Case against Apple continues despite judge ruling out all accusing plaintiffs

9 Dec 2014

Classic iPod image via Wikimedia Commons

The case against consumer tech giant Apple by MP3 player developers continues, despite the fact all of the plaintiffs have been struck out, with the judge calling for a new plaintiff.

The case had garnered considerable attention after it was announced Apple’s former chief executive, Steve Jobs, was to posthumously appear as a witness in the case brought to an Oakland, California, court by companies who felt Apple had squeezed other MP3 players out of the market.

According to the companies’ legal team, these companies had lost at least US$350m in revenue due to Apple’s FairPlay copyright software built into iTunes. The software prevented music being sent to other devices, which meant other MP3 players were unable to compete, the legal team claimed.

However, in just over a week, US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has disqualified all the accusing plaintiffs in the case, but has called for the case to continue with a new plaintiff, even though Apple has called for the case to be dismissed.

Eight million iPods is the figure that has been mooted as the number affected by the restrictive software between 2006 and 2009. Last remaining plaintiff, Marianna Rosen, had purchased several iPods, claiming to have been affected by the restrictions, but Apple’s lawyers were able to rule out these iPods as being among the affected devices.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Bonny Sweeney, claims plaintiffs are lining up to step in their place.

“There are plaintiffs who stand willing and ready to step in and we will have them in court tomorrow,” Sweeney said to the judge.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic