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Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 01:00 am PT (04:00 am ET)

Apple argues plaintiffs are too vague in class action lawsuit over Siri

Apple has filed a motion to dismiss a set of class-action lawsuits, which accuse the company of falsely advertising its Siri voice assistant feature for the iPhone 4S, under the grounds that the plaintiffs did not specify exactly what claims led them to purchase the device.

The Cupertino, Calif., company was hit with several lawsuits (1, 2) against Siri this spring. The complaints take issue with the advertising campaign for the iPhone 4S, alleging that Siri does not work as claimed.

Documents filed with the court last week contain Apple's counterarguments, as noted by MacNN. The company first argues that several of the plaintiffs are "lack standing" to assert California consumer protection laws because they purchased the device and reside in other states.

"Under Ninth Circuit authority, the consumer protection laws of the state of purchase — not the consumer protection laws of California — govern such claims by out-of-state purchases," the motion read.

Apple also asserted that plaintiffs' claims do not establish a case because they "fail to allege any supposed misrepresentation with particularity." The company specifically mentioned a lack of information about "when [plaintiffs] were exposed to the purportedly misleading advertisements, which ones they found material, how and why they were false, or which they relied upon in purchasing their iPhones."



The iPhone maker said the claims relied on a "selective reading" of Apple's materials without taking into account its disclosures. Apple also argued that the Consumer Legal Remedies Act does not apply to software. Furthermore, the company said plaintiffs neglected to provide "the requisite pre-suit notice of an alleged breach of warranty" and chose not to take advantage of Apple's 30-day return policy.

Siri has been a prominent factor in Apple's advertising for the iPhone 4S. Two Siri-related television commercials, "Road Trip" and "Rock God," were specifically mentioned in some of the plaintiffs' complaints about false advertising.

The company's advertising efforts do appear to have had some success in the adoption of the service. A March study found that 87 percent of iPhone 4S owners use Siri at least once a month.