Apple is number one in the world! (At getting patent trolled..)

Apple is number one in the world! - At getting patent trolled

Over the course of its long, storied existence, Apple's been number one in many things, in many ways, from customer satisfaction to profit share to mainstreaming technology itself. Being the world's number one target for patent trolls, however, is likely a distinction they wish they didn't hold. John Paczkowski on AllThingsD:

According to PatentFreedom, which tracks some 710 intellectual-property profiteers, Apple has been on the receiving end of 171-patent troll lawsuits in the past five years: 27 in 2009, 34 in 2010, 42 in 2011, 44 in 2012, and 24 in 2013 — which isn't even over yet.

One hundred and seventy-one suits. That's more than any other company in tech, including Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard.

That doesn't include Apple's more legitimate suits and countersuits from the likes of Samsung and Motorola, not even the FRAND ones. These are pure non-practicing entities looking for a payoff. It's likely not all the suits are valid, and while Apple has significant money in the bank to fight back, it's a waste of that money, and of Apple's time.

Even so, it's far, far worse for small developers who can't afford to defend themselves. See the rest of Paczkowski's article for more, and for Tim Cook's past comments on litigation.

Source: AllThingsD

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Purported gold and steel gray iPhone casings get shown off on video

Next up →

PDFpen for iPad and Mac on sale for 50% off

Reader comments

Apple is number one in the world! (At getting patent trolled..)


This is the same company trying to trademark "startup" I agree patent trolls need to stop but Apple is no saint here.

Ultimately we need some kind of overhaul at the USPTO. If you file for a patent with zero intent of ever producing the item/part in question and simply wait for someone to do so so that you can sue, you should be forced to surrender that patent. The problem is we keep getting into more and more wars, focusing on other issues that the glaringly obvious toxic wasteland that is the USPTO is completely ignored. Its pathetic.

Serves them good, Apple was shameless in patent trolling with the word "Appstore" until Amazon bitchslapped them in the court :)

I believe he meant the number of suits, not the type. Apple deserves some after they stated something along the lines of "We own the patent to slide to unlock (even though another phone had it first), and a tap is a zero-length slide". A lot more people attack Apple with patents, but Apple picks the wrong ones back. I could see them winning against Archos, to stop making their Titanium tablet as it looks like an iPad. I like Archos, but really? And this Michley 9.7" Tablet, looks just like it too, but I haven't heard of Apple going for them either.

Side note: I really hope they fired the zero-length slide guy, as a tap can't be patented. A slider that looks like Apple's can, but I have yet to see a legitimate phone use the same thing. The GooPhone i5 is not legit. - Search for "zero-length"