Apple sued Henrik Huseby, the owner of an independent smartphone repair shop called PCKompaniet, for the crime of repairing iPhones.
Apple sent Huseby a letter notifying him that a shipment of 63 iPhone 6 and 6S screens had been seized by Norwegian customs, and said that he must pay the company $3,566 and confess to his terrible crime to avoid being sued. Huseby refused, Apple sued him, and the case went to court.
However, it turned out that Apple’s definition of what was “counterfeit” and the rest of the world’s was a little different. The screens that Huseby purchased were refurbished, never advertised as official Apple parts and were thus not counterfeit.
Apple logos on the screen were painted over, and wouldn't be visible anyway to anyone who used a repaired iPhone - the logos would face the inside of the phone.
In April 2018, the court decided that because the logos were not visible, Apple's trademark hadn't been violated, and Huseby won.
Apple appealed that decision, however, and the case was reheard by a higher Norwegian court this week, leading right to repair activists to wonder why the most valuable company in the world continues to go after a small business owner over a paltry sum of money.
Kaja Juul Skarbo, who works for Restarters Norway, a group that organises repair parties in the country said that if Huseby loses the court would be saying you cannot import refurbished screens, and Apple doesn't provide original screens.
Independent repairers would not have the spare parts they need in order to be able to do the repairs. The consequence could be that Apple is shutting down independent repairs.
The advantage of taking on a small business person means that Apple might force him into bankrupcy and be forced to settle. Of course, Apple would never be that evil just to make a few more dollars from its lucrative business fixing borked iPhones.
Janet Gunter, co-founder of the UK's Restart Project, which advocates DIY repair in Europe, speculates that Apple could be testing the waters -- that if it is able to win against Huseby, other independent repair company owners who use aftermarket parts could be next.