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  1. Apple awards $45 million to the company that helps make tough iPhone screens Corning's Silicon Valley research center. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac Apple is handing another $45 million to the company which makes Gorilla Glass for the iPhone. Announced Monday, Apple’s eight-figure award will help Corning “expand manufacturing” and “drive research and development” in the United States. It’s part of Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund, dedicated to supporting American businesses that are creating the jobs of the future. But, like the recent $410 million cash injection to the company that makes laser components for the iPhone, it also helps out Apple’s future plans. This isn’t the first time Corning Incorporated has received a cash sum from Apple as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Fund. It was the recipient of $200 million soon after Apple announced the (then) $1 billion fund in 2017. To date Apple has given it a whopping $450 million — out of what is now a $5 billion fund. Corning has worked with Apple for years Corning has worked with Apple for more than a decade since the original iPhone. It makes Gorilla Glass for the company, referring to the ultra-tough glass used on the iPhone. It also provides glass for Apple Watch and iPad. Most recently, Corning helped Apple create Ceramic Shield, the tough material that offers up to 4x better drop resistance than previous iPhones. It debuted last year on the iPhone 12. “Apple and Corning have a long history of working together to accomplish the impossible,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “From the very first iPhone glass, to the revolutionary Ceramic Shield on the iPhone 12 lineup, our collaboration has changed the landscape of smartphone cover design and durability. Ceramic Shield is a prime example of the technologies that are possible when deep innovation meets the power of American manufacturing. We’re so proud to work alongside Corning, whose 170-year-old legacy is a testament to the ingenuity of the US workforce.” Source: Apple Source: Apple awards $45 million to the company that helps make tough iPhone screens
  2. Top court rules iGiant's trademark infringed by components In a setback for the right-to-repair movement, Norway's Supreme Court has upheld a decision that a repair shop's use of unauthorized iPhone screens violated Apple's trademark. In July 2017, Norwegian customs officials intercepted a package from Hong Kong, sent to Henrik Huseby's repair store PCKompaniet, with 63 replacement smartphone touchscreens, all but one of which bore the Apple logo. According to Huseby's Supreme Court filing, these screens were refurbished, meaning they were pulled from old phones for resale, and the Apple logos would not be visible to anyone because they had been obscured. Apple insisted some of these screens were counterfeit and did not originate from the company's supply chain. In November, 2017, after Huseby refused to destroy the unapproved components, Apple filed a trademark lawsuit to prevent the screens from being used to repair iPhones. In February, 2018, Huseby won the initial round in an Oslo court on the basis that he never claimed the parts were approved by Apple. The court told Apple to pay Huseby 13,700 NOK, or about $1,450, £1,150 or €1,290. The iPhone maker then took its claim to Norway's Court of Appeals, which the following year ruled in Apple's favor because the parts unlawfully appropriated Apple's trademark. That decision attracted criticism from supporters of the right to repair movement for the court's failure to consider environmental sustainability as a justification for using refurbished parts. "The core of the case is the right of repairers to access spare parts without Apple approval," wrote Maja van der Velden, informatics professor at the University of Oslo, in a blog post last year. "This right is under attack by Apple’s drive to control how and whom can repair the Apple products you own." Huseby appealed to Norway's Supreme Court. He said in a plea for help paying his legal costs that the company was trying to use intellectual property law "to make my job and the job of millions independent repair businesses almost impossible." The Norwegian Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed [PDF] the appellate ruling. The high court's decision orders Huseby to destroy the 62 phone screens seized by customs officials and to pay Apple's legal costs, 247,500 NOK or about $26,000, £20,820 or €23,300. Previously, the appellate ruling directed Huseby to pay Apple more than about 114,000 NOK, $12,000, £9,500 or €10,700 in legal costs for the initial case and the appeal. This could be crushing for his business. Advocacy group Right to Repair Europe did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but characterized the decision as "a dark day for our cause" on Twitter. "We're sending strength and moral support to Henrik Huseby today," the group said. "He took a stand where other businesses were afraid to. And he will pay a heavy price." Apple, after years of criticism for difficult-to-repair products and hostility toward independent repair vendors, last year made a concession to the right-to-repair movement by announcing that it will provide independent repair shops with access to its technical documentation. There are about 20 right-to-repair bills being considered in states across the US. In response to a US House Judiciary Committee competition inquiry addressed to various large tech companies last year, Apple responded with a letter [PDF] insisting that it doesn't prevent consumers from seeking out third-party repairs and that it has lost money on its repair business every year since 2009. Apple did not respond to a request for comment. Source
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