing.

The lawsuit alleges that “thousands of consumers have experienced this defect,” and highlights over 20 complaints shared by users on the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, and Reddit. The complaint also cites a Change.org petition about this issue that currently has over 22,000 signatures.

One of the comments included from a MacRumors reader in May 2015:

The C key on my new MacBook has a subtle but noticeable problem. I noticed yesterday morning that typing C wasn’t always registering. I played around with the key and discovered that pressing the top of the key registered a normal click like the rest of the keys, but pressing at the bottom of the key was mushy with no click.

The lawsuit alleges that Apple is “aware of” the keyboard issues, either through “pre-release testing,” customer complaints, or a combination of the two, but has “failed and continues to fail to disclose” the defect to customers:

Apple knew that the MacBook is defective at or before the time it began selling the affected models to the public. Complaints of keyboard failures began to come in shortly after the 2015 MacBook was launched. Despite awareness of the keyboard defect, Apple equipped future model MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops with the butterfly keyboard, and continued selling these laptops to consumers at premium prices.

Apple is said to “continuously monitor” complaints on websites like MacRumors:

Apple has been aware of these serious keyboard problems through the discussion pages hosted on Apple’s website as early as May 2015, the month after the MacBook was released. Apple continuously monitors those web pages. Apple also regularly monitors other web pages, including MacRumors, on which consumers complained about keyboard problems beginning on April 15, 2015, just five days after the MacBook came to market.

MacRumors first highlighted keyboard issues with the 2016 MacBook Pro over a year ago, including non-functional keys, strange high-pitched sounds on some keys, and keys with a non-uniform feel. The issues are back in the spotlight again after AppleInsider shared data on failure rates of the keyboards a few weeks ago.


The lawsuit acknowledges that Apple provides a support document with instructions to clean the keyboard of a MacBook or MacBook Pro with “an unresponsive key or “a key that feels different than the other keys,” but notes that the steps “do not fix the keyboard defect or prevent the keyboard from failing.”

When a customer takes their MacBook or MacBook Pro to a Genius Bar, the complaint alleges that Apple “routinely refuses to honor its warranty obligations,” or is unable to permanently fix the problem when it does.

One of the two named plaintiffs in the lawsuit:

Mr. Barbaro took his laptop to the Genius Bar on September 11, 2017. A Genius Bar technician inspected the keyboard and confirmed that the space bar and caps lock keys were unresponsive. The technician offered to send the laptop to Apple’s service depot for repairs. Mr. Barbaro sent his computer in, and after about one week, Mr. Barbaro received the repaired MacBook. He continued to use the MacBook for ordinary tasks until December 2017, when the space bar again became unresponsive in the same way as the first time his MacBook manifested the keyboard defect.

Mr. Barbaro returned to the Genius Bar to seek assistance. At the Genius Bar, a technician examined the laptop and determined that it would cost over $700 to repair the problem. The technician informed Mr. Barbaro that his warranty had expired and that he would be responsible for the full cost of the repairs. Mr. Barbaro declined to pay for the repairs. He still has the MacBook. It remains defective.

Apple is accused of, among other things, violating California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and fraudulent concealment.

The complaint requests that Apple pays punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial, publicly discloses the defect, and reimburses customers for all costs attributable to remedying or replacing defective MacBook or MacBook Pro models. A jury trial has been demanded in Northern California district court.

