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Apple makes example of iPod repairman in lawsuit

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
The owner of an iPod repair shop is being sued by Apple for misuse of the coveted iPod trademark -- and of allegedly manipulating Apple to both send him replacement units for free as well as tricking the electronics giant into repairing out-of-warranty iPods.

The simplest component of Apple's nine-page lawsuit, filed late last week, accuses Michigan state resident Nicholas Woodhams of misusing Apple's "iPod" and "Pod" trademarks through the name of his iPod Mechanic company and website.

Apple charges that Woodhams wasn't given permission to use the media player's name and was asked to stop using it in 2006. He reportedly agreed and struck an agreement with Apple to stop using the name over a phase-out period that would see him drop the iPod Mechanic name by January 2007, with the ipodmechanic.com domain parked by March of the same year.

None of these happened, Apple says. Accordingly, users can still visit and do business with the site today.

More egregious are accusations in the lawsuit that Woodhams has knowingly committed fraud against Apple by convincing the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm to send him free components.

One such act reportedly had Woodhams exploiting Apple's iPod shuffle Advance Replacement Program in 2007. In the official approach, customers with broken iPod shuffles were asked by Apple to fill out an online repair form and ship out their damaged iPods in exchange for fresh replacements; if they failed to return their old models, they would be charged the price of a new player.

The defendant, however, is claimed to have filled in many of these forms for customers himself, using a credit card he knew would be authorized for a potential charge -- a prerequisite to getting the replacement -- but would immediately decline any actual credit charges Apple would make when the broken unit mysteriously failed to ship.

Woodhams and those aware of the scheme "never planned" to return any iPods and ultimately sold the brand new models at a heavy discount, the complaint reads -- a tactic no longer in evidence on the site, but one which reportedly cost Apple over $75,000.

In a second fraud claim, Apple also says that Woodhams persuaded Apple to repair out-of-warranty iPods by swapping the back cases of out-of-warranty iPods with those of iPods still covered for free under Apple's one-year service agreement. The approach purportedly let him avoid paying for the repair or the necessary parts himself, though Apple doesn't illustrate the financial damage it says was suffered as a result of the deception.

As both the contract breach and the alleged fraud are all viewed as deliberate, the iPod maker believes it's owed triple damages in addition to forcing Woodhams to give up using the iPod Mechanic website and the associated marks.

Neither Apple nor Woodhams has commented on the lawsuit.
post #2 of 20
This guy's lawyer will tell him to settle when he sees the evidence of fraud. That would keep Apple from pursuing criminal charges against him. In other news: Zune needs mechanics.
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #3 of 20
Ha. This is right in my back yard. I think I actually went in there once when it was at a different location. I don't understand why Apple hasn't simply pressed criminal charged against this guy though. Fraud's fraud. And besides, they were charging absurd ammounts for parts. something like $60 for a nano screen, if I recall correctly (which I probably don't).

C
A Conclusion is the place where you get tired of thinking. - Lesicus Stupidicus
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A Conclusion is the place where you get tired of thinking. - Lesicus Stupidicus
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post #4 of 20
I hope Apple's iPhone "secure data wipe program" is a lot better at doing its job if an iPhone owner ever sends it in to be "repaired" by a 'scammer' in the repair business.

I wonder if anybody will sue Apple for their failure to ensure the terms that were set in the agreement between Apple and iPodmechanic.com, for iPod Mechanic to have the company name phased out by January 2007 and the "parking" of the domain name by March of 2007? I mean how many people lost out after March 2007 for sending in their iPod, iPhone, etc. because the company was still operating or should I say still scamming for another year or so!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #5 of 20
Oh, trust me, to get info off that flash drive it would take some form of magical genie. It seems from the current time frame it would be a 7 wipe over the drive. That's more than enough to make your data secure.
post #6 of 20
Take him for all hes got.

AppleMatt
post #7 of 20
Apple parts & repairs = prohibitively expensive

iPod = ridiculously fragile.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

Apple parts & repairs = prohibitively expensive

iPod = ridiculously fragile.

I disagree with that. I had a 10GB click wheel and now own a 60GB video, and they both took a beating. I work construction, and both iPods still work flawless. My brother still uses the 10GB, and it still has the original battery. The 60GB is dented, scratched to hell due to the abuse I put it through (without a case, mind you), and it plays like a champ.
Maybe you were referring to the shuffle?
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by technohermit View Post

I disagree with that. I had a 10GB click wheel and now own a 60GB video, and they both took a beating. I work construction, and both iPods still work flawless. My brother still uses the 10GB, and it still has the original battery. The 60GB is dented, scratched to hell due to the abuse I put it through (without a case, mind you), and it plays like a champ.
Maybe you were referring to the shuffle?

