California resident Timothy Smith on Friday filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, alleging that the iPhone maker violated the state’s antitrust law. The suit was filed on behalf of Smith by Damian Fernandez, the attorney who’s been seeking plaintiffs for a class-action case against Apple over iPhone bricking.
Specifically, Timothy P. Smith v. Apple Inc. charges the iPhone maker with violating the Cartwright Act, because, according to the court papers, “Apple prohibits iPhone consumers from using and purchasing a cell phone service other than through AT&T.”
The suit also says that cell phone unlocking is completely legal, citing traditional copyright law as well as the more recent Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
In addition, Smith’s suit claims that “as a result of Apple’s unlawful and anti-competitive conduct, consumers continue to pay artificially inflated prices for the iPhone and AT&T’s cell phone service.”
Technology aside, the whole episode has clearly been a public-relations disaster for Apple. Earlier this week, I thought things had died down.
However, with the filing of this suit, it seems like the PR heat will continue.