Apple Is Still Trying To Sue the Owner of an Independent iPhone Repair Shop – Slashdot


An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Despite initially losing the case last year, Apple is continuing its legal pursuit against the owner of a small, independent iPhone repair shop in Norway. Apple is attempting to hold the repair shop owner liable for importing what it says are counterfeit iPhone screens into his home country of Norway. Last year, Apple sued Henrik Huseby, the owner of an independent smartphone repair shop called PCKompaniet in the town of Ski, Norway. Apple sent Huseby a letter notifying him that a shipment of 63 iPhone 6 and 6S screens had been seized by Norwegian customs, and said that he must pay the company $3,566 and admit wrongdoing to avoid being sued. Huseby refused, Apple sued him, and the case went to court.

At issue in the case is the definition of what makes an aftermarket part “counterfeit.” The screens that Huseby purchased were refurbished, he said, and were never advertised as official Apple parts and were thus not counterfeit. Apple logos on the screen were painted over, and wouldn’t be visible anyway to anyone who used a repaired iPhone (the logos would face the inside of the phone.) In April 2018, the court decided that because the logos were not visible, Apple’s trademark hadn’t been violated, andHuseby won the case. Apple appealed that decision, however, and the case was reheard by a higher Norwegian court on Monday and Tuesday, leading right to repair activists to wonder why the most valuable company in the world continues to go after a small business owner over a paltry sum of money. “If he loses, the court would be saying you cannot import refurbished screens, and also, Apple doesn’t provide original screens,” said Kaja Juul Skarbo, who works for Restarters Norway, a group that organizes repair parties in the country. “So then, how is that a resolution? Obviously, independent repairers would not have the spare parts they need in order to be able to do the repairs. The consequence could be that you can’t do independent repair anymore.”

Janet Gunter, co-founder of the UK’s Restart Project, which advocates DIY repair in Europe, speculates that Apple could be testing the waters — that if it is able to win against Huseby, other independent repair company owners who use aftermarket parts could be next.