Nike, Apple agree to $2.4M settlement in suit over false FuelBand claims, Apple to pay nothing

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2015
Consumers who purchased a Nike+ FuelBand between 2012 and 2015 might be eligible for a small payment from Nike after the sports brand, alongside co-defendant Apple, agreed to settle a class action suit alleging the companies falsely advertised the device's health tracking capabilities.




Disclosure: The author of this report is potentially eligible for payment as a member of the class.

Under agreed upon terms reached in June, Nike will dish out up to $2.4 million to customers who purchased a FuelBand product anytime between Jan. 19, 2012 and June 17, 2015 to settle a class action suit first leveled against itself and Apple in 2013. Although it was named as a defendant, Apple bears no responsibility or liability for attorneys' fees or costs.

Plaintiffs, led by class representative Carolyn Levin, allege Nike's erstwhile FuelBand is unable to live up to advertisements touting the ability to accurately track calorie burn, steps and overall activity represented a conceptual "NikeFuel" readings. The suit claims both Nike and Apple knew of these deficiencies yet continued to sell the device to an unsuspecting public.

According to attorneys representing the class, the companies misled consumers by promoting FuelBand in stores, television, online and elsewhere. Apple, for example, sold various FuelBand models in its stores and only stopped sales in March. Since FuelBand was allegedly never capable of performing advertised tracking functions, Nike is also in breach of warranty, the suit asserts.

Notices were sent out to potential class members on Friday via email, providing instructions on how to file settlement claims for either a $15 payment or $25 gift card redeemable at Nike retail and online stores. Those notified also have the option to object or exclude themselves from the settlement.

A fairness hearing is scheduled for Nov. 4 to discuss settlement terms, attorneys' fees and expenses and an award for the class representative. More information can be found through the settlement's website.

Related to the case is Apple's stable of engineers and other employees previously attached to Nike. Fitness guru Jay Blahnik, who consulted on the creation of FuelBand, came on board in 2013 and was later revealed to be a key player in the development of Apple Watch's health tracking functions. Other recent hires include two engineers from Nike's now defunct FuelBand team.

Apple and Nike share a close working relationship after partnering on multiple health related hardware and software solutions dating back to the Nike+iPod sensor kit from 2006. Apple CEO Tim Cook is a known early adopter and even touted FuelBand's capabilities prior to Apple Watch's debut.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member
    What were the claims that it failed to meet and how/why? Why was Apple involved as a denfendent (versus someone like Walmart who presumably also marketed the band)? Aren't these questions that'd be an important component and chance for elaboration in this article?

    If anything, I'm way curious now
  • Reply 2 of 27
    techlovertechlover Posts: 879member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post



    What were the claims that it failed to meet and how/why? Why was Apple involved as a denfendent (versus someone like Walmart who presumably also marketed the band)? Aren't these questions that'd be an important component and chance for elaboration in this article?



    If anything, I'm way curious now

    Trying to answer your first question, according to the article and the link in the article:

     

    "The lawsuit claims that Nike and Apple engaged in violations of consumer protection laws in connection with the Nike+ FuelBand.  More specifically, the lawsuit alleges, among other things, that false and/or misleading statements were made regarding the Nike+ FuelBand’s ability to accurately track calories, steps, and NikeFuel, and that there were breaches of the warranty terms of the Nike+ FuelBand.  Nike and Apple deny the claims in the lawsuit and maintain that they did nothing wrong or illegal."

     

    So it was not accurate enough to live up to its marketed claims. According to the filing.

     

    Trying to answer your second question maybe it is because there was a closer relationship between Apple and Nike than say Walmart?

     

    http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672688/apple-s-tim-cook-on-why-the-nike-fuelband-works-and-google-glass-doesn-t

     

    Also some of the folks that worked on the Nike Fuel Band went on to work at Apple, perhaps on the Apple Watch. Not that it has anything to do with this law suit in particular:

     

    http://************/2013/09/27/apple-hires-one-of-nikes-top-fuel-band-designers-to-work-on-wearable-devices/

     

    http://www.macrumors.com/2014/07/08/apple-nike-fuelband-hires/

     

    EDIT: for some reason it won't let me post the 9to5mac article properly, so just replace the stars with 9to5mac

     

    EDIT #2: both those above links were also mentioned in the article at appleinsider. My fault.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Reply 3 of 27
    redefilerredefiler Posts: 323member
    techlover wrote: »
    Trying to answer your first question, according to the article and the link in the article:

    "The lawsuit claims that Nike and Apple engaged in violations of consumer protection laws in connection with the Nike+ FuelBand.  More specifically, the lawsuit alleges, among other things, that false and/or misleading statements were made regarding the Nike+ FuelBand’s ability to accurately track calories, steps, and NikeFuel, and that there were breaches of the warranty terms of the Nike+ FuelBand.  Nike and Apple deny the claims in the lawsuit and maintain that they did nothing wrong or illegal."

