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AppleT&T's MMS legal woes double

Gentlemen, start your photocopiers

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Two lawsuits filed earlier this month against Apple and AT&T Mobility alleging that the companies misrepresented the iPhone's ability to send MMS message have been joined by two more.

As we reported mid-month, two essentially identical lawsuits were filed in Louisiana and Illinois. Now, two equally identical lawsuits have been filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio: one on August 25th, and the second on the 26th.

The plaintiff for the first suit is Matthew Sullivan, represented by the law firm of Climaco, Lefkowitz, Peca, Wilcox & Garofoli. The second was brought by Deborah Carr, represented by attorney Scott Kalish. Both plaintiffs are from Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Picture messaging must be very important to Carr, because she’s seeking damages of $5m (£3m/€3.4m) from the two firms.

All four filings use the same language and the same detailed argument that Apple and AT&T Mobility used the iPhone's MMS capabilities as a selling point, but didn't provide that capability at launch.

All four also note that "The only excuse offered by AT&T and Apple is a mouseprint disclaimer on the website, in barely readable font, which reads 'MMS Support from AT&T coming in late summer.'"

Back in June, when the lack of MMS support by AT&T was announced at the iPhone 3GS and iPhone Software 3.0 unveiling at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, an AT&T spokesperson told Wired: "We absolutely will offer MMS on iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G with 3.0 upgrades in late summer once we complete some system upgrades that will ensure our customers have the best experience with MMS."

In the US, summer traditionally ends on Labor Day, which - unlike the May Day (May 1st) observance in many other countries - will be celebrated in the States next Monday, September 7th.

No announcement has been forthcoming from AT&T as to whether they'll make that deadline or if they'll wait until the astronomical deadline of September 22nd, the autumnal equinox.

All four of the lawsuits request to be elevated to class-action status. The Louisiana suit put the size of the class in that jurisdiction as 10,000 and the Illinois suit suggested 100,000, but the two new Ohio suits merely say "The precise number of Class members is unknown to Plaintiff."

However, if eager lawyers keep avidly photocopying the original filing, a class-action designation may not be necessary. ®

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