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Apple sued over power adapters, store receipt concerns

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
A class action suit in Florida claims Apple is exposing its American shoppers to fraud and identity theft through store receipts. Meanwhile, a Michigan resident is filing a lawsuit against Apple for designing notebook power adapters that include a built-in battery charge light.

Florida residents file class-action suit over store receipts

Two Miami-Dade County citizens, Angely Maria and Todd Narson, have begun a class action suit in a local court that claims Apple has "recklessly disregarded" consumers' rights to have credit or debit card information kept secret under a section of the US federal government's Fair Credit Reporting Act.

A statute within the Act prevents companies from printing receipts that display a customer's credit or debit card's expiration date, as well more than the last five digits of the card's number. Printing any more information could subject buyers to credit card fraud or identity theft if the receipt is lost or stolen, according to the law.

But Apple has ignored this law, says the class action group's law firm Lessfield, Leighton & Partners. In the 17-page complaint put into the docket on Wednesday, the representatives note that receipts printed from Apple's online store have shown more information than allowed under the FCRA despite advance warning of when the law would take effect. The ruling first applied to customers in January of 2005 but included a clause that gave companies with older printing methods an extension until December 2006.

Apple's insistence on printing the same vulnerable receipts despite the grace period makes it guilty of violating the credit law regardless of how old a customer's printer might be, the lawyers allege. Any shopper who has done business with Apple online in the US, including Maria and Narson, could therefore be considered part of the class affected by the suit and would be entitled to compensation for the heightened risk.

Under the terms of the law, any plaintiff proven to have been affected by Apple's receipt practices could collect at least $100 and as much as $1,000 for every purchase made since the FCRA conditions came into action.

Michigan man files notebook power adapter suit

Novi, Michigan resident Thomas Harvey's seven-page complaint, filed in an Eastern District of Texas court on Monday, alleges that Apple's portable power adapter treads on two connected patents granted in 2004 for a portable charger with the same fundamental technology.

The electronics company's inclusion of a battery status LED at the end of a notebook recharger effectively copies Harvey's technology, according to the plaintiff's representative law firm ZITO tlp. Consequently, Apple is unfairly profiting from any sales of its version of the adapter, particularly those bundled with portable Mac computers that require a battery.

Before filing the lawsuit, Harvey is said to have contacted Apple with a request for the California firm to either alter its product line to avoid infringement or else to license the patent for its products. Apple's refusal to take either response prompted the legal action, ZITO argues.

If completely successful at the requested jury trial, the Michigan plaintiff's lawsuit would have Apple account for lost profits and also pay out triple the awarded damages for the actual patent infringement.
post #2 of 64

"the representatives note that receipts printed from

Apple's online store have shown more information than allowed under the FCRA despite advance warning of when the law would take effect." Wait who's doing the printing, in this case the buyer is at fault he/she is the one printing the receipt not Apple. Apple is only supplying the information on the screen or via email.

"

Apple's insistence on printing the same vulnerable receipts despite the grace period makes it guilty of violating the credit law" Again, Apple can't be insisting to print-out the receipt, it's an online store! when one enters the information in the online store, it is just as visible as when your order is complete.

"

regardless of how old a customer's printer might be, the lawyers alleg e."
Ok that is the most retarded comment I've heard today. What has the printer's age got to do with who prints the receipt.

I'll be really pissed if I buy something and my CC number is displayed in full on the printed receipt, because I can lose that or it shows that the cash-register person might have access to my cc info. But if I receive an order confirmation email (or on screen) with my CC info on it, I wouldn't worry.

I'm probably missing something here and I don't know it yet can someone elaborate?
post #3 of 64
and people wonder why apple products cost so much.

good lawyers don't come cheap.

it is a good way for those people [plaintiffs] to make some good money.

haha.
post #4 of 64
About time someone started taking action against this kind of blatent rip off from Apple.

I myself designed an electronic device while in school and a central part of this device was the abiity to turn it off or on by a dedicated user interface control that i called the "on and off switch" which was essentially a round "button" that you press with your finger. Low and behold when i first bought my new Mac what did i see there shining brightly in the morning sun? yes you guessed it an exact copy of my "on and off switch". Why can't Apple develop their own technology instead of ripping us poor average Joes off???