    So it was not accurate enough to live up to its marketed claims. According to the filing.

    Trying to answer your second question maybe it is because there was a closer relationship between Apple and Nike than say Walmart?

    http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672688/apple-s-tim-cook-on-why-the-nike-fuelband-works-and-google-glass-doesn-t

    Also some of the folks that worked on the Nike Fuel Band went on to work at Apple, perhaps on the Apple Watch. Not that it has anything to do with this law suit in particular:

    [URL=http:/2013/09/27/apple-hires-one-of-nikes-top-fuel-band-designers-to-work-on-wearable-devices/]http://************/2013/09/27/apple-hires-one-of-nikes-top-fuel-band-designers-to-work-on-wearable-devices/[/URL]

    http://www.macrumors.com/2014/07/08/apple-nike-fuelband-hires/

    EDIT: for some reason it won't let me post the 9to5mac article properly, so just replace the stars with 9to5mac

    EDIT #2: both those above links were also mentioned in the article at appleinsider. My fault.

     

    So? Tim Cook said he liked the FuelBand and maybe in his capacity as a Nike board member it's relevant, but nothing done at Apple has any consequence on Nike's FuelBand design and performance. Apple was merely a retailer for this device and they did nothing wrong in that capacity. That's like trying to sue the Apple Store because Microsoft Office is a steaming puddle of yesterday dogfood gravy.

    Besides Tim Cook's quote is clearly paving the way for the Apple Watch, and not an endorsement of the FuelBand.

    The only reason Apple's included, was the plaintiff's hope they could somehow convince a weak minded judge or jury to ignore simple logic, and multiply their cash.

    What they should have been doing is suing their delivery doctor for incorrectly identifying the birth defects that later caused them to buy a FuelBand, + any wealthy person with the last name Brown for not inventing a time Delorean capable of preventing their parents from making the criminal mistake of mixing their shoddy DNA, resulting in this future, tragic FuelBand purchase.

    400
  • Reply 4 of 27
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,309member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by redefiler View Post





    So? Tim Cook said he liked the FuelBand and maybe in his capacity as a Nike board member it's relevant, but nothing done at Apple has any consequence on Nike's FuelBand design and performance. Apple was merely a retailer for this device and they did nothing wrong in that capacity. That's like trying to sue the Apple Store because Microsoft Office is a steaming puddle of yesterday dogfood gravy.

     



    I might be very wrong, but from my understanding you're wrong on two things here.

     

    1- Apple cooperated with Nike on the creation of that device

    2- Apple communicated on that, giving the general public the idea that it was better than it really was

     

    In any case, I don't care. I did not get a fuelband, this thing felt like a gimmick, and I had already been burned by the Apple Nike+ sensor which blowed. I'm much more happy with my ?Watch.

  • Reply 5 of 27
    jkopfjkopf Posts: 1member
    Fair disclosure:
    I have no legal expertise.
    I am an Apple shareholder.

    Although there are no monetary penalties suffered by Apple, there appears to be sufficient circumstantial evidence of Tim Cook's involvement with Nike's FuelBand to merit his dismissal as Apple CEO. This case involves exceedingly poor judgement by Tim Cook.
  • Reply 6 of 27
    techlovertechlover Posts: 879member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by redefiler View Post




    So? Tim Cook said he liked the FuelBand and maybe in his capacity as a Nike board member it's relevant, but nothing done at Apple has any consequence on Nike's FuelBand design and performance. Apple was merely a retailer for this device and they did nothing wrong in that capacity. That's like trying to sue the Apple Store because Microsoft Office is a steaming puddle of yesterday dogfood gravy.



    Besides Tim Cook's quote is clearly paving the way for the Apple Watch, and not an endorsement of the FuelBand.



    The only reason Apple's included, was the plaintiff's hope they could somehow convince a weak minded judge or jury to ignore simple logic, and multiply their cash.



    What they should have been doing is suing their delivery doctor for incorrectly identifying the birth defects that later caused them to buy a FuelBand, + any wealthy person with the last name Brown for not inventing a time Delorean capable of preventing their parents from making the criminal mistake of mixing their shoddy DNA, resulting in this future, tragic FuelBand purchase.




