Presiding Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers ruled Monday that the iPod/iTunes AntiTrust case will continue, even though there aren’t any plaintiffs left.
The judge denied Apple’s motion to dismiss the suit, saying she has a responsibility to the 8 million iPod owners potentially affected by Apple’s alleged monopoly. The judge says if the lawyers suing Apple can find one of the 8 million people said to have bought an iPod affected by the DRM updates in question by Tuesday, the trial will be allowed to proceed.
The lawyers say they have already located several people who may be willing to step in as plaintiffs. Apple’s own team of barristers will then attempt to determine if the new plaintiffs are eligible to represent the class involved in the suit. If none of the new plaintiffs are found to be eligible, the suit could be dismissed.
The final plaintiff, Marianna Rosen was found to have purchased her devices via a credit card assigned to her husband’s Rosen Law Firm. Because of that, she is not legally considered to be the buyer of the iPods, and could not sue Apple.
In order to claim injury, all plaintiffs need to prove they purchased iPods personally, not through a business.
The class-action lawsuit is seeking $350 million in damages, charging that Apple’s use of FairPlay digital rights management created a monopoly with the iPod and iTunes Music Store. U.S. antitrust laws could triple the damages to over $1 billion if Apple is found to have been culpable.