My gen2 10GB iPod still works and has the original battery. Mind you it only lasts about 4-5 hours on a charge but it still works. Too bad I couldn't resist the Touch otherwise I'd still be using it.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

Apple parts & repairs = prohibitively expensive

iPod = ridiculously fragile.

My 3G iPod fell out of my pocket last year @ 45 mph on my motorcycle, slid down the road and finally came to rest on the edge of the road. I plugged my headphones back in and still listen to it today.
Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #11 of 20
Why is apple making such a big deal about this guy and they do nothing about Psystar? Psystar is surely doing more harm to Apple than one silly repairman. I think Apple is waiting for Psystar to sell more and more units so they can build a stronger more profitable case against them, maybe even bring criminal charges?? Strange??
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Oh, trust me, to get info off that flash drive it would take some form of magical genie. It seems from the current time frame it would be a 7 wipe over the drive. That's more than enough to make your data secure.

actually, I bet just a simple one pass zeroizing of the flash memory would do the trick. Multiple passes have to be used on hard drives because the metal plates can retain some residual magnetic polarization, so you have to go over it several times to make sure it gets changed. I don't know the details of how flash memory works, but I BET that it doesn't have the same issues, being solid state, rather than magnetic media.

Any solid state engineers around who can enlighten us?

C
A Conclusion is the place where you get tired of thinking. - Lesicus Stupidicus
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A Conclusion is the place where you get tired of thinking. - Lesicus Stupidicus
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post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

Apple parts & repairs = prohibitively expensive

iPod = ridiculously fragile.


my 1G is still working fine. put in a new battery recently, it have >24 hour battery life now. it is currently used daily by an 86 year old woman when she is at dialysis.
post #14 of 20
Maybe Apple can work out an arrangement with him to get a "non-exclusive license" of their own trademark. I'd advise them to settle. . .at $3500 per week it could get pricey for them.

http://www.ipodmechanic.com/copywrite_terms.php
If you would like to use any of the language, text, look & feel or pictures contained in this site which belong to iPod Mechanic we hereby make the following offer:

For the sum of $3,500 U.S. Dollars per week you are granted a non-exclusive license to use any of the language, text, look & feel or pictures contained in any single item listing which are the property of iPod Mechanic. A single item listing is defined as a single product description and it's associated images. Each single item listing utilized is a seperate agreement. Accept this offer by using any of the language, text, look & feel or pictures. Payment is due within 14 days of acceptance. This offer does not apply to any language, text, look & feel or pictures which are the property of other third parties.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by webhead View Post

Why is apple making such a big deal about this guy and they do nothing about Psystar? Psystar is surely doing more harm to Apple than one silly repairman. I think Apple is waiting for Psystar to sell more and more units so they can build a stronger more profitable case against them, maybe even bring criminal charges?? Strange??

Probably because this is blatant fraud?
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Ridiculous lucky captain rabbit king, lucky captain rabbit king nuggets are for the youth!
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post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by webhead View Post

Why is apple making such a big deal about this guy and they do nothing about Psystar? Psystar is surely doing more harm to Apple than one silly repairman. I think Apple is waiting for Psystar to sell more and more units so they can build a stronger more profitable case against them, maybe even bring criminal charges?? Strange??

Profitable case???? Psystar is a one man operation, and the man is a working stiff. He hasn't got enough resources to make this case "profitable". You can't get blood out of a turnip.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfella View Post

Profitable case???? Psystar is a one man operation, and the man is a working stiff. He hasn't got enough resources to make this case "profitable". You can't get blood out of a turnip.

I sure hope they try.

I'd like to see Apple really put the screws to guys like this if these allegations are true.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

Apple parts & repairs = prohibitively expensive

iPod = ridiculously fragile.

Yes, probably indicative as to why the iPod is having difficulty gaining market share....
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by webhead View Post

Why is apple making such a big deal about this guy and they do nothing about Psystar? Psystar is surely doing more harm to Apple than one silly repairman. I think Apple is waiting for Psystar to sell more and more units so they can build a stronger more profitable case against them, maybe even bring criminal charges?? Strange??

Because Psystar is just selling generic PC hardware and re-selling retail copies of Leopard. Apple makes a better profit margin from the retail Leopard sale than they do from selling hardware!
post #20 of 20
I am on the side of Apple for sure. He had every opportunity to not allow this to happen. Chose a name that was copyrighted. Refused to cooperate. Don't mess with Apple.

Speaking of iPod repair, just an FYI.

I went to this site called www.irestoreteam.com and decided to go for it and repair my video ipod that had a cracked screen. Been to lazy to repair it but let them do it. They sent me pre-paid box and they repaired it for way cheaper than Apple would. $40 to replace a screen including labor. Dang! Saved me some sweet green.

Anyways,

Too bad for the other guy who could have got my business but fortunately didn't. Honesty is the best policy i say.
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