Lawsuits filed against Apple
In terms of credibility, this has not been a good year for Apple. Considered as the market leader for smartphone and tablet devices, Apple has been faced by a plethora of lawsuits since last year. Last year, the company was made to pay Nokia after having been found guilty of breaching its intellectual property rights. In addition to the monetary fine, Apple will have to pay Nokia royalties for the use of its patented products.
Between March and May, the company has face two lawsuits. Kodak recently filed a law suit deterring Apple from interfering with the sale of its intellectual property rights as it strives to restructure itself. In March, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission filed a lawsuit against Apple for intentionally misleading the public that the new iPad was compatible with the 4G cellular network in Australia. The lawsuit cost Apple $300,000.00 in costs incurred for bringing the lawsuits in addition to a $2.29 million dollars that the company is expected to pay.
Whereas $2.29 million in monetary fine is nothing compared to the billions of dollars that the company makes, it has brought the reputation of this respected company into the limelight. It appears that Apple, which is the most successful company in the United States, is using methods that contravene the law to propel it sales.
The outcome of this lawsuit could lead to a floodgate of other lawsuits in other countries where Apple may have intentionally misled the public. Unfortunately, since different countries have varying laws regarding consumer protection, Apple can take comfort that it may take quite some time before another lawsuit such as the one filed by ACCC is brought against it.
Why the lawsuit was brought against Apple
The lawsuit against Apple was filed after it appeared that Apple had mislead consumers in Australia that the new iPad was able to connect to the 4G cellular network, when in actual sense it could not. The frequency used by Australian 4G cellular network differs from the frequency setting in the new iPad. This difference is what makes the “Wi-Fi + 4G” iPad not compatible with 4G mobile network in Australia.
According to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, it had repeatedly informed Apple that the 4G feature was not compatible with the cellular network but it refused to heed to the warning. Given the facts presented before the Federal Court, Justice Mordecai Bromberg who presided over the case found that Apple had been in breach of the consumer law. In his ruling, Justice Mordecai Bromberg believed that the local subsidiary of Apple was swayed into not bringing down the advert because of the strong controlling power of its parent company based in the United States. While making his ruling, Justice Mordecai Bromberg stated that multinational companies ought to give consideration to the requirements of the local consumers while preparing their promotions.
The final ruling of the judgment was delayed until ACCC and Apple provided information regarding the sale of the new iPad as well as refunds made to consumers who felt aggravated by the advert.
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