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Apple Suffers From Legal Woes and ‘Touch Disease’

October 15, 2016, 1:30 PM UTC
Unboxing Apple Inc. iPhone 6s
An Apple Inc. iPhone 6s smartphone is arranged for a photograph in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. The latest models, following last year's hugely popular design overhaul that added bigger screens, may not match the success of previous releases, according to analysts. Photographer: Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Xaume Olleros — Bloomberg via Getty Images

An Apple a Day is a weekly roundup of the biggest Apple news this week. To see last week’s roundup, click here.

This week, much of the Apple talk centered on the company’s legal troubles.

For instance, Apple finally litigated its patent-infringement case against Samsung in the highest court in the U.S. The case could have a profound impact on the smartphone industry and Apple’s ability to take aim at other smartphone makers in the future. Meanwhile, a class-action lawsuit is rapidly developing over an alleged iPhone “Touch Disease.” And in Australia, Apple fired “several” employees for allegedly participating in a “photo-sharing ring” that would rate women on a 1-10 scale.

Simply put, this has been an awfully litigious week for Apple (AAPL). And for the first time in several weeks, some of the spotlight was taken from its iPhone and other hardware.

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Read on for more on the company’s legal woes and other big stories out of Cupertino this week:

  1. Apple and Samsung went toe to toe in their long-awaited U.S. Supreme Court battle over patent design. The iPhone maker is defending earlier rulings that Samsung @Samsung (SSNLF) violates its patents related to its handset, including the device’s design and icon layout. Samsung, meanwhile, says the patents are broad and should not hold up in court. The Supreme Court, which will issue a decision in December or January, grilled both Apple and Samsung in what promises to be a landmark ruling on smartphone design and functionality.
  2. The class-action lawsuit against Apple over the so-called iPhone “Touch Disease” has reached a new milestone. Earlier this week, three more law firms signed on to sue Apple and opened another class-action lawsuit in Utah, complementing the one already filed in California. The case centers on allegations that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that launched in 2014 came with a design defect that causes the smartphones’ touch screens to stop working after regular use.
  3. Apple fired “several” retail store employees in a Brisbane, Australia location. The firings came after allegations surfaced saying they were taking and stealing photographs of women, sharing them with each other, and ranking the women on a scale of 1-10. While earlier reports said customers were affected in addition to employees, Apple says its customers were not targeted.
  4. There was some good news for Apple after a study was published in JAMA Cardiology finding that the Apple Watch is far more accurate at measuring heart activity than any other wrist wearable. The researchers found that Apple Watch was 90% accurate when measuring heart activity, compared to scores in the low-80% for competing devices from Fitbit, Mio, and others. The most accurate tool for measuring heart activity, however, is a chest strap monitor, which has an accuracy rate of 99%.
  5. In other Apple Watch news, the wearable has been banned from U.K. cabinet meetings. U.K. prime minister Theresa May banned Apple Watch from the meetings over concerns that Russians could hack the device and listen in on conversations. Apple’s iPhone has already been banned from cabinet meetings.
  6. Apple quietly updated its website, announcing that the Apple Watch Nike+ will be released on Oct. 28. The smartwatch was designed by both Apple and Nike as part of a broader push by the companies to target athletes and anyone else looking to analyze their activity levels with Apple Watch and Nike’s help. The device’s price starts at $369.
  7. Apple is pushing ahead with its planned expansion in China. The company said that it will open a research-and-development center in Shenzhen, allowing Apple to work more closely with its manufacturing partners in the country. The news comes just days after Apple said it would open another research-and-development center in Beijing.
  8. Apple’s stock price hit a new high after shares jumped 2.2% to $116.59. At that level, Apple’s shares hit their highest point since December. The gains came as competitor Samsung’s shares fell 1.5% on the company’s ongoing troubles with the exploding Galaxy Note 7.

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One more thing… Interested in hearing what former Apple CEO John Sculley thinks of the iPhone maker, Steve Jobs, and the future of technology? Fortune published an exclusive interview with Sculley on those topics and more. Check it out.