    I was just trying to help by posting actual information and speculating on why Apple may have been involved in the lawsuit.

     

    I didn't say I agreed with the lawsuit or that it had any merit. Obviously as far as Apple is concerned, this lawsuit did not have any merit as Apple was not found guilty of anything and does not have to pay a dime to any purchaser of the fuel band.

     

    Also you kind of lost me on that Back to the Future analogy. I'm not sure where that was going, but it seemed like a nice try at something. I am just not sure what.

     

    I like the pic of Chewbacca dropping the mic though. 

  • Reply 7 of 27
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post



    What were the claims that it failed to meet and how/why? Why was Apple involved as a denfendent (versus someone like Walmart who presumably also marketed the band)? Aren't these questions that'd be an important component and chance for elaboration in this article?



    If anything, I'm way curious now

    Perhaps next time you learn how to READ the article, not just the headline.  Then you would not have to ask such a stupid question.

  • Reply 8 of 27
    Personally waiting for class action because my Nike Air Jordans didn't make me a basketball star, as promoted by their advertising.
  • Reply 9 of 27
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by redefiler View Post





    So? Tim Cook said he liked the FuelBand and maybe in his capacity as a Nike board member it's relevant, but nothing done at Apple has any consequence on Nike's FuelBand design and performance. Apple was merely a retailer for this device and they did nothing wrong in that capacity. That's like trying to sue the Apple Store because Microsoft Office is a steaming puddle of yesterday dogfood gravy.



    Besides Tim Cook's quote is clearly paving the way for the Apple Watch, and not an endorsement of the FuelBand.



    The only reason Apple's included, was the plaintiff's hope they could somehow convince a weak minded judge or jury to ignore simple logic, and multiply their cash.



    What they should have been doing is suing their delivery doctor for incorrectly identifying the birth defects that later caused them to buy a FuelBand, + any wealthy person with the last name Brown for not inventing a time Delorean capable of preventing their parents from making the criminal mistake of mixing their shoddy DNA, resulting in this future, tragic FuelBand purchase.

    Maybe you should read the article, and read the referenced links, before conveying your blatantly wrong opinion.  "Apple and Nike share a close working relationship after partnering on multiple health related hardware and software solutions dating back to the Nike+iPod sensor kit from 2006".  Tim Cook's was quoted at D11 in 2013, "Cook did, however, reveal that he's a fan of the Nike FuelBand fitness tracker. He said the fitness company did a "great job" on the product, which connects to the iPhone, and revealed that he regularly uses the device."  He is endorsing the product, and his quote had absolutely nothing to do with the nonexistent watch two years ago.  I am sure your parents wish they could have used a condom too.

  • Reply 10 of 27
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

     

    Perhaps next time you learn how to READ the article, not just the headline.  Then you would not have to ask such a stupid question.




    First of all, that snooty tone is what keeps people out of this community, so "keep it to yourself if you don't have anything nice to say," because no one is high-fiving you for being a smartass on the Internet.

     

    Second, the article barely answered the questions I asked. Obviously the claim on health statistics was what was being debated, what else would be, but how? Vaguely bolding quotes from the article that may mean something is not a make up for poor reporting to quickly push this out the door and be the first to report. Connecting the claims from the site, along with explanation, is not too much to ask for.

     

    Quote:

     "multiple health related hardware and software solutions", "he's a fan of the Nike FuelBand fitness tracker",  "fitness company did a 'great job' on the product", "he regularly uses the device."


     

    Those mean nothing ~ Those quotes aren't even connected to the suit. They don't explain why Apple is liable. They hardly even hint at why. I'm sure Tim Cook is a regularly user of many non-Apple products that they provide, but that doesn't mean Apple is liable for the failure of R&D on them. Why aren't other celebrities that endorsed the product brought into the suit, if it all fringed on his words? 

     

    So maybe before having such an elitist stand off tone, you could be less of a jerk and follow @TechLover's path of pointing to answers. If you thought my questions were too stupid, then keep it to yourself, man. 

  • Reply 11 of 27
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TechLover View Post

     

    Obviously as far as Apple is concerned, this lawsuit did not have any merit as Apple was not found guilty of anything and does not have to pay a dime to any purchaser of the fuel band.


    Actually, the lawsuit did have merit because they proved the Nike FuelBand did not do what they claimed it would do.  That is why Nike is paying out on it.  The jury did not find negligence against Apple, but they found negligence against Nike.