Shame on you Steve Jobs, Shame on you!
post #5 of 64
What the hell is this power adaptor stuff? Apple has had those for a LONG time now, certainly before 2004.
post #6 of 64
A battery status LED light on a the end of a recharger is quite an innovation. Why didn't I think of that. Now I know why the stock fell today.
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post #7 of 64
I am going to sue my bank because my credit card number is embossed on my credit card where anyone could see it.
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post #8 of 64
How can this guy have received a patent for this in 2004 when apple's power adaptors have had the status light at least since the Ti Book was first released?

WTF is USPTO doing? Just signing off on every application that crosses their desks?
post #9 of 64
Null.
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
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Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
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post #10 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A statute within the Act prevents companies from printing receipts that display a customer's credit or debit card's expiration date, as well more than the last five digits of the card's number.

...the representatives note that receipts printed from Apple's online store have shown more information than allowed under the FCRA despite advance warning of when the law would take effect.

I completely agree that stores/companies should not print out your whole CC# on your receipt and so agree with measures ensuring companies keep this private - however this suit is f&*king bull sh*t.

This is not a store receipt. It is an online receipt that the user has the option of printing or not - so the responsibility for the customer's privacy is within control of the customer. I hate these f*cking lawyers and their dumb *ss-fu*king-gold-digging "clients". Whatever happened to those snipers in Virginia?
post #11 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginjg View Post

WTF is USPTO doing? Just signing off on every application that crosses their desks?

Pretty much, yes. And collecting the $2000 patent application money.

But don't feel too sorry for Apple: they benefit from a broken patent system too, and their representative at a recent conference held at Stanford claimed the US patent system was "the best in the world." Apple prevails many more times than they strike out.

Google, to their infinitely greater credit, said it was in crisis.

http://blogs.business2.com/utilitybe...google-pa.html
post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

I am going to sue my bank because my credit card number is embossed on my credit card where anyone could see it.

post #13 of 64
For the record, the first TiBooks (Jan 2001) used the yo-yo adapter, which did not, I believe have the charging light. I'm not sure when the charging light came into use.

I don't get the credit card thing. I just looked at my own online receipts from both before AND after the Dec 2006 deadline, and from both iTunes and the Apple Store. I also checked a receipt from the physical Apple Store. ALL of the above receipts showed only the last 4 digits, and no expiration date. The receipt for my iMac didn't even show any of the digits.
post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

For the record, the first TiBooks (Jan 2001) used the yo-yo adapter, which did not, I believe have the charging light. I'm not sure when the charging light came into use.

My 12" Powerbook G4 has a tip that lights up orange when charging and green when charged. My PowerBook G4 was manufactured in 2003.
post #15 of 64
OMFG! I know this guy!

Seriously, I worked with him for 3-4 years until he left to work somewhere else. He is a big Apple fan and a great guy. I'll have to call him tomorrow.
post #16 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewis View Post

It's cool to sue and all the cool kids sue Apple.

Apple should use this to their advantage and help with their image... they can turn it into a product:

iSue
iSue Pro
iSue You

Better yet, they can get together with Youtube and form a new partnership around this new image:

iSueYouTube

It would be a complete revolution in the suing industry, everyone would sue! Your grandma, the kid down the street, the girl next door, the annoying guy down stairs, the guy who broke into your car and cut his hand when he busted open the window, your dogs and cats, all of them would be out to sue YOU! With their partnership with Youtube and the iSueYouTube you would not just be able to sue Apple, but you could sue Youtube and Google as well and upload it to Youtube, your .Mac account, or both! For an extra $50, what the hell, you can sue Filemaker too!

Now in Choclate, Green Apple, Mixed Berry, Toffee, and Bitter flavors.

Sebastian

The already have the response in the System sounds: Sosumi!
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post #17 of 64
I bought an Apple iBook back in October 2000 that had an led ring around the plug where you plugged it into the iBook.

Usually, patents take 2-3 years from filing to issuance, so if issued in 2004 they filed close to but very possibly after the iBook. And apple would have had drawings/designs for it for months before the product was released.

I think this will be another non-issue.

Jim
post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

OMFG! I know this guy!

Seriously, I worked with him for 3-4 years until he left to work somewhere else. He is a big Apple fan and a great guy. I'll have to call him tomorrow.

