Judge in iPod Antitrust Case: Find a New Plaintiff

The years-old antitrust class action lawsuit alleging Apple intentionally locked competitors out of the iPod to control the portable media player market will continue, at least for now. U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzales ruled the final plaintiff in the case hadn't purchased an iPod during the necessary time frame, then gave attorneys until Tuesday to find new plaintiffs.

Attorneys are on the hunt for new plaintiffs for their iPod antitrust lawsuitAttorneys are on the hunt for new plaintiffs for their iPod antitrust lawsuit

The lawsuit alleged Apple crafted its FairPlay copy protection software to block competitors from loading music from their services onto iPods, then routinely updated the software to delete those songs when workarounds were discovered. Plaintiffs in the case needed to purchase an iPod between September 2006 and March 2009, and it turns out none of the the people named in the case actually did.

Apple's motion to dismiss the case was denied, then the Judge said attorneys had until today to present new plaintiffs, according the San Jose Mercury News. Considering how many iPods were sold during the required time frame, that shouldn't be a difficult task.

Once new plaintiffs are presented to the court, Apple's legal team will have the opportunity to verify whether or not they purchased qualifying iPods during the required time frame.

The final plaintiff in the case was the wife of one of the attorneys targeting Apple. Her iPod, it turns out, was purchased by the law firm and deemed ineligible for the lawsuit because she hadn't purchased it herself.

Apple's legal team is fine with the hunt for a new plaintiff despite their motion to dismiss the case. "We want to win this case on the merits, and we think we're going to," said Apple attorney William Isaacson.