Customers who sued Apple over the disappointing performance of their iPhone’s personal assistant, Siri, are out of luck after a federal judge concluded they didn’t show fraud or breach or warranty.
In a decision issued Friday in Oakland, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken said Apple’s marketing descriptions of Siri as “the coolest feature,” a “breakthrough” and “an intelligent personal assistant” were just “puffery” and could not be grounds for a lawsuit.
The ruling is likely the end of the road for phone owner who claimed they had shelled out extra money to obtain the iPhone 4S after seeing commercials like “Siri, Snow Today” that showed the Apple gadget consistently answering questions about the weather, music and more.
In reality, Siri did not work out that way. The customers in the lawsuit say Siri could not answer questions like “How do you play a B minor chord” or “When is St. Patrick’s Day,” and that the device instead paused before answering “I don’t understand.”
According to Judge Wilken, the customers could not point to an Apple statement that was specific enough for the company to be able to respond to a fraud claim. She refused to accept that Siri’s performance in the ads meant Apple had to defend a claim over “consistent” performance.
The judge’s reference to “mere puffery” has been used by courts for over a century to reject false advertising and breach of contract suits.
The judge concluded the ruling by saying that the customers could not amend their complaint for a fourth time, meaning their only option is to appeal to a higher court.
Here’s a copy of the ruling, spotted by AppleInsider, with some of the relevant bits underlined:
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