Court grants Apple's motion to dismiss Siri misrepresentation lawsuit

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2014
After two years of legal maneuvering, U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken on Friday dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit alleging that Apple's iPhone 4S advertisements had misrepresented the capabilities of the company's Siri personal digital assistant.

Dismissal


Saying that the claims relied on "non-actionable puffery", Judge Wilken ruled that the plaintiffs failed to show adequate evidence of fraud in Apple's advertising and that a "reasonable consumer" would not expect the product to work flawlessly. The plaintiffs had argued that advertisements featuring Siri made it appear as though the feature could handle any query and would respond instantly.

"Apple made no promise that Siri would operate without fail," Wilken wrote when ordering the dismissal. "A reasonable consumer would understand that commercials depicting the products they are intended to promote would be unlikely to depict failed attempts."

Wilken also took issue with the timing of the lawsuits, originally filed separately in 2012 by Frank M. Fazio, Carlisa S. Hamagaki, Daniel M. Balassone, and Benjamin Swartzmann. Fazio filed suit on the same day he sent a letter notifying Apple of his intentions, while Balassone and Swartzman did so just four days after they sent a similar missive, an interval that Wilken said did not give Apple sufficient time to address the allegations.

Apple had previously argued that the claims were too general when filing a motion for dismissal in 2012.

The plaintiffs "fail to allege any supposed misrepresentation with particularity," lawyers for Apple wrote in the motion. The plaintiffs also did not indicate when they were "exposed to the purportedly misleading advertisements, which ones they found material, how and why they were false, or which they relied upon in purchasing their iPhones," they continued, reasoning that Wilken agreed with.

Because the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, the plaintiffs will not be allowed to bring another action over the same claims.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member
    And the lawyers make money either way.
  • Reply 2 of 79
    pdq2pdq2 Posts: 270member
    Dopey lawsuit. I hope they had to pay court costs.
  • Reply 3 of 79
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    While the lawsuit is obvious slop, I do find it a little disturbing that the judge has now, through wording of the judgement, created a precedent that says "Commercials are bullshit, and you can't expect a product to work as advertised." Yikes.

  • Reply 4 of 79
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by v5v View Post

     

    While the lawsuit is obvious slop, I do find it a little disturbing that the judge has now, through wording of the judgement, created a precedent that says "Commercials are bullshit, and you can't expect a product to work as advertised." Yikes.


    You seem disappointed that Santa Claus was "discovered" to be phoney. Hint: Most advertising is b.s.  ... always has been, always will be. Think of it like a woman who wears makeup on a date .... but never after "she gets her man".

  • Reply 5 of 79
    newbee wrote: »
    You seem disappointed that Santa Claus was "discovered" to be phoney. Hint: Most advertising is b.s.  ... always has been, always will be. Think of it like a woman who wears makeup on a date .... but never after "she gets her man".
    Well said sir.
  • Reply 6 of 79
    So all that fine print at the bottom of ads are for what, nothing?

    "Sequences shortened"
    "Professional driver on closed course"
    "Simulated images"
  • Reply 7 of 79

    Not to hound you for your opinion, I understand your thoughts, however I have to agree with my other colleagues  here, commercial advertising has always been idealized, take the case of food, which is painted and coated to make it appear very appetizing, when if fact the aesthetic chemicals could be hazardous and inedible, you have to take all advertising with a grain of salt. Sorry that was in response to v5v thoughts. 

  • Reply 8 of 79
    People are crazy
  • Reply 9 of 79
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    I think all the features represented in the ad were basically honest, but having them work only about 50% of the time is not something they would likely want to mention.

  • Reply 10 of 79
    ipilyaipilya Posts: 185member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by v5v View Post

     

    While the lawsuit is obvious slop, I do find it a little disturbing that the judge has now, through wording of the judgement, created a precedent that says "Commercials are bullshit, and you can't expect a product to work as advertised." Yikes.


    I think you have this wrong... as the Judge said nothing of the sort. What he did say was that the typical consumer is not expecting perfection and understands that a commercial would not showcase flaws in the product.

  • Reply 11 of 79
    mstone wrote: »
    I think all the features represented in the ad were basically honest, but having them work only about 50% of the time is not something they would likely want to mention.

