Apple files fraud, trademark suit against iPod Mechanic

Apple has filed a lawsuit against Nicholas Woodhams of iPod Mechanic, claiming he misused Apple’s “iPod” trademark through the name of the business and its accompanying website. Apple claims Woodhams did not have permission to use the trademark and was asked to cease using it in his business’ name in 2006. Woodhams reportedly agreed to stop using the name, and reached an agreement with Apple that would see him drop the iPod Mechanic name by January of 2007, and then park the domain name ipodmechanic.com by that March. Apple claims that neither of these conditions were met, however, the domain name now redirects to imechanic.com, although the iPod Mechanic name is still being used at the new domain.

In addition, the suit accuses Woodhams of knowingly defrauding Apple by convincing it to send him free components. According to the suit, Woodhams took advantage of Apple’s iPod shuffle Advance Replacement Program in 2007, by filling out an online form for customers that saw Apple ship him “replacement” iPod shuffle units, with a credit card kept on file in case the broken shuffle was never returned. Apple claims that Woodhams used a credit card he knew could be authorized for a potential charge, but would immediately decline any actual charges made by Apple should the broken shuffles fail to appear. Woodhams eventually sold the iPods at a heavy discount, according to the suit. The company claims Woodhams’ scheme cost them over $75,000. He is also accused of swapping out the back plates of out-of-warranty iPods for those of still-covered models in an effort to avoid paying repair and parts charges. As all three offenses are being viewed as deliberate, Apple is seeking triple damages in addition to forcing Woodhams to discontinue use of the iPod Mechanic name and website.

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