Though it is set to wrap up this week, the drama in Apple's iPod antitrust case heated up again today as lawyers for each side gave their closing arguments. While lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that Apple had no right to restrict access to competing services and devices, Apple's lawyers simply stated that there was no basis for the case in the first place.
"They [Apple] don't believe that you own that iPod," Patrick Coughlin, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in court today. "They believe that they still have the right to choose for you what third-party player can play on a device that you bought and you own." Coughlin says Apple believed it had the right to "degrade your experience from a song you can play one day ... to one you can't play the next" when it shut out competing stores' MP3 files.
Apple's lawyers were quick to dismiss plaintiffs' claims, however:
Apple's defense? Those claims are more or less nonsense. "This is all made up. It's lawyer argument," said Bill Isaacson, Apple's lead attorney. "No evidence this ever happened ... there's no consumers, no iPod users, no surveys, no Apple business documents." Isaacson ended Apple's arguments with a plea, that the jury not "hold a great company liable and tell them to stop innovating, to stop innovating based on nonsense."
The closing statements follow a weeks-long court battle that has seen drama on multiple fronts. First, there was the question of whether any plaintiffs who purchased iPods during the period in question actually existed. Furthermore, a battle between media outlets and Apple lawyers ensued over the release of Steve Jobs' videotaped deposition.
With the closing arguments finished, a verdict is expected sometime this week.