Apple the #1 target of patent trolls

“Apple Inc. and Inc. were the most frequent targets of U.S. patent-infringement lawsuits last year in an increasingly complex legal climate that Congress and the Supreme Court are being asked to control,” Susan Decker reports for Bloomberg.

“Of the 6,092 patent-infringement suits filed, 10 companies — all patent-licensing firms — were responsible for almost 13 percent, according to a report today from Lex Machina, a Menlo Park, California-based legal analysis company,” Decker reports. “Three of those companies filed more than 100 lawsuits each.”

“In a filing with the Supreme Court, Apple said that for every case that reaches court, it gets dozens of letters demanding royalties. The number of demand letters being sent out by patent owners is unknown, and hotly debated, with a White House report last year estimating that more than 100,000 companies were threatened in 2012,” Decker reports. “Congress is considering proposals that would require patent owners to make clear who really controls the patent, put on hold lawsuits against the users of technology in favor of suits involving the manufacturers, and mandate that the loser in a patent case pay the winner’s legal fees except in limited circumstances.”

most frequent targets of U.S. patent-infringement lawsuits

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple, Google watch closely as US Supreme Court weighs curbing patent trolls – February 26, 2014
Apple, Google press U.S. Supreme Court to curb patent trolls – February 5, 2014
New York State joins U.S. Congress, tech companies like Apple in war against patent trolls – January 14, 2014
U.S. House panel passes bill targeting ‘patent trolls’ – November 21, 2013
Apple Inc. a top target for patent trolls – August 29, 2013
Patent trolls have the smartphone industry in a state of emergency – August 10, 2012
New U.S. House ‘anti-troll’ bill would force patent trolls to pay defendants’ legal bills – August 2, 2012


  1. Hang on… When Apple sues that is fair game but when sued the plaintiffs are patent trolls? Interesting logic. Based on what we see in iOS evolution, Apple should get sued by Google and MSFT. My point is that everyone copies one another and frivolous patents being granted my patent office employees who will issue a patent for beer farts that smell like roses.

    1. You’re confusing the topic. This is about “patent trolls”. Patent trolls are non-practicing entities, NPEs. From the article:

      “10 companies — all patent-licensing firms — were responsible for almost 13 percent”

      NPEs are also known as “patent-licensing firms”. Neither, Apple, nor Samsung, nor Google, nor Microsoft, are NPEs. They have businesses that use the patents they own.

    2. The main reason apple is not considered a troll is because it owns patents and uses them. And to the best of my knowledge has not abused its standards essential patents.

      I’m not saying they are angels. Just not trolls.

  2. *sniff*sniff* ‘Apple has money. #1 company on the planet. Target!

    There’s nothing honorable or decent about a patent troll. They’re just further psychopaths with no conscience who want to suck up some $$$.

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