Apple And Intel Combine in Court to Fight Patent Trolls

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Apple and Intel have come together for an anti-trust case. They are attempting to stop the number of nuisance patent lawsuits they face (via Reuters).

Apple And Intel Bid to Stop Patent Trolls

The firms are challenging the patent practices of Fortress Investment Group, which is owned by Softbank. The suit was filed in the Northern District of California. It alleged that Fortress stockpiled patents via firms it either owned directly or had effective control of their patent portfolio. The firms claimed Fortress used the stockpiled patents to sue U.S. tech firms in a way that broke U.S. antitrust laws.

Apple said it faced at least 25 lawsuits from companies associated with Fortress and demands of between $2.6 billion to $5.1 billion in damages. For example, one case claimed that Apple violated a step-counting patent. Apple said in its complaint:

Apple has suffered economic harm in the form of litigation costs and diversion of resources away from innovation to respond to these entities’ serial nuisance suits.

Part of the complaint focussed on two firms, Uniloc USA and Uniloc Luxembourg.  Apple said the companies “have disclosed that they believe they are entitled to damages of between $1.41 and $2.75 per Apple product, for total damages in the range of $375 to $732 million.” However, it argued that “the apparent precision of the per-unit damages request is a facade; Uniloc USA and Uniloc Luxembourg simply adopted the amounts that Apple sought from Samsung in litigation for Apple’s patents.”

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