Raised concerns about 'escape clauses' but gives tenative OK to deal
Having just raised doubts about the fairness of the proposed settlement between Apple and a coalition of states' attorneys general and consumer groups over the alleged e-book "price fixing" scandal, US District Judge Denise Cote has apparently reconsidered the deal and given a tentative okay to the settlement, which would see Apple pay $450 million to resolve the civil claims, with a catch: Apple would only pay a total of $70 million if the case gets remanded on appeal, or nothing at all if Cote's guilty verdict is reversed.
Doesn't like possibility Apple will pay nothing if found innocent on appeal
In an unsurprising move, US District Court Judge Denise Cote hinted that she may overrule a settlement worked out between Apple and the attorneys general of 33 states and territories along with consumer groups over e-book pricing, expressing "concern" that one of the terms of the deal allows Apple to pay little or nothing if they are ultimately found innocent on appeal. She also objected to another agreed-upon aspect that allowed Apple to pay no interest on the monetary damages while the appeal was in process.
Payout contingent on result of Apple's appeal of original verdict
Attorneys representing some 33 US states and territories along with some consumer groups on Monday filed a document with the court offering to settle the class-action lawsuit against Apple over alleged e-book price-fixing. The filing notes that all parties involved have agreed to the settlement, leaving Judge Denise Cote will little justification to deny it. Specific amounts were not mentioned in the agreement -- and in what could be a brilliant legal move, Apple's payment of anything is contingent on the verdict of the appeals court.
Companies fighting over conditions for further talks, expressing animosity
Contrary to a recent report in the Korea Times, court documents filed on Monday by both Apple and Samsung show that the two companies are still far apart on the issue of settlement. The update on progress, required by Judge Luch Koh, presents two separate statements from the two parties, with each accusing the other of having no interest in genuine negotiations.
Says $324 million offer too low, was not informed of deal meetings
The named class representative in the lawsuit brought against five top tech firms has filed a letter of complaint with the presiding judge in the case, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, protesting the proposed $324 million settlement on charges of illegal conspiracy to stop the firms poaching each others' employees, thus potentially denying opportunity and capping wages.
Says fee paid to original attorney claimants too high, judge made appeal too difficult
A settlement agreed to by Apple and a pair of legal firms over early Magsafe adapters and their tendency to fray has been kicked back to a federal district court for reconsideration by the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals over concerns that the original judge had failed to properly safeguard the deal from "self-dealing" between the class counsel and Apple. The court also found fault with Judge James Ware's high barrier to appeal of the decision, requiring a $75,000 bond from objectors.
Deals with unauthorized purchases made by children in games
As part of a settlement Apple agreed to with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over problems and excessive charges made by children through in-app purchases (IAPs), the company has sent out letters to some iTunes account holders, offering refunds "in certain cases" where a child has been able to make unauthorized IAPs without the parents' awareness. There have been numerous incidents made public of children who racked up extraordinary charges through IAPs.
Search and ad giant placed tracking cookies on users' machines without asking
In a final settlement with a Federal Court, Google will pay a fine of just $17 million - on top of a separate FTC fine of $22.5 million from last year - to 37 US states and the District of Columbia over its illegal use of surreptitious tracking cookies in Apple's Safari web browser, deliberately bypassing Apple's built-in anti-tracking technology. Google failed to inform users that it was monitoring where they surfed after visiting any sites that used Google's DoubleClick ad network in 2011 and 2012.
Carrier's change to data plans entangles Apple through 3G iPad
Although it had no say in how AT&T managed its "unlimited" 3G data plans, Apple and the US carrier are both responsible for harm inflicted on consumers who bought 3G iPads on AT&T's network expected to be able to use an unlimited data plan. The proposed settlement, which must still be approved by a judge, comes as a result of customers who spent an extra $130 on the 3G-capable iPad in the expectation that they could use AT&T's unlimited data plan with it. AT&T later revoked the option after promising it would retain it for iPad 3G customers.
Report says companies may have been close to a deal last February
A new report says that Apple and Samsung have continued to hold talks in the hopes of reaching legal settlements on their numerous complaints with each other, including high-level private meetings in Seoul late last year. Talks are ongoing, but there is no sign of an imminent settlement, unnamed sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. According to some redacted documents filed as part of one of the US ITC cases, the sticking point appears to be Samsung's push for a "universal" cross-licensing deal.
Ongoing fees between $2 and $5 per handset expected in future
The first part of Research In Motion's settlement with Nokia has been paid, a week after the two companies agreed to end all of their outstanding patent battles. The one-off payment of 50 million euro ($65 million) by RIM will be followed by currently-unknown ongoing payments, as part of a patent licensing agreement between the mobile phone manufacturers.
Judge questions award, demands more information
US District Judge Richard Seeborg said he has "significant concerns" about a proposed legal settlement with Facebook accusing the social media site of violating the rights of its members through the "sponsored stories" feature. Facebook is slated to pay $20 million to lawyers and charities as part of the settlement. In an effort to convince the judge that the package is a good value for the plaintiffs, Facebook attorneys claim that the settlement payout plus changes to privacy settings represent $123 million in value to the suing class and Facebook users.