Apple seeks over $15 million in fees from patent holdings firm for ‘frivolous’ lawsuit

“A federal court motion filed last Friday reveals Apple is looking to garnish more than $15 million in attorneys’ fees and costs from non-practicing patent holdings firm Unwired Planet, which engaged in a series ‘kitchen-sink’ lawsuits targeting iOS device connectivity features,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Apple’s motion stems from UP’s Nevada case in which a whopping 247 claims from a total of ten patents were asserted against iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, much more than can be reasonably expected to go to trial,” Campbell reports. “According to the document, Apple spent more than $12.6 million in attorneys’ fees and about $2.5 million in non-taxable costs. UP is also facing fees resulting from its court action in Delaware.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’d like to see Apple win if only to dissuade some measure of future courtroom frivolity.

Unwired Planet Inc. files lawsuit against Apple Inc. claiming patent infringement – September 20, 2012


  1. It’s a pain in the ass, to be on top. And you have to wonder, why make the effort? Sometimes it’s better to be a few heads down the totem pole. No, not Apple’s fault, but if they decided to relax and take the back seat now and then, you really can’t blame them.

    1. Apple is right to take the lead whenever possible. If you are seriously suggesting otherwise, you are grossly mistaken.

      Yes, everyone takes shots at the leader. However, in this case UP went after Apple for two reasons, neither of which has to do with Apple being the market leader: 1) the industry is very aware of Apple’s deep cash pockets, and 2) the stupid concept that a big company would settle for millions rather than go to trial.

      Both of these are wrong.

      Apple’s cash is not “burning a hole in Apple’s pocket”. Apple has been using the cash more wisely than most.

      Apple does not have the fanatical, risk averse mind set of many of the older companies its size which leads to the “settle to minimize any chance of adverse effects” reactions all to common.

      1. I am not saying they are doing wrong. I am just saying it’s a pain to be the leader. You are saying, it doesn’t matter, money attracts jerks – regardless. I will agree with that. Still I don’t like it. For me, Apple does not need to be #1. They just need to be Apple.

  2. Actually – – do you know what would be utterly hilarious?

    Think about this:

    A patent troll sets up a corporation to go sue someone like Apple. The strategy is that if the corporation loses (big), the troll’s financial assets are shielded by the incorporation.

    BUT – – the corporation, in order to file its lawsuit, must have effective ownership of the patents.

    So what does this mean? It means that if Apple sues for damages (and wins), if the Troll’s corporation doesn’t have the bucks to pay … guess what they have to sell (liquidate)? Right: THE VERY PATENT that the lawsuit was based on.

    If Apple plays their cards well, they can very well end up owning the patent which was the basis of the lawsuit – – a small victory, but a victory nevertheless, beause taking away his toy disarms the troll.

  3. The U.S. really needs to implement some form of “Loser Pays” requirement into its court system. While that can be a bar to some people from accessing the court system, carve-outs could be implemented to protect people without resources.

    The current system allows anyone to file any lawsuit they like with little to no consequences imposed if they lose, but the defendant MUST defend themselves (usually with significant attorneys’ fees and costs) or they will lose by default or simply a poor defense (our court system is far too complex for anyone to handle a trial on their own). While there are a few statutes which provide attorneys’ fees for victors in lawsuits, most disputes do not permit the winner to collect attorneys’ fees absent a contract between the parties stating such. Plus, the plaintiff should have to show ability to pay/compensate the winner before being able to file the lawsuit.

  4. Can’t make money out of nothing. I’m sure the bogus Corp has no assets. Only possible good thing is a patent troll doesn’t get paid and lost money in the pursuit.

    Let’s hope it scares a few others away in the future. Pretty sure the patent troll was the attorney or they wouldn’t have taken the case without a large retainer. In that case, only one who wins are the attorneys.

    Time to change the system but how when the people that get paid are the ones making up the rules?

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