Two separate lawsuits have been filed against Apple in China, accusing the tech giant of selling refurbished iPhone smartphones as new devices in multiple Beijing Apple Stores. Lead by well-known consumer rights advocate Wang Hai, two customers have filed formal complaints against Apple in a Beijing court. The suits both allege that Apple Store locations sold refurbished iPhones to the complainants under the guise that they were new devices. Only when the customers discovered that their manufacturer warranties expired less than one year from their respective dates of purchase did they realize something was awry. To make matters worse, Wang says that when one such customer went back to the Apple Store to confront them, the staff there allegedly tried to trick her by modifying her warranty expiration date. “It’s cheating to sell refurbished products as new ones,” Wang told Global Times in an interview. “It’ll be discrimination against Chinese consumers if the case turns out to be true as refurbished cellphones are also sold in other countries, but at a cheaper price.” Four other consumers in Beijing have come forward to claim they were duped into purchasing refurbished iPhones as new, however no additional lawsuits have been filed at this time. Images supplied by Wang of a customer receipt and a confirmation that the customer’s warranty expired in less than one year follow below.
27,000 people have filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple in South Korea over concerns Apple collected private location data, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. The group is seeking 1 million won per person in damages, or about $930 each and just over $25 million total. In early August, the Korean Communications Commission fined Apple 3 million won ($2,829) following the “Locationgate” scandal that occurred earlier this year. Apple has stood by its claims that the location-tracking was the result of a bug that was fixed in a software update. The iPhone maker was also sued in the United States by two consumers in Florida and by one man in Puerto Rico. Apple paid South Korean lawyer Kim Hyung-suk $945 this past May after he filed a lawsuit against the company, and that is the only other recorded pay-out at this point regarding the iOS location tracking bug. More →
Florida-based Operating Systems Solutions has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. OSS is alleging that the Cupertino-based firm’s Mac OS X fast-boot feature infringes on one of its patents relating to a “method for quick booting an OS.” More specifically, the lawsuit says Apple infringes on:
A method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program.
LG Electronics was originally granted the patent in 2002 and Patently Apple said the patent was then reissued to a company named Promitus Technologies LLC in 2008. It remains unclear how Operating Systems Solutions obtained the patent, or if LG or Promitus Technologies are involved in the lawsuit in any way. More →
Microsoft is being sued for patent infringement over motion-sensing technology used in its blockbuster gaming accessory, the Microsoft Kinect. Ohio-based Impulse Technology has filed a complaint alleging that Microsoft’s Kinect controller infringes on seven of its technology patents. One patent referenced in the lawsuit covers “wide variety of games where the movement of a player is tracked in three dimensions…and certain exercise games where the motion of the player is tracked to effect movement of a virtual avatar, and the exertion of the user is monitored, including where the tracking of the player is done by the use of a camera.” A separate patent describes an “education system challenging a subject’s physiologic and kinesthetic systems to synergistically enhance cognitive function.” Impulse Technology is seeking a permanent injunction to block the import and sale of Microsoft’s Kinect, and it is also suing Electronic Arts, Konami and Sega for developing Xbox 360 games that utilize Kinect and infringe on its patents. Impulse is seeking damages, treble damages, interest, and attorney fees from Microsoft as well. The Kinect motion-based video game controller has been a smash hit for Microsoft, having set numerous sales records since its launch. This past March, Microsoft announced that it had sold 10 million Kinect controllers since the device’s launch just before the holidays last year. More →