Apple pulls its antitrust suit against patent troll Fortress leaving Intel all alone

Apple logo at Moscone
Apple logo at Moscone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has withdrawn from an antitrust suit against patent troll Fortress, leaving Intel to fight alone.
  • The move appears strategic with Apple now more able to defend itself against its own antitrust issues.

Apple has withdrawn from an antitrust suit that saw Intel and the iPhone maker join forces to battle patent troll Fortress Investment. Intel will now need to go it alone while Apple will likely be in a stronger position when defending its own antitrust issues.

First shared by Foss Patents' Florian Mueller, Apple's decision to remove itself from the suit could suggest that a deal has been done somewhere along the line. But it seems just as likely that Apple's move was one of self-preservation – it's difficult to argue against a company doing something you're also being accused of, after all.

For Apple, the key benefit from this strategic retreat is that it's now consistently an antitrust defendant that argues intellectual property right holders should not be restricted in how they exploit their assets. That's what we heard from Apple's lead counsel toward the end of the recent Epic Games v. Apple closing arguments. In that case, Apple attempts to draw an analogy to FTC v. Qualcomm, as does Fortress in the case from which Apple is now dropping out.

Apple is in the midst of various potential antitrust situations around the globe and it seems likely the company is simply setting itself for the onslaught that is surely to come.

Apple and Intel's relationship continues to wilt and while unrelated to the switch to Apple silicon, the removal of itself from this suit could be seen as Apple again leaving Intel to carry on without it. In both instances, it seems difficult to see how Apple could do anything other than go its own way, however.

Speaking of Apple silicon, that new M1 iMac is looking pretty sweet right about now. Make sure to check out our list of the best iMac deals before placing an order for one of your very own.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.