Lawsuit Against Apple Over the Words "Buy" and "Selling"

Lawsuit Against Apple Over the Words "Buy" and "Selling"

A lawsuit against Apple regarding the definition of the words "buy" and "sale" may change how electronic content providers make it available to their users, legal experts commented in an interview with PAP on the recent legal troubles of the Cupertino concern.

Managed by Tim Cook, the Apple concern based in Cupertino produces electronic equipment (including iPhones and iPads) and distributes software and electronic content for entertainment on its platforms (including iOS, Apple Music). In the US, the company received two class actions to cut off access to user-purchased software and other high-value materials - in one case exceeding $ 25,000. USD - as a result of blocking their accounts.

The parties complaining about the company believe that it is misusing the words "buy" and "lease", using them as part of unfair advertising practices, thereby misleading consumers. According to the reasons, the purchase of software on Apple's digital platform does not mean that it becomes the property of the user. As they note, the company has the ability to cut off access to purchased goods and services, for example by blocking the Apple ID account to which all digital goods purchased by a given person are assigned.

In an interview with PAP, experts in the field of law - legal advisor Damian Sawicki from Sawicki Legal and legal advisor Tomasz Palak, who runs his own law office and website - assessed that these cases could change the way electronic content providers make them available to their users.

Analyzing the lawsuits against Apple, Palak stated that "the case may also be reflected in Poland" because "we use analogous solutions to the questioned solution". According to the specialist, "its success may be related to, for example, a change of name or an additional reservation + incomplete purchase + by technological giants".

The legal adviser assessed that he would expect a uniform change in all countries. "However, Polish law also has regulations in its repertoire that could be a hit point against suppliers in this situation. As in the case of the USA, these are quite general and evaluative regulations in the field of market and competition protection."


The expert mentioned here, for example, recognizing the misleading marking of services as an act of unfair competition (Article 3 (2) of the Act on Combating Unfair Competition) or the concept of misleading advertising that may affect the decision to purchase services described in the same Act. "Such actions may also include Articles 4 and 5 of the Act on Counteracting Unfair Market Practices, referring to misrepresentation resulting in a purchase" - explained Tomasz Palak.

According to the expert, "it is worth following the course of cases because their impact on our market - regardless of whether it is direct or indirect - is very likely".

Commenting on the proceedings against the Cupertino concern for PAP, legal counsel Damian Sawicki stated that they are interesting because "they concern the way in which the company makes digital content available to its users and the understanding of the concept of + BUY + by the average user".

According to Sawicki, "if the case is ultimately settled in favor of the user, it could have a wide impact on the market and change the way Apple and other electronic content providers make it available to their users." (PAP)

Author: Małgorzata Fraser

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