After seven years, Apple loses iPad 2 Smart Cover import duty legal fight

Posted:
in General Discussion
A final ruling has come down from the appeals court, and Apple is on the hook for import duties on the long-discontinued iPad 2 Smart Cover

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The Cupertino tech giant first urged the Federal Circuit to reject the U.S. government's tariff classification of specific iPad Smart Cover models in 2013, and filed an appeal to a previous loss in mid-2019.

Now, a year later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has rejected the appeal from Apple, stating that it had "considered Apple's remaining arguments and find them unpersuasive." As a result, Apple is responsible for the 5.3% import duties on the iPad 2 Smart Cover.

The case centers around two models of the company's Smart Cover -- plastic models and leather ones. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol classified the former Smart Cover models as "articles of plastic," which are subject to the aforementioned import duties.

Apple first challenged the classification in July 2013, before losing the tariff challenge in March 2019. The company then filed an appeal in May 2019 to challenge that classification, arguing that the Smart Cover models should be classified as duty-free "parts and accessories" for its iPad lineup.

The Cupertino tech giant first announced the Smart Cover in 2011 alongside the iPad 2. It kept them on the roster until 2013, when it discontinued the models.

In addition to import duties, Apple has faced potential tariff threats from a U.S.-China Trade War over the past few years. It avoided iPhone, iPad and Mac tariffs in December 2019, and the U.S. eventually lifted tariffs on Apple Watches in March.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,822member
    I still use my iPad 2 every day. It serves (wonderfully!) as the AV controller for my home theatre system using the iControlAV5 app for my Pioneer VSX-50 Elite. The original bazillion button remote control unit died years ago but the iPad 2 is the Energizer bunny of iPads that just keeps on running and running. Yeah, I could run the app of any of my iOS devices, but the iPad 2 is worth about negative 100 dollars to Apple but has delivered nothing but value to me in its current role. All of my other iPads of similar vintage have died due to video failures or battery bloat. 
    edited July 2020 williamlondonfrantisek
  • Reply 2 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    These tariffs are meant to prevent Chinese manufacturers from flooding US markets with ultra-low cost products which would knock out US suppliers. Both countries engage in tit-for-tat tariffs on all kinds of products.
    ronn
  • Reply 3 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,466member
    These tariffs are meant to prevent Chinese manufacturers from flooding US markets with ultra-low cost products which would knock out US suppliers. Both countries engage in tit-for-tat tariffs on all kinds of products.
    At least Apple tries to fight the bullshit while others just cow-tow to the crooked politicians and corrupt bureaucracy. They may lose sometimes but I applaud their tenacity and willingness to fight it out. Same goes for the corrupt patent system this country relies on. It's nothing but a money maker for some who don't want to work for a living.
    edited July 2020
  • Reply 4 of 21
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,745member
    Beats said:
    Apple is like a male in court.

    Judge automatically wants to punish and fine Apple.
    Cry me a river. For what reasons does Apple justify an exemption?
    Beats
  • Reply 5 of 21
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,085member
    Beats said:
    Apple is like a male in court.

    Judge automatically wants to punish and fine Apple.
    What does being a male in court have to do with Apple?  In addition to myself, I know many males who have had good experiences being in a courtroom. Sure I have been on court for speeding, but I didn’t blame the court for finding me at fault because I was. 

    Apple may have been right, and followed the law in their appeal and lost. What’s really surprising is just how slow the wheels of justice turned in this case. Apple will file this under “You win some, you lose some.” and move
    on. 
    Beats
  • Reply 6 of 21
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,531member
    crowley said:
    Beats said:
    Apple is like a male in court.

    Judge automatically wants to punish and fine Apple.
    Cry me a river. For what reasons does Apple justify an exemption?

    The point is Apple has become a target because of their cash pile. Common sense my simp!


    Beats said:
    Apple is like a male in court.

    Judge automatically wants to punish and fine Apple.
    What does being a male in court have to do with Apple?  In addition to myself, I know many males who have had good experiences being in a courtroom. Sure I have been on court for speeding, but I didn’t blame the court for finding me at fault because I was. 

    Apple may have been right, and followed the law in their appeal and lost. What’s really surprising is just how slow the wheels of justice turned in this case. Apple will file this under “You win some, you lose some.” and move
    on. 

    Being a target.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,341member
    Beats said:
    Apple is like a male in court.

    Judge automatically wants to punish and fine Apple.
    Found the divorced guy.   
    chasmDeelronentropys
  • Reply 8 of 21
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,937member
    eriamjh said:
    Beats said:
    Apple is like a male in court.