Be sure to kindly ask for some money should he win the suit.
2.0 GHz Macbook, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB HD
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2.0 GHz Macbook, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB HD
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post #19 of 64
Zito filed his patents in April 2002. His lawsuit erroneously claims the patents were filed in April 2001, but check the text and images of his applications on-line at the USPTO and you'll see it was April 2002.

NThe Titanium PowerBook G4 was announced at Macworld San Francisco in January 2001, and it shipped with an LED power adapter. The 2nd generation iBook (white) also came with this type of power adapter. See http://www.ecost.com/detail.aspx?edp=1453305 for a description of the adapter, which includes the text "Colored status LEDs, located in the head of the DC-connector that plugs into your Apple portable, indicate charging status. An amber ring lets you know that your portable is charging, while a green ring tells you that you have a full charge." The name for this device is "Portable Power (AC) Adapter for Titanium PowerBook/2001 iBook (roll-up power cord)", which confirms Apple was selling this type of adapter in 2001, with prior art that no doubt dates at least as far back as 2000.

I suspect Zito is actually ticked off about the redesigned connector that appeared in January 2006, with the MacBook Pro. The redesigned connector looks more like the images he filed with his patent, but his patent isn't a design patent anyway. Apple is also the pioneer of the use of a multi-color, multi-state LED indicator in the connector, handily beating Zito out the door with a real product by years. Apple's redesign was no doubt motivated by the desire to include MagSafe technology with the LED indicator functionality it had already provided customers for 5 years. For anyone in the field, it would have been a no-brainer to design the LED the way Apple did in order to accommodate MagSafe.
post #20 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is unfairly profiting from any sales of its version of the adapter, particularly those bundled with portable Mac computers that require a battery.

Um... MacBooks and MacBook Pros can only use Apple's MagSafe adapters, so customers don't have a choice in whether they get an adapter with the LEDs or not. Therefore, Apple doesn't gain any real advantage in having the LEDs because customers aren't buying the adapters specifically for the LED lights; they're buying them because they work!
post #21 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Zito filed his patents in April 2002. His lawsuit erroneously claims the patents were filed in April 2001, but check the text and images of his applications on-line at the USPTO and you'll see it was April 2002.

NThe Titanium PowerBook G4 was announced at Macworld San Francisco in January 2001, and it shipped with an LED power adapter. The 2nd generation iBook (white) also came with this type of power adapter. See http://www.ecost.com/detail.aspx?edp=1453305 for a description of the adapter, which includes the text "Colored status LEDs, located in the head of the DC-connector that plugs into your Apple portable, indicate charging status. An amber ring lets you know that your portable is charging, while a green ring tells you that you have a full charge." The name for this device is "Portable Power (AC) Adapter for Titanium PowerBook/2001 iBook (roll-up power cord)", which confirms Apple was selling this type of adapter in 2001, with prior art that no doubt dates at least as far back as 2000.

I suspect Zito is actually ticked off about the redesigned connector that appeared in January 2006, with the MacBook Pro. The redesigned connector looks more like the images he filed with his patent, but his patent isn't a design patent anyway. Apple is also the pioneer of the use of a multi-color, multi-state LED indicator in the connector, handily beating Zito out the door with a real product by years. Apple's redesign was no doubt motivated by the desire to include MagSafe technology with the LED indicator functionality it had already provided customers for 5 years. For anyone in the field, it would have been a no-brainer to design the LED the way Apple did in order to accommodate MagSafe.

Thanx for the research!
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post #22 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewis View Post

It's cool to sue and all the cool kids sue Apple.

Apple should use this to their advantage and help with their image... they can turn it into a product:

iSue
iSue Pro
iSue You

Better yet, they can get together with Youtube and form a new partnership around this new image:

iSueYouTube


Sebastian

And let's not forget that system sound found in OS X and most earlier versions of Mac OS...

Sosumi
post #23 of 64
I loved this:
Apple is unfairly profiting from any sales of its version of the adapter, particularly those bundled with portable Mac computers that require a battery
Um, what versions of the battery charger are bundled with computers without a battery?

Not wishing to cause offence or anything, but when it comes to patent law the US legal system really is a fucking mockery.
post #24 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginjg View Post

WTF is USPTO doing? Just signing off on every application that crosses their desks?

