Apple’s Latest Legal Drama May Change Future of iOS Apps – Video

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Speaker 1: Apple’s latest legal dramas could soon change Basic things that we know about Apple, like how we pay for things in the app store, or how we download apps on the iPhone, or how Apple can own the rights to any image of an apple. It’s been a short week with the holiday, but it doesn’t seem Apple’s legal team got much of a break lately. There’s always one more legal thing in the news when it comes to Apple this week especially. So let’s do a quick overview of what is going Keep Apple’s lawyers busy between their summer barbecues July 4th judicial system. It’s patriotic. [00:00:30] You see, I like a theme. I’m Bridget Carey, and this is one more thing. Apple kicked off the week saying that it was not done fighting Fortnite maker Epic games. Apple said in a court filing that it is asking the US Supreme Court to hear its appeal in the Epic Games antitrust case.

Speaker 1: Yeah, the one you thought was settled in 2021. The judge back then ruled that Apple cannot stop developers from including links in their apps so they could steer people to alternative payment sites outside of the Apple App Store. Of course, that means it [00:01:00] would deprive Apple of the commission. It charges up to 30% for sales of digital items, items like movie subscriptions or for a character’s outfit in a game. Epic Games originally sued Apple in 2020 over how Apple forced fees for in-app payments. Well, since then there have been petitions for appeals. The latest was rejected by the San Francisco based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, so we’re just gonna have to wait and see if the Supreme Court will hear the case. Not all of Apple’s legal issues [00:01:30] are in the United States, but even issues abroad have effects for Americans when it deals with Apple and how it designs its iPhone and its software.

Speaker 1: The latest drama brewing is in the European Union with a law called the Digital Markets Act, and it affects the largest tech companies. We’re talking companies with more than 45 million monthly active users and 82 billion in market capitalization. Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook’s, meta, Microsoft. These are all companies that say they fall into this category, and that’s as Reuters is reporting. [00:02:00] The DMA rules say that any tech company that fits that category has to make their messaging app interoperate with rivals. It also means the company can have favor its apps over another or prevent users from removing pre-installed software or apps. And these rules start next year on March 6th, but there are theories on how this could be interpreted. If Apple can’t play favorites with its own apps, does that mean Apple would have to allow side loading apps from other apps stores? It means Apple wouldn’t get a cut of the sale, but it could [00:02:30] open up the iPhone to possible malware if you can download something from outside of the Apple walled garden.

Speaker 1: And there are more questions since the DMA only covers devices. Apps, the services being purchased in one of the 27 countries that are part of the eu. So does this mean anyone buying an iPhone outside of that country like the UK and the us? Would they have a different experience? Things get weird in one bit of the DMA wording, and it actually may be a way out for Apple. It has to do with protecting the security [00:03:00] of its users. Basically, if Apple says the only way to prevent malware is to keep you locked into the Apple App Store, well then maybe Apple can keep its walled garden to a degree. There’s also some weirdness in how iMessage would change in this since DMA rules that all messaging apps have to be interoperable with each other. And does that mean if I text someone on iMessage, it can go to someone’s WhatsApp chat?

Speaker 1: I think we’re gonna get more arguments here from Apple about security. Not all Apple lawyers are fighting in courtrooms. There were also [00:03:30] patent lawyers quite busy these days. Just this week, the site patently Apple reports that the US Patent and Trademark Office published a series of 56 newly granted patents for Apple. One new idea that may raise your eyebrow. Apple now has a patent for a textured glass finish giving a roughness to the surface of glass. The idea being that this will give you a grip on the back of the phone and to think in the future, we may all pay to be trendy and have phones with rough glass when today you could have it for free just by dropping your phone. [00:04:00] Finally, if you like legal dramas, you’re gonna wanna check out a Reese’s story from Wired about a trademark battle in Switzerland.

Speaker 1: The report says Apple applied for the rights to own the everyday image of an apple. We’re talking about a black and white image of a Granny Smith apple that you can buy anywhere, not just the bitten Apple logo that you know the bitten apple that’s on the back of MacBooks. No Apple wants the intellectual property rights to an image of an apple. Now, the Swiss Institute of Intellectual Property [00:04:30] said generic images of common goods like apples are in the public domain. But in the spring, apple launched an appeal. It could take months for the courts to reach a decision here, and there are a bunch of Swiss apple farmers that are getting a little concerned if they need to worry about how they brand their fruit. But according to the wired reporter, apple has won the rights to images of apples in other locations, including Israel, Japan, the eu, and the African Union. How do you like them? Apples sound off in the comments. I’ll catch you next week.

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