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Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 06:00 am PT (09:00 am ET)

Apple settles "millions of colors" class-action lawsuit

Apple has settled with two professional photographers who had charged the company with falsely advertising the quality and capabilities of its MacBook and MacBook Pro notebook displays.

The out-of-court settlement, for which terms were not disclosed, brings to a close a 10-month old class-action lawsuit filed by San Diego, Calif. residents Fred Greaves and Dave Gatley.

In the suit, first reported by AppleInsider last May, the pair cried foul on the part of Apple's marketing lingo, which advertised that both the MacBook and MacBook Pro included displays capable of supporting "millions of colors" and offering views "simply unavailable on other portables."

Instead, they charge that the Intel-based notebooks were only suited to display the "illusion of millions of colors through the use of a software technique referred to as 'dithering,' which causes nearby pixels on the display to use slightly varying shades of colors that trick the human eye into perceiving the desired color even though it is not truly that color."

Greaves and Gatley, both professional photographers, argued that the misrepresentation was critical given that members of their profession rely on the accuracy of the displays for properly editing imagery. They asserted that, even at their highest resolutions, the notebook displays are unreliable for post-production purposes.

In addition to false advertising and misrepresentation, the photographers also charged Apple with violating the Unfair Competition Law and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act for its failure to properly address and rectify the situation.

There's no word yet on the steps necessary for other proposed class members to take advantage of the settlement.