Class action certification denied in iPhone 6, 6 Plus "touch disease" case, aftermarket pa...

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 11
The "right to repair" movement was dealt a blow on Tuesday when a federal court judge declined to certify a class in a lawsuit against Apple regarding its handling of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus "touch disease" problems. That same day, a prominent activist and repair professional who helped identify the issue, and subsequently testified in the class action, saw a batch of aftermarket iPhone screens seized.




In a ruling issued this week, District Judge Lucy H. Koh denied two separate motions from the plaintiffs to be certified as a class in the case, as well as an additional motion for injunctive relief. The suit alleges Apple failed to disclose an iPhone 6 and 6 Plus design defect that caused touchscreen problems, a minor controversy later dubbed "touch disease."

In the case of Davidson et al v. Apple, Inc., Judge Koh ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to meet the preponderance requirement to be certified as a class, because "adjudication of the certified issues would not advance the resolution of the underlying case," and because the "plaintiffs' perfunctory request for Rule 23(c)(4) certification fails to show why certification would materially advance the litigation as a whole."

The original suit, which claimed that Apple knew about the "touch disease" defect prior to the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, was filed in 2016, with more law firms joining the suit later that year.

Koh is the same judge who has presided over various Apple-related cases in the past, including its long-running litigation with Samsung; she is frequently assigned such cases for jurisdictional reasons.

In a purportedly unrelated action, the government seized aftermarket iPhone parts from Jessa Jones, a prominent figure in the right to repair community. Jones is a repair shop owner who helped to pinpoint "touch disease" at the time of the iPhone 6's release; she has been frequently quoted in the media on the topic.

According to Motherboard Jones, who had given a deposition in the Davidson case, had iPhone screens and other parts seized from her this week by Customs and Border Patrol agents. The parts, which are a gray market amalgamation of refurbished screens with an authentic Apple flex cable, are deemed counterfeit and therefore cannot be imported or sold in the U.S.

A fairly common occurrence in the independent repair business, critics claim parts seizures are used by Apple and other companies exert control over the repair market.

At question is what constitutes a counterfeit part. In the case of Jones' shipment, the flex cables on the hybrid iPhone screens bore an Apple logo, thus making resale in the U.S. impermissible. According to a letter Jones received from the CBP, the government shares that view.

"Customs and Border Protection Regulations provide that any article imported into the United States bearing a counterfeit trademark shall be seized and, in the absence of the written consent of the trademark owner, forfeited for violation of the Customs laws," the agency wrote.

Jones and others argue the action is not sufficiently backed by trademark laws; the screens are typically not marketed as "genuine" Apple parts, nor is the tiny logo visible to the consumer following repair.

Jones believes she was targeted by Apple for her contributions to the class action suit, but a CBP official denies those claims, the report said.

Apple has been waging an ongoing battle with right to repair advocates who are fighting for legal precedent to fix their own devices without the help of authorized Apple repair centers. Such authority would require Apple to supply third parties with authentic parts, manuals, tools and other material necessary to perform repairs on its devices.

In April, Apple was defeated in Norwegian court after attempting to stop an independent repair shop owner from using "counterfeit" iPhone 6 and 6S screens sourced from the Chinese gray market. Like similar cases in the U.S., Apple's argument hinged on logos that appeared on the refurbished components.
Alex1N

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,294member
    Good win for Apple. When these counterfeit parts don’t work right or cause failures later on who gets the blame? Apple of course, that shitty Apple who makes shitty products that don’t work. The repair shop doesn’t get blamed, Apple does because their logo is on the part.
    tmaymwhiteracerhomie3radarthekatAlex1NGeorgeBMacmacxpressStargate70jony0axcoatl
  • Reply 2 of 16
    So all you need to do is scrape off the Apple logo off of the flex cable?