    Judge automatically wants to punish and fine Apple.
    Found the divorced guy.   
    Or the incel...
    chasmBeats
  • Reply 9 of 21
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member
    Based on the information in the article, I can see both arguments. The iPad 2 cover was predominately plastic, yes (with magnets et al also). However, it is most definitely an accessory for only the iPad 2, and therefore would indeed fall under the "parts and accessories" exception. Without knowing the full breadth of the arguments in court for and against, I have to bow to the two rulings that it was more qualified for the tariff than disqualified for it. As it was a short-lived product, I expect the amount of money they owe can be paid by digging around in the executive lounge couch.
    edited July 2020
  • Reply 10 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    lkrupp said:
    These tariffs are meant to prevent Chinese manufacturers from flooding US markets with ultra-low cost products which would knock out US suppliers. Both countries engage in tit-for-tat tariffs on all kinds of products.
    At least Apple tries to fight the bullshit while others just cow-tow to the crooked politicians and corrupt bureaucracy. They may lose sometimes but I applaud their tenacity and willingness to fight it out. Same goes for the corrupt patent system this country relies on. It's nothing but a money maker for some who don't want to work for a living.
    I get the criticisms of the USPTO, but since IP is recognized as property in our system then it has many of the characteristics which make tangible property valuable, namely transferability. If a patent holder decides to sell their property to another party and that party is able to properly exploit the IP to make a profit, that’s a legitimate business.
    edited July 2020
  • Reply 11 of 21
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,531member
    bageljoey said:
    eriamjh said:
    Beats said:
    Apple is like a male in court.

    Judge automatically wants to punish and fine Apple.
    Found the divorced guy.   
    Or the incel...

    Love it when weak men make statements personal.

    And yes, divorced men get destroyed in court so there's truth to that joke. Ironic when your insult just proves my point......
    edited July 2020
  • Reply 12 of 21
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,531member
    chasm said:
    Based on the information in the article, I can see both arguments. The iPad 2 cover was predominately plastic, yes (with magnets et al also). However, it is most definitely an accessory for only the iPad 2, and therefore would indeed fall under the "parts and accessories" exception. Without knowing the full breadth of the arguments in court for and against, I have to bow to the two rulings that it was more qualified for the tariff than disqualified for it. As it was a short-lived product, I expect the amount of money they owe can be paid by digging around in the executive lounge couch.
    I think 90% of these lawsuits are useless and an attack on Apple. Excuses to put their hand in Apple's stash.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,745member
    Beats said:
    crowley said:
    Beats said:
    Apple is like a male in court.

    Judge automatically wants to punish and fine Apple.
    Cry me a river. For what reasons does Apple justify an exemption?

    The point is Apple has become a target because of their cash pile. Common sense my simp!
    But Apple is the one asking for the exemption. They're not a target, they're asking for special treatment.

     Why are you calling me a simp? That insult, aside from being pathetic internet nonsense, isn't at all relevant here. Apple isn't pussy and I'm not trying to impress it.
    edited July 2020 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 21
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    Worst cover ever. Does not protects edges. My new iPad shattered when I dropped it with this cover on. It looked great though 
  • Reply 15 of 21
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,005member
    Beats said:
    chasm said:
    Based on the information in the article, I can see both arguments. The iPad 2 cover was predominately plastic, yes (with magnets et al also). However, it is most definitely an accessory for only the iPad 2, and therefore would indeed fall under the "parts and accessories" exception. Without knowing the full breadth of the arguments in court for and against, I have to bow to the two rulings that it was more qualified for the tariff than disqualified for it. As it was a short-lived product, I expect the amount of money they owe can be paid by digging around in the executive lounge couch.
    I think 90% of these lawsuits are useless and an attack on Apple. Excuses to put their hand in Apple's stash.
    Did you read the article?  Apple filed the lawsuit. 
  • Reply 16 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,575member
    Beats said:
    Apple is like a male in court.

    Judge automatically wants to punish and fine Apple.
    WTF are you talking about? A male? Do you mean a black male in drug court?
  • Reply 17 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,575member

    jd_in_sb said:
    Worst cover ever. Does not protects edges. My new iPad shattered when I dropped it with this cover on. It looked great though 
    Not at all what it's for. Plenty of cases to protect for that. This is a screen cover.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,756member
    Shouldn’t an ‘article’ be an independent item. I’m pretty sure without an iPad, the cover is useless which would clearly make it an accessory.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,756member
    Beats said:
    Apple is like a male in court.

    Judge automatically wants to punish and fine Apple.
    WTF are you talking about? A male? Do you mean a black male in drug court?
    Any male, for any charge. As society self-victimises they need an oppressor to blame, that’s us.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,045member
    jd_in_sb said:
    Worst cover ever. Does not protects edges. My new iPad shattered when I dropped it with this cover on. It looked great though 
    No it doesn't because that's not what covers are for.  People who purchase a cover and not a compatible case do so generally because 

    they already have a compatible case
    they plan on getting a compatible case
    they know the difference between a case and a cover
    they think they'll never need anything more than a cover

    Apple has made odd choices as to what gets a case and what doesn't, and has drastically reduced case availability for their phone and pads, leaving that for the most part to third-parties. There's a lot of third party schlock outside of the Garden.

    steve_jobs
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