Now, that is the most sensible comment I have heard all day!
post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

OMFG! I know this guy!

Seriously, I worked with him for 3-4 years until he left to work somewhere else. He is a big Apple fan and a great guy. I'll have to call him tomorrow.

With bated breath.....

Please let us know the outcome of the call, will ya? Thanks!
post #26 of 64
MY POWERBOOK G3 HAS HAD THOSE STATUS LIGHTS ANBD APPLE STARTED MAKING THE G3 POWER BOOK IN 1997 AND EVEN IF APPLE DIDN'T PATENT IT IT WOULD BE CONSIDERED PRIOR ART BECAUSE IT'S BEEN WIDLEY DEPLOYED OVER LAST 10 YEARS AND APPLE PROBABLY HAS THIS PATENTED OR I'M SURE ALL OF THE OTHER COMPANIES WOULD OF DONE IT ALL READY , I THINK THIS GUY JUST HAS HIS HEAD IN THE SAND AND CANT FIGURE OUT HOW TO ACTUALLY BRING HIS LACK OF INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY TO MARKET.

sorry about the caps but that shit pissed me off lol his 2004 patent
post #27 of 64
Don't now about the rest of you but I just looked over the orders I have made with Apple this year and not one of them has included my card info, starting with January (2006 is logged away).

This is just a suit to make the stocks fall.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune5 View Post

MY POWERBOOK G3 HAS HAD THOSE STATUS LIGHTS ANBD APPLE STARTED MAKING THE G3 POWER BOOK IN 1997 AND EVEN IF APPLE DIDN'T PATENT IT IT WOULD BE CONSIDERED PRIOR ART BECAUSE IT'S BEEN WIDLEY DEPLOYED OVER LAST 10 YEARS AND APPLE PROBABLY HAS THIS PATENTED OR I'M SURE ALL OF THE OTHER COMPANIES WOULD OF DONE IT ALL READY , I THINK THIS GUY JUST HAS HIS HEAD IN THE SAND AND CANT FIGURE OUT HOW TO ACTUALLY BRING HIS LACK OF INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY TO MARKET.

sorry about the caps but that shit pissed me off lol his 2004 patent


The title of your post perfectly sums you up in a few words, please stop posting now, thanks.
post #29 of 64
Tom is an electrical engineer working in aerospace, automotive, and silicon chip design. He's a very bright guy and not a schmuck looking to patent any idea he comes across.

I guess ultimately the courts will have to decide if having the indicator on the end of the cord is a non-obvious idea compared to the indicator on the device. Battery chargers have had indicators for years. Batteries sometimes have charge indicators on themselves (as early as the Wallstreet & Pismo batteries up to the current ones).

Is a new location of something seen every day patentable?

I also noticed the suit was filed in Texas. Isn't Texas where all patents lawsuits are filed becuase they are known for being so liberal in awarding infringement requests?

Email sent. I'm looking for his number.

Here's more info about his Palm Charger unit:
Quote:
Demonstration and review of the Full Charge battery recharger by Tom Harvey, Founder of Extend Computer & Instrument.
Tom's company, based in Walled Lake, MI, is an automotive supplier. They use Palms in their day to day work, and when the first Palm's came out they didn't like that they had to keep replacing batteries. So they made a rechargeable battery pack to replace the throwaway batteries that come with the Palm handhelds. There Full Charge product has some the following features:

Comes with a battery cover with holes for the charger
No cradle connector - keeps cost down
LED at end of plug to indicate charge status
Microprocessor knows when charge is complete so adapter doesn't get hot
Can still put Palm in cradle while charging
Their Full Charge product was released in Apr. 2000. They also now support Handspring handhelds, and they also have an auto adapter and an international adapter. They are working on a solar adapter and plan to release it in December 2001. They are working on a charger for the Palm m100.
We also got a good lesson in batteries, and whether it's OK to top off a charge on a battery or if you should always let the battery fully discharge before recharging. Extend Computer & Instruments chargers are all "smart chargers" so you can top off every day. In fact Tom recommends doing this for all NimH or Lithium Ion batteries. The older nickel cadmium batteries (still on some models of cordless phones) are "dumb chargers"; you're better off letting them fully discharge before recharging.

