A Florida court has dismissed a consumer lawsuit the alleged Apple had intentionally “broke” FaceTime on older iPhones to save on costs.
Bloomberg Law reports that a similar class-action lawsuit that was filed in 2017 in California claimed that Apple intentionally broke FaceTime in iOS 6 to force users to upgrade to iOS 7 so it could avoid making payments on a data deal with Akami. Apple agreed to settle that lawsuit back in February.
However, the Florida court on Tuesday ruled that claims against Apple did not meet timeliness requirements. U.S. District Court Judge Raag Singhal said the complainants had several chances to file a lawsuit against Apple but didn’t do so until August 2019.
The California and Florida lawsuits are similar in that when Apple launched FaceTime in 2010, it used two connection methods: one was a peer-to-peer method that created a direct connection between two iPhones, while the other was a relay method that used data servers owned and operated by Akamai Technologies.
After a 2012 court decision found that FaceTime’s peer-to-peer technology infringed on patents owned by VirnetX, Apple began to transition to the relay method. The increased usage of the relay method, caused Apple to be paying $50 million in fees to Akamai within a year.
Apple eventually developed a new non-infringing peer-to-peer technology that debuted alongside iOS 7. The class-action lawsuits alleged that Apple purposefully created a fake bug that caused a digital certificate to prematurely expire in April 2014, breaking FaceTIme for iOS 6 users.