LegalNews

Apple wants ‘frivolous’ lawsuit by Coronavirus Reporter dismissed

Apple has filed for dismissal of an US$800 million suit brought by by Coronavirus Reporter alleging that rejection of its app breached its contract with Apple and violated antitrust law, reports Law360.

The company’s lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss in a New Hampshire federal court, seeking to end a lawsuit brought against it by the developers of “Coronavirus Reporter.” They claim it’s a “cavalier” lawsuit.

The motion argued that Apple’s commitment to offering high-quality and reliable apps in its store took on added significance during the early days of the global coronavirus pandemic and that this required the company to evaluate apps to make sure they were credible and “supported by established medical and scientific institutions.”

“This case is borne of a developer’s dissatisfaction with Apple’s lawful efforts … to ensure the App Store was a place where consumers could find trustworthy and reliable coronavirus-related apps,” the motion said, adding that the claims “exhibit a cavalier disregard for the law and facts, and border on the frivolous.”

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the New Hampshire District and involves a smartphone application called “Coronavirus Reporter” that was denied entry to the App Store in March 2020. Coronavirus Reporter, the lawsuit claims, was developed by a team of healthcare and computer science experts in February 2020 to “capture and obtain critical biostatistical and epidemiological data as it happened.”

However, Apple wouldn’t allow the app on the App Store because the tech giant bars coronavirus-related apps that aren’t from recognized medical, government, or other institution. The app’s developers appealed to no avail.

They say Apple’s actions constitute violations of the anti-monopoly Sherman Act. They want an enjoinment on the alleged anti-competitive behavior; damages in excess of US$75,000; and a permanent injunction restraining Apple’s ability from “restricting reasonable applications.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.