The Full Charge product retails for $34.95

His company, Extend Computer & Instrument, no longer has a valid website or domain. However, you can see what his site looked like through the WebArchive. The last entry in Oct 2005 basically says they are shutting down.

I think he used to live in Walled Lake. It's at least very close to Novi, MI. It's definitely him.
post #30 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Zito filed his patents in April 2002. His lawsuit erroneously claims the patents were filed in April 2001, but check the text and images of his applications on-line at the USPTO and you'll see it was April 2002.

NThe Titanium PowerBook G4 was announced at Macworld San Francisco in January 2001, and it shipped with an LED power adapter. The 2nd generation iBook (white) also came with this type of power adapter. See http://www.ecost.com/detail.aspx?edp=1453305 for a description of the adapter, which includes the text "Colored status LEDs, located in the head of the DC-connector that plugs into your Apple portable, indicate charging status. An amber ring lets you know that your portable is charging, while a green ring tells you that you have a full charge." The name for this device is "Portable Power (AC) Adapter for Titanium PowerBook/2001 iBook (roll-up power cord)", which confirms Apple was selling this type of adapter in 2001, with prior art that no doubt dates at least as far back as 2000.

Careful, the original TiBooks did not ship with those adapters at first, they had the Yo-Yo adapter. But the newer adapters came out in the next revision, still well prior to 2004.
post #31 of 64
So I used to think class-action lawsuits were stupid, and that they were really about greedy consumers who want money. But I'm a resident of florida who just bought like 3 apple products....so this one isn't all that bad. In fact, it's great! If you give me $3000, i'll go buy an imac too!
post #32 of 64
Power adapters with lights on them? Brilliant!

I wonder if anyone has patented ceilings with lights on them? I'm going to, and then I'm going to sue everyone who sells ceilings that use lights to light rooms. Empty your bank account now, boys.
post #33 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by murphyweb View Post

I myself designed an electronic device while in school and a central part of this device was the abiity to turn it off or on by a dedicated user interface control that i called the "on and off switch" which was essentially a round "button" that you press with your finger.

ROTFL! Thanks.
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post #34 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by murphyweb View Post

The title of your post perfectly sums you up in a few words, please stop posting now, thanks.

More truer words have never been spoken. My eyes glaze over post with all caps. No one reads them, and no one should.

Both lawsuits are silly, and will be back page news if anything in a week. What happened to personal responsibility anyway? Not only should you be keeping your receipts for later use (even though they are usually not needed for Apple products, thankfully), but if you don't want someone seeing them, destroy them! My goodness...
post #35 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

With bated breath.....

Please let us know the outcome of the call, will ya? Thanks!

The outcome is what I expected. He cannot comment on it, but it is him. No, I won't give you his email or phone so you can annoy him. I have a lot of respect for the guy.

He invented a charger that stops charging NiCad batteries when full and charges them when installed on the Palm. He put the indicator on the charger end because the Palm device did not have such an indicator the the other end could be plugged into the wall and hidden under the desk.

The question is "Is this a valid patent". I don't know. I haven't read the patent. Charging indicators exist on many devices that come with adapters and are rechargeable. Does putting it on the end of the cord make it patentable? Maybe.

As for the "receipt" lawsuit, if Apple is in violation of the law, let the government deal with it. Suing them because of increased "risk" seems like it would be hard to put a dollar amount on it.
post #36 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bauch View Post

What the hell is this power adaptor stuff? Apple has had those for a LONG time now, certainly before 2004.

i don't know for how long they've had that, but i know the iBook clamshell had that feature and it came out in 1999
post #37 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Careful, the original TiBooks did not ship with those adapters at first, they had the Yo-Yo adapter. But the newer adapters came out in the next revision, still well prior to 2004.

did the yo yo adapters have two models? because the one on my iBook clamshell had the charging indicator
post #38 of 64
"WTF is USPTO doing? Just signing off on every application that crosses their desks?"

where have you been? The USPTO has been signing anything submitted to them for the past 20 some odd years.
post #39 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by iJay View Post

did the yo yo adapters have two models? because the one on my iBook clamshell had the charging indicator

The LED wasn't on the end of the plug, it was in the receptacle on the iBook.
post #40 of 64
nevermind
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