    More "non-actionable puffery"?
  • Reply 12 of 79

    Can't get too much worse than Nissan's commercials. Their commercials really bug the hell out of me. The truck having a plane's front wheel land in the bed? Really? 150mph? SUV jumping on a train? Truck doing a flip?  

     

    Please, most car commercials are stupid but at least they usually list features or semi-facts.

     

    As long as Apple is realistic with their commercials, which they always seem to be, they won't bother me any.

  • Reply 13 of 79
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    More "non-actionable puffery"?

    Of course I'm the only one who has limited success getting the correct information from Siri. For everyone else it is perfect. Seriously, about half the time she gets it wrong. Even when she prints to the screen the exact phrase, the answer is completely off. For example recently I asked her to show me an address on the map. I gave her the complete street address and city (the city where I was located), yet she insisted on pinning a completely different city a hundred km away which had the same name as the street address and informed me it was pretty far from where I was. I get crazy stuff from her all the time.

  • Reply 14 of 79
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,590member
    v5v wrote: »
    While the lawsuit is obvious slop, I do find it a little disturbing that the judge has now, through wording of the judgement, created a precedent that says "Commercials are bullshit, and you can't expect a product to work as advertised." Yikes.

    Where have they advertised that Siri works 100% of the time?

    I hope these bums pay ALL the court costs.
  • Reply 15 of 79
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post



    Where have they advertised that Siri works 100% of the time?

     

    Are you sure you're comfortable with that position? How are you going to feel when you sue for car trouble and the judge says, "You should know that commercials are fiction and besides, no one said the car would start EVERY day."

     

    I'm not defending the ridiculous lawsuit, but the wording of the judgement is pretty troubling.

  • Reply 16 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post





    Where have they advertised that Siri works 100% of the time?



    I hope these bums pay ALL the court costs.

     

    And it took TWO YEARS to dismiss this nonsense?

     

    The lawyers and the judge should refund at least half of the "court costs" themselves.

  • Reply 17 of 79
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     
    [...] recently I asked her to show me an address on the map. I gave her the complete street address and city (the city where I was located), yet she insisted on pinning a completely different city a hundred km away which had the same name as the street address and informed me it was pretty far from where I was. I get crazy stuff from her all the time.


     

    The similarity of that to my own recent experience makes me wonder if the problem is something other than Siri.

     

    I recently entered an appointment into Calendar on my Mac and pointed it to an address in Contacts. When I called up the appointment it had made up its own address that bore no resemblance to the one in Contacts. I then asked Contacts to show me the location of the CORRECT address and Maps came up with something that pointed me roughly 50 km (30 miles) in the wrong direction.

     

    Admittedly that's all OS X and not iOS, but it leads me to suspect there may be underlying issues in the way apps pass data that could sabotage Siri.

  • Reply 18 of 79
    v5v wrote: »
    The similarity of that to my own recent experience makes me wonder if the problem is something other than Siri.

    I recently entered an appointment into Calendar on my Mac and pointed it to an address in Contacts. When I called up the appointment it had made up its own address that bore no resemblance to the one in Contacts. I then asked Contacts to show me the location of the CORRECT address and Maps came up with something that pointed me roughly 50 km (30 miles) in the wrong direction.

    Admittedly that's all OS X and not iOS, but it leads me to suspect there may be underlying issues in the way apps pass data that could sabotage Siri.

    Siri is female for a reason...

    /s
  • Reply 19 of 79
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,590member
    v5v wrote: »
    Are you sure you're comfortable with that position? How are you going to feel when you sue for car trouble and the judge says, "You should know that commercials are fiction and besides, no one said the car would start EVERY day."

    I'm not defending the ridiculous lawsuit, but the wording of the judgement is pretty troubling.

    The judge didn't say commercials are fiction. She said any reasonable person can tell something will not be 100% accurate 100% of the time. As for new cars breaking down, there are addition laws that cover "lemons".

    In addition, there are warranties. If the product fails to meet your expectations, you can return it or get it fixed for free.
  • Reply 20 of 79
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,612member
    ipilya wrote: »
    the Judge said nothing of the sort. What he did say
    She
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