G3/OS X class action settlement details posted

Details regarding the pending settlement of a class action lawsuit filed against Apple on behalf of G3 owners who have upgraded to Mac OS X are now available online.

MacCentral first broke the news of the lawsuit in early 2002. The Los Angeles, Calif.-based law firm of King & Ferlauto, LLP.

The suit claimed that Apple had violated the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act by failing to support certain G3-equipped Mac models with the same features in Mac OS X available to later systems, after saying in a 1998 press release that Mac OS X would be "fully optimized" for G3 systems.

Some G3-equipped systems lost DVD playback capabilities, support for hardware graphics acceleration using OpenGL and hardware-accelerated QuickTime movie playback, following their upgrade to Mac OS X.

A conditional settlement in the case was reached over the summer. Apple admitted no wrongdoing in the case, but stated in the conditional settlement that it wanted to avoid the "further expense, inconvenience, and distraction of burdensome and protracted litigation."

A complete list of covered products is available from the online class action settlement notice, along with descriptions of the settlement class, an explanation of the proposed settlement benefits, and an outline of further proceedings and actions that members of the settlement class can take to be excluded or to object to the proposal.

The settlement was preliminarily approved by the courts in September, and goes for final approval in January. Barring any other complications, once the settlement is finally approved, users that qualify as part of the affected class will either be able to get a refund of the purchase price of Mac OS X (US$129) or a coupon for $25 off the purchase of $99 or more in Apple hardware and software from the online Apple Store.

"Apple also has agreed to pay an amount not to exceed $350,000 in full payment of the fees and expenses of Class Counsel subject to the approval of the Court," states the settlement.

According to the terms of the settlement, if users sign a claims form stating that they haven't used and won't use their copy of Mac OS X on their affected computer and agree to return their copy of Mac OS X, they'll get a refund of up to $129. If they wish to continue using Mac OS X, they can instead opt for a $25 coupon to be used for purchases of $99 or more on Apple hardware software bought from the online Apple Store.

The final hearing is scheduled for January 26, 2004 at 10AM PT at the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles.

This story, "G3/OS X class action settlement details posted" was originally published by PCWorld.

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