What you need to know
- Apple and Intel have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Fortress Investment Group.
- Fortress, backed by SoftBank, is alleged to have stockpiled patents, using them to shakedown tech firms with spurious claims.
- Intel and Apple claims these patents were acquired for the sole purpose of conducting litigation, and that Fortress has violated U.S. antitrust laws.
A report suggests that Apple and Intel have filed a lawsuit against Fortress Investment Group, over claims it has acquired patents for the sole purpose of litigating against large tech companies and that it has violated U.S. antitrust laws.
According to Reuters:
According to the report, Apple and Intel allege that Fortress, and firms under its ownership, do not make any technology products and that it has stockpiled patents "for the primary purpose of suing technology companies" and did so in a manner that violated U.S. antitrust laws.
The suit purports that Fortress and connected firms have filed at least 25 lawsuits against Apple, demanding between $2.6 billion and $5.1 billion in damages. One such suit alleges that Apple violated a step-counting patent in its device with health tracking apps.
Curiously, Apple notes that the per-unit damages requested in these suits "is a facade." This is because it represents the same amounts that Apple sought from Samsung whilst famously litigating against the Korean giant. There is no indication at this stage as to what exactly the lawsuit from Intel and Apple seeks by way of reparations or measures to prevent such claims in the future.
Recently, Apple took to its website to publish a legal note in which it reiterated its own commitment to the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing of standard essential patents. Apple acquired Intel's smartphone modem business earlier this year, along with a patent portfolio of some 17,000 wireless technology patents.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9