Apple's 10-Q filing, released earlier this week, reveals details about a number of lawsuits Apple's legal team is currently dealing with. It also confirms the hearing date in the Apple verses Apple case.
Facing the music
The Beatles' record label Apple Corps is seeking to stop Apple Computer's association with music, claiming trademark abuse. That trial is scheduled to begin in UK courts on March 27, 2006.
Apple is also facing three new class action lawsuits and a new lawsuit from a French consumer group over the way it ties the iPod to the iTunes Music Store.
A similar class action - Slattery v. Apple – has a hearing set for June 6, 2005. This lawsuit alleges that Apple is unlawfully tying iPods to its iTunes Music Store. It also says Apple is in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, California Business and Professions Code Section 16700 et seq.
The European Commission is currently investigating the iTunes Music Store. It is particularly looking at the higher cost of iTunes tracks in the UK compared to other European countries.
A consumer association in France has filed a claim against Apple alleging that Apple France is violating consumer law by not mentioning that the iPod is allegedly not compatible with music from online music services other than the iTunes Music Store and that the music from the iTunes Music Store is only compatible with the iPod and 2) tying the sales of iPods to the iTunes Music Store and vice versa. The first hearing on the case is scheduled for May 24, 2005.
A March 3 filing by Advanced Audio Devices claims Apple is infringing a "Music Jukebox" US Patent. Apple has denied the allegation and asking for further investigation.
Taming the tiger
Computer reseller Tiger Direct has alleged that Apple's Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger operating system infringes on its Tiger trademark.
Gobeli Research alleges that Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X infringes on its US patent "System and Method of Controlling Interrupt Processing." Apple denies the allegations.
Stamm v. Apple and Allen v. Apple both allege defects in Apple's 17-inch Studio Displays. Mediation for both cases is scheduled for August 2005.
A March 8 filing claims that Apple has violated an "Iconic Audiovisual Data Editing Environment" patent with Shake. Apple says it is investigating.
Another filing claims that Apple is violating California Business and Professions Code section 17200 by falsely advertising the copy protection features of DVD Studio Pro. Apple denied the allegations.
Apple has reached a tentative out of court settled over defects in its "Yo-Yo" laptop power adapters. A final approval hearing set for September 27, 2005.
Apple was accused of violating the 1934 Securities Exchange Act. "Plaintiffs will not seek further review and the matter is concluded," Apple said.
Apple's filing also mentions the lawsuits brought by six Apple resellers in the US. These resellers are alleging breach of contract, fraud, negligent and intentional interference with economic relationship, negligent misrepresentation, trade libel, unfair competition and false advertising. According to Apple all cases but the one bought by reseller Macadam, are in discovery. Discovery is the compulsory disclosure of pertinent facts or documents to the opposing party in a civil action, usually before a trial begins.