“Apple Inc. quickly dispensed with a $1 billion lawsuit by iPod users claiming software updates for the device were meant to block competitors, as a jury ruled for the company after only three hours of deliberations.,” Karen Gullo and Robert Burnson report for Bloomberg News. “Changes to the player’s iTunes software were genuine improvements, jurors in Oakland, California said today, rather than attempts to prevent music sold by rival companies from working on the iPod. ”
“The verdict in the 2005 case came after a two-week trial in federal court that featured Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’s e-mails and videotaped testimony he gave six months before he died of cancer, in 2011,” Gullo and Burnson report. “In the trial, Apple argued that the updates, which enhanced security and guarded against hacking, were in the works two years before competitor RealNetworks Inc. started selling digital music. Claims that Apple “blew up” the iPods of customers who bought music from RealNetworks, to force them to purchase another iPod, were concocted by consumer lawyers who don’t understand iTunes technology, Apple lawyers said.”
“Juror Jerry Kaake said no evidence was produced showing that the software upgrades were intended to thwart RealNetworks, while Apple put on ample proof it was trying to enhance security, including a report from an outside security firm the iPod maker hired and the testimony of a company security executive,” Gullo and Burnson report. “Based on the verdict, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that that the plaintiffs failed to prove that Apple violated federal antitrust laws.”
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