  • Reply 12 of 27
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post

     



    First of all, that snooty tone is what keeps people out of this community, so "keep it to yourself if you don't have anything nice to say," because no one is high-fiving you for being a smartass on the Internet.

     

    Second, the article barely answered the questions I asked. Obviously the claim on health statistics was what was being debated, what else would be, but how? Vaguely bolding quotes from the article that may mean something is not a make up for poor reporting to quickly push this out the door and be the first to report. Connecting the claims from the site, along with explanation, is not too much to ask for.

     

     

    Those mean nothing ~ Those quotes aren't even connected to the suit. They don't explain why Apple is liable. They hardly even hint at why. I'm sure Tim Cook is a regularly user of many non-Apple products that they provide, but that doesn't mean Apple is liable for the failure of R&D on them. Why aren't other celebrities that endorsed the product brought into the suit, if it all fringed on his words? 

     

    So maybe before having such an elitist stand off tone, you could be less of a jerk and follow @TechLover's path of pointing to answers. If you thought my questions were too stupid, then keep it to yourself, man. 


    Poor baby...can't take it when someone proves you didn't read the article.  All you had to do was read it, and the links provided, but you were obviously too lazy to do it, and then get pissed when someone calls you out on it.  Grow up and don't be a dick when you didn't read it.  You just commented on the headline.  If you want real journalism, then you already know to go elsewhere.

  • Reply 13 of 27
    techlovertechlover Posts: 879member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TechLover View Post

     

    Obviously as far as Apple is concerned, this lawsuit did not have any merit as Apple was not found guilty of anything and does not have to pay a dime to any purchaser of the fuel band.


    Actually, the lawsuit did have merit because they proved the Nike FuelBand did not do what they claimed it would do.  That is why Nike is paying out on it.  The jury did not find negligence against Apple, but they found negligence against Nike.


    That precisely what I said.

     

    I said "as far as Apple is concerned, this lawsuit did not have any merit as Apple was not found guilty..."

     

    Obviously as far as Nike is concerned the lawsuit did have merit. Nike was found guilty, its right there in the article.

     

    You did read the article and my comment didn't you?

  • Reply 14 of 27
    ronnronn Posts: 252member

    No one was found guilty as this is just a settlement. As is often the case, class action suits are a nuisance and the lawyers make off like a bandit. Apple got Nike to pay all costs and I'm confident had it gone to trial -- and the lawyers for the class most certainly did not want this to go to court -- Apple would have fought tooth and nail to dismiss the case or have it disengaged from it as liable for the claims.

  • Reply 15 of 27
    redefilerredefiler Posts: 323member

    I might be very wrong, but from my understanding you're wrong on two things here.

    1- Apple cooperated with Nike on the creation of that device
    2- Apple communicated on that, giving the general public the idea that it was better than it really was

    In any case, I don't care. I did not get a fuelband, this thing felt like a gimmick, and I had already been burned by the Apple Nike+ sensor which blowed. I'm much more happy with my ?Watch.

    It seems you're wrong. Apple didn't help design the FuelBand, and the only extra support they might have received would have been on the getting the iOS app working side. Which if you're been following along, is something that Apple does for a lot of their software developers, as part of their software developer support.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,309member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by redefiler View Post





    It seems you're wrong. Apple didn't help design the FuelBand, and the only extra support they might have received would have been on the getting the iOS app working side. Which if you're been following along, is something that Apple does for a lot of their software developers, as part of their software developer support.

    First, I have "been following along". I know what iTunes Connect means, and Swift/Objective-C are close friends, just to give you an idea. As to "a lot fo their software developers", you're deluded if you think that the average small-time company gets the same amount of support as a major partner such as Nike. I however don't think this has anything to do with the question at hand...

     

    Second, you might want to check this out https://gigaom.com/2014/04/21/why-can-nike-dump-the-fuelband-with-friends-like-apple-it-doesnt-need-its-own-hardware/ where several lines go rather the same way as my distant memories.

    Of particular interest: "In many ways, this is the culmination of a process that’s been taking place between the two companies for the better part of a decade: Nike will design the fitness app experience, and the hardware will be made by Apple."

     

    Note: I'm absolutely not saying that you're wrong, just that I seem to remember reading, a long while ago, news pieces that put Apple in a much more active role than "simple distributor".

     

    In any case, Apple clearly did not do anything wrong, since they were found innocent...