    I would be careful messing with Jessa Jones. She probably knows there are more skeletons in Apple's closet.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 106member
    Another point worth mentioning is that stolen iPhones are a source of ‘counterfeit’ parts. To require genuine Apple sourced parts is another tool for deterring thefts.
    muthuk_vanalingamAlex1NStargate70applesnoranges
  • Reply 4 of 16
    MisterKit said:
    Another point worth mentioning is that stolen iPhones are a source of ‘counterfeit’ parts. To require genuine Apple sourced parts is another tool for deterring thefts.
    I don't think so. They would need to steal
    a ton of phones to make a decent amount of displays. The phone carriers are a good source. When you use your carrier insurance, they take your broken genuine Apple product and replace it with a franken iPhone. The broken iPhone gets disassembled and the parts are harvested from it.

    Another source could be stealing from the supply chain. Apple can audit their chain, but what happens when someone takes genuine Apple components to another factory to make counterfeit ones? Does the supplier lie about how many parts are missing if any? How would Apple know if it's a small enough amount that they wouldn't notice?
  • Reply 5 of 16
    pacificfilmpacificfilm Posts: 116member

    I would be careful messing with Jessa Jones. She probably knows there are more skeletons in Apple's closet.
    A repair shop owner that knowingly substituted knock-off (not even counterfeit) parts and didn’t reveal source to customer can be considered guilty similar to counterfeited cases with fake label. I doubt this person puts ANY fear into Apple. Future court filings and findings may alter third party repair issues but the counterfeiting, knowingly done, is considered illegal.
    Stargate70
  • Reply 6 of 16

    I would be careful messing with Jessa Jones. She probably knows there are more skeletons in Apple's closet.
    A repair shop owner that knowingly substituted knock-off (not even counterfeit) parts and didn’t reveal source to customer can be considered guilty similar to counterfeited cases with fake label. I doubt this person puts ANY fear into Apple. Future court filings and findings may alter third party repair issues but the counterfeiting, knowingly done, is considered illegal.
    No they can't, otherwise Apple would have shut down 3rd party displays back when the iPhone 5 was around.  In fact, Apple understands that 3rd party repair shops exist in places where there isn't an authorized repair place or an Apple Store. They used to say that if you use a 3rd party display, you have no warranty. Now they say a 3rd party display does not necessarily put the device out of warranty unless the display was the cause of the issue. Now the only 3rd party part that will definitely put your device out of warranty AND deny any service is a 3rd party battery. 
    [Deleted User]
  • Reply 7 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,760member
    Good results all ‘round.
    Stargate70
  • Reply 8 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,746member
    MisterKit said:
    Another point worth mentioning is that stolen iPhones are a source of ‘counterfeit’ parts. To require genuine Apple sourced parts is another tool for deterring thefts.
    Huh?  So how are parts designed, manufactured and sold by Apple "counterfeit"?

    True, they are (mostly) stolen, used products.  But they are not counterfeit.
    [Deleted User]
  • Reply 9 of 16
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,544member
    lkrupp said:
    Good win for Apple. When these counterfeit parts don’t work right or cause failures later on who gets the blame? Apple of course, that shitty Apple who makes shitty products that don’t work. The repair shop doesn’t get blamed, Apple does because their logo is on the part.
    This is exactly why I think its a very bad idea to allow Joe's iPhone Repair to fix your phone. Take it to Apple, have Apple parts put in it and have it done right. I never recommend people take their phone to the mall kiosk to get their screen replaced or something else. Find an Authorized Apple Service Center and get it done right. It will save you headaches down the road and yes you're exactly right, when something does go wrong after the repair its this iPhone is a POS! (And thats not point of sale)

