Apple sued over power adapters, store receipt concerns

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64
    suhailsuhail Posts: 192member
    "?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?
  • Reply 2 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.
  • Reply 3 of 64
    murphywebmurphyweb Posts: 295member
    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!
  • Reply 4 of 64
    bauchbauch Posts: 20member
    What the hell is this power adaptor stuff? Apple has had those for a LONG time now, certainly before 2004.
  • Reply 5 of 64
    citycity Posts: 522member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 64
    citycity Posts: 522member
    I am going to sue my bank because my credit card number is embossed on my credit card where anyone could see it.
  • Reply 7 of 64
    ginjgginjg Posts: 9member
    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?
  • Reply 8 of 64
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Null.
  • Reply 9 of 64
    wallywally Posts: 211member
    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?
  • Reply 9 of 64
    michaelbmichaelb Posts: 242member
    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
  • Reply 11 of 64
    wallywally Posts: 211member
    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.



  • Reply 12 of 64
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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.
  • Reply 13 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.
  • Reply 14 of 64
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,080member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 64
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    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!
  • Reply 16 of 64
    heyjpheyjp Posts: 39member
    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
  • Reply 17 of 64
    eduardoeduardo Posts: 181member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 64
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    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.
  • Reply 19 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!
  • Reply 20 of 64
    citycity Posts: 522member
    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!
Sign In or Register to comment.