iPod Nano Lawsuit Goes International

Apple's headaches over early issues with its popular iPod Nano player went international last week after lawsuits were filed on behalf of owners in the United Kingdom and Mexico, according to court documents made public on Monday.

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP, of Seattle, will represent the plantiffs in both cases. This same law firm is also pursuing a class action lawsuit against Intel, claiming the processor maker has coerced customers into not dealing with competitor AMD, and is involved in assembling a class action suit against DRAM manufacturers over artificially inflated memory prices.

The suit alleges that Apple had knowledge of the screen defects prior to the release of the Nano, but ignored them in favor of ensuring the product made it to the market in a timely manner. A similar suit was filed against the company on October 19 on behalf of U.S. owners.

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"It seems that wherever the Nano is sold, problems with the defective design soon follow," lead attorney Steve Berman said. Since Apple is headquartered in the United States, international owners can use the American court system in order to seek relief, he added.

The suit will ask for a refund for any member of the suit that has been affected by the screen issues. Berman said a second lawsuit was filed due to the large number of international requests received to join the U.S. class action.

Apple's Nano problems go all the way back to its release in September. Just days after the first customers purchased the diminutive audio player, reports began to surface on the Internet of how easily the Nano could be damaged.

"My thoughts are that the nano is way too expensive to scratch so easily like this. In my case, the only thing my nano screen touched was the inside of my cotton shirt's pocket," a customer named Curt wrote on the now-defunct flawedmusicplayer.com site.

While Apple has said the problems are an isolated incident and claimed the plastic used on the Nano is identical to that on fourth-generation iPods, the company took the unusual step of relaxing its return policy on iPods late last month.

But all of this is not good enough for Berman. "The far-reaching response also reveals that this is not just a small problem or a bad batch of Nano's, but a defect in the overall design that should have been rectified prior to the release," he said in a statement.

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