    There are places other than Apple where you can take your phone and get it fixed that are authorized to service them. I understand some may live in rural areas that don't have Apple repair shops near by, but you can also always send your phone in. Sure, you're without your phone for a week but you were most like the one who broke it anyways so its your own fault. 
    Stargate70
  • Reply 10 of 16
    Apple completely sucks, and this is from a guy that has owned Apple Products since the Lisa. They've turned almost communist towards their clients. I just brought in a 2013 macbook (long past warranty ) to have my battery replaced. I dont care about the cost, it was reasonable but when they opened it up, they detected "Water Damage" and refused to replace the battery. I said, I'm not holding you responsible for anything that happens to my macbook, can you just replace the battery. Again, they refused to replace the battery and said I need to send it out for a total logic board replacement. That was over 1 month ago, and I'm typing this on my laptop without any issues. I found a repair shop that took care of me. However, Im really not loving Apple anymore. Sure quality build, quality product but you pay for that in the premium price.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 244member
    Right to repair and require Apple and other brands to sell parts to aftermarket shops? Yes. Using parts with an Apple logo not from Apple? No way. Requiring clear and obvious disclosure of aftermarket parts and voiding any warranty? Absolutely. This class action crap is little more than the usual vulture low-life lawyer routine that attempts to find a target with deep pockets and pick them empty. In the end the aggrieved party gets next to nothing and rarely ends up with anything resembling full restitution for any damages or losses suffered. Dead lawyer jokes are not popular because they bear no link to behavior of attorneys going after these kinds of cases. It is little more than a much bigger version of ambulance chasing. It's as bad as the pharmaceutical companies advertising drugs on TV or actual ambulance chasers like Morgan & Morgan or Sean King. Iif you live anywhere near Florida you know who those disgusting creeps are.
    sflocal
  • Reply 12 of 16
    MisterKit said:
    Another point worth mentioning is that stolen iPhones are a source of ‘counterfeit’ parts. To require genuine Apple sourced parts is another tool for deterring thefts.
    Another point worth mentioning is - stolen Apple part does NOT mean that that part was certified by Apple! How do you know where that part was taken from in terms of a manufacturing pipeline? Was it taken before a final certification and “all clear” checks or after?
    edited May 12
  • Reply 13 of 16
    flydogflydog Posts: 93member
    MisterKit said:
    Another point worth mentioning is that stolen iPhones are a source of ‘counterfeit’ parts. To require genuine Apple sourced parts is another tool for deterring thefts.
    Right because no one would peddle in counterfeit parts to make a few bucks.  🙄
  • Reply 14 of 16
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 572member
    IIIRC, the Norwegian case was different in that the parts had Apple identifiers covered or otherwise removed/obscured so they were not being marketed as genuine Apple parts. That’s a different situation from a shop that purchases black market counterfeit parts and tries to pass them off as genuine. 
  • Reply 15 of 16
    majorslmajorsl Posts: 39unconfirmed, member
    MisterKit said:
    Another point worth mentioning is that stolen iPhones are a source of ‘counterfeit’ parts. To require genuine Apple sourced parts is another tool for deterring thefts.
    Huh?  So how are parts designed, manufactured and sold by Apple "counterfeit"?

    True, they are (mostly) stolen, used products.  But they are not counterfeit.
    Exactly. Most have just had the outer glass replaced, the LCD and cable are original OEM parts.  Not counterfeit, "refurbished" is a better word.  Although, I'm sure there are those who consider a 3rd party inanimate piece of glass that wasn't touched by the hands of Apple to be subpar.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    To the guy above who complained Apple had turned communist because they wouldn’t change his battery in his liquid damaged MacBook Pro without replacing another liquid damaged part, the logic board, and to everyone else, consider the following:

    After having service performed by Apple, or an authorised 3rd party service provider, your device has warranty on it. If you brought your iPhone in for a battery repair but the tech brakes something, the whole phone gets replaced. If your screen starts cutting in and out on your MacBook after they did an unrelated repair, you’re covered. That is not the case with dodgy repair outfits - when something goes wrong you are on your own, and this gear is expensive and valuable on the used market. 

    Liquid damage corrodes things and gets worse over time. You can get lucky, but generally, things start failing. That’s why you have to replace corroded parts for the machine to be reliable long term even if that part is currently working. 
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