Our Take: Apple has yet to launch a repair program for MacBook Pro keyboard issues, either publicly or internally, suggesting that the number of customers affected might not meet its threshold for doing so. But, given the increased attention and lawsuit, Apple may feel obligated to take action soon enough.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro, MacBook
Tag: lawsuit

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple faces class action lawsuit over faulty MacBook keyboards

Apple has faced some pointed criticism over the butterfly switch keyboards on the 12-inch MacBook and current-generation MacBook Pro. Whether or not you like the tactile feel, they’re sensitive to crumbs and dust — and since you can’t just remove i…

Lyft faces another class action lawsuit over driver pay

Lyft isn’t done grappling with lawsuits over driver pay. A newly filed class action suit from California resident Fernando Villaseñor alleges that Lyft played tricks with fare distribution to misrepresent the drivers’ share and unfairly pour…

DOJ wants Turner properties spun off if AT&T deal is approved

In 2016, AT&T announced plans to acquire Time Warner for $85.4 billion — a deal that eventually led to a Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit filed in November of last year. The six-week trial resulting from that lawsuit wrapped up…

EPA faces lawsuit from 17 states over reversing car emissions rules

The EPA under Scott Pruitt may have dreams of undoing Obama-era car efficiency targets, but it’s not going to go unopposed. A group of 17 states, including California and New York, is suing the EPA in DC over its bid to drop clean car emissions stan…

France faces lawsuit for seizing France.com

When a country or company seizes a web domain, it’s frequently to kick out squatters who do little besides place ads and hope they’ll get a giant payout. However, France is taking on someone who was actively using a site — and it may have crossed a…

Selfie-snapping monkey loses copyright infringement case (again)

The copyright battle over who owns that famous toothy selfie taken by a macaque monkey in Indonesia apparently didn’t end when the parties involved reached a settlement last year. On Monday, an appeals court has affirmed the lower court’s decision th…

Why is a celebrity personal finance guru suing Facebook?

Martin Lewis is a British journalist, TV presenter and Ralph Nader-esque campaigner who has announced that he will sue Facebook for defamation. The consumer champion has seen his face co-opted by nefarious types who use his name (and brand) to…

Amazon, Netflix and studios sue subscription service over piracy

Hollywood studios usually fight piracy by chasing after software add-ons and free streaming services, with the occasional device thrown in. A paid service, however? That’s relatively rare… or at least, it has been. Amazon, Netflix and multiple H…

AT&T sued for pilfering news-streaming technology

My24hournews.com filed suit against AT&T for skipping out on a $100 million deal to use the former company’s news-streaming technology and hampering that’s company’s launch.

DNC sues Russia, Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over 2016 hack

While Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election continues, the Democratic National Committee has decided to take action of its own. According to the Washington Post, the DNC this morning filed a multi-mill…

German court says ad-blocking is legal

Germany’s supreme court has dismissed a landmark case brought by a publisher looking to destroy ad-blocking services in the country. European behemoth Axel Springer was defeated in its years-long battle with Eyeo, the firm that owns AdBlock Plus. Spr…

Judge mostly dismisses Uber lawsuit over its Hell program

Last year, reports surfaced that between 2014 and 2016 Uber had used a program called Hell that let it track Lyft drivers through their unique numbered IDs. With the program, Uber was also reportedly able to identify those who drove for both i…

Facebook class action lawsuit over facial recognition OK'd by judge

Facebook has been trying to get a lawsuit claiming its facial recognition tech violates an Illinois privacy act dismissed for years. Well, that’s not going to happen anytime soon, because San Francisco federal judge James Donato — the same judge who…

Apple ordered to pay $500 million in iMessage patent suit

A federal jury in Eastern Texas has just ordered Apple to pay VirnetX, a company widely regarded as a patent troll, $502.6 million in damages. It’s the latest development in a legal battle that started way back in 2010 when VirnetX filed a lawsuit ag…

Apple faces patent lawsuit over Watch's heart rate sensor

Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor is built on stolen tech — that’s what a lawsuit filed against the company is claiming, at least. A Michigan-based health startup called Omni MedSci is accusing Cupertino of using technology on the Watch that infringes…

BlackBerry sues Snap over map and messaging patents

Facebook isn’t the only company facing a patent lawsuit filed by BlackBerry: the Canadian mobilemaker has also sued Snap for patent infringement. BlackBerry is accusing Snap of infringing on six of its patents issued between 2012 and 2014, two of whi…

Back to Top