  • Reply 17 of 27
    redefilerredefiler Posts: 323member
    hillstones wrote: »
    Maybe you should read the article, and read the referenced links, before conveying your blatantly wrong opinion.  "Apple and Nike share a close working relationship after partnering on multiple health related hardware and software solutions dating back to the Nike+iPod sensor kit from 2006".  Tim Cook's was quoted at D11 in 2013, "Cook did, however, reveal that he's a fan of the Nike FuelBand fitness tracker. He said the fitness company did a "great job" on the product, which connects to the iPhone, and revealed that he regularly uses the device."  He is endorsing the product, and his quote had absolutely nothing to do with the nonexistent watch two years ago.  I am sure your parents wish they could have used a condom too.

    You'd be better off using the man's actual words than including press paraphrasing, but let's focus on your lack of reading comprehension:

    From Tim Cook at D11:
    There's nothing that's going to convince a kid who has never worn glasses or a band or a watch or whatever to wear one. Or at least I haven't seen it. So I think there's lots of things to solve in this space, but it's an area where it's ripe for exploration, it's ripe for us all getting excited about. I think there will be tons of companies playing in this.

    I see it as another very key branch of the tree.

    I think from a mainstream point of view [glasses] are difficult to see. I think the wrist is interesting. I'm wearing this (Nike Fuelband) on my wrist, it's somewhat natural. But as I said before, I think for something to work here, you first have to convince people it's so incredible that they want to wear it.

    Pretty sure Apple was working on the Watch at least two years before its debut. Also I'm guessing foreshadowing is a literary device lost on you, including blatantly obvious uses. No worries, we'll fix this and have Doc Brown deliver a very sturdy coat hanger to your parents at the 'Enchantment Under The Sea' dance. :smokey:
  • Reply 18 of 27
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member
    hillstones wrote: »
    Poor baby...can't take it when someone proves you didn't read the article.  All you had to do was read it, and the links provided, but you were obviously too lazy to do it, and then get pissed when someone calls you out on it.  Grow up and don't be a dick when you didn't read it.  You just commented on the headline.  If you want real journalism, then you already know to go elsewhere.

    Seriously, man, get over yourself. I didn't realize it was an atroscity to ask a few questions to others who are probably more knowledgable about this (this is the first time I've even heard about this case).

    The article doesn't go in depth beyond what the actual settlement website explains, it's not the worst to ask for the article to dive into the details of the settlement so I don't have to skim the associated legal documents over a topic I care to be educated in while also not caring enough to consume every detail.

    You're "calling me out" for not reading the article, yet, you've offered no evidence or answers beyond the article (which is what I asked about) so why even waste your time replying at all? You're happily slinging character insults based on assumptions, I'm merely calling out your nasty behavior towards everyone which is consistently unwarranted and childish.

    It the Internet, dude, get over yourself. You're not cool or winning points for trying to be better than everyone else, and at the very least you could include value in your posts since you obviously suggest that I am wasting your time.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    redefilerredefiler Posts: 323member
    First, I have "been following along". I know what iTunes Connect means, and Swift/Objective-C are close friends, just to give you an idea. As to "a lot fo their software developers", you're deluded if you think that the average small-time company gets the same amount of support as a major partner such as Nike. I however don't think this has anything to do with the question at hand...

    Second, you might want to check this out https://gigaom.com/2014/04/21/why-can-nike-dump-the-fuelband-with-friends-like-apple-it-doesnt-need-its-own-hardware/ where several lines go rather the same way as my distant memories.
    Of particular interest: "In many ways, this is the culmination of a process that’s been taking place between the two companies for the better part of a decade: Nike will design the fitness app experience, and the hardware will be made by Apple."

    Note: I'm absolutely not saying that you're wrong, just that I seem to remember reading, a long while ago, news pieces that put Apple in a much more active role than "simple distributor".

    In any case, Apple clearly did not do anything wrong, since they were found innocent...

    Never said that small time developers get the same support. Apple's developer support surely scales with the size and/or prominence of the developer.

    Clearly Apple didn't help design the FuelBand hardware for Nike, and their side of anything Nike related has been limited to iOS app and system support. The press has added a lot more emphasis to this as they look for any bones to pick for article content and clicks.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,309member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by redefiler View Post

    Clearly Apple didn't help design the FuelBand hardware for Nike, and their side of anything Nike related has been limited to iOS app and system support. The press has added a lot more emphasis to this as they look for any bones to pick for article content and clicks.

    That might be the case. 

    I'm much more excited by the new iPhone than the old FuelBand anyway :)

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