The "Right to repair
" movement may be gaining steam here in the US
, but Apple isn't sitting still, and argues that it will be consumers that will suffer in the end from unauthorized fixers with dubious aftermarket parts. The fight has been waged abroad as well, for the surprise of one Henrik Huseby, owner of a small unauthorized iPhone repair shops in the great country of Norway.
After getting a shipment of iPhone screens from Hong Kong seized at customs, he was contacted by Apple lawyers who tried to sweet talk him into signing an agreement not to use or distribute such parts any more. No passaran, said Mr Huseby, and, knowing the liberal Norwegian system, hired an attorney: "They threw all kinds of claims against me and told me the laws and acted so friendly and just wanted me to sign the letter so it would all be over. I had a good lawyer that completely understood the problem, did good research, and read the law correctly
Long story short, since the iPhone 6
and 6s displays in question were refurbished using genuine Apple parts from broken iPhones, the court sided with the repair shop owner, issuing the following statement:
The law does not prohibit a Norwegian mobile repair person from importing mobile screens from Asian manufacturers that are 100 percent compatible and completely identical to Apple's own iPhone screens, so long as Apple's trademark is not applied to the product...
It is not obvious to the court what trademark function justifies Apple's choice of imprinting the Apple logo on so many internal components. Huseby is largely dependent on being able to import screens with covered up Apple logos to be able to operate in the market as a non-authorized iPhone repair technician.