Patent trolls are targeting Apple, as well as Samsung and HP, according to new stats from Patent Freedom.
Patent Freedom analyzed non-practicing entities (NPEs) companies own – or them that exist mainly to collect money from companies using the patented technology. The organization found that Apple has been hit since 2009, 24 of which were filed in the first half of 2013 with 171 litigations from these NPEs.
The number of patent troll suits filed against Apple has increased over the years, from 27 in 44, and 2009 to 34 42 in 2011 last year.
“NPEs continue to target many substantial and high profile businesses fairly relentlessly,” Patent Freedom concluded.
Though technology businesses are fighting expansive patent battles against each other (Samsung vs. Apple or Motorola vs. Microsoft comes to mind), these businesses must additionally fight companies that serve just to make resources from patents. Usually, individuals, groups, as well as academic institutions will obtain patents, set a company up, and file lawsuits against those they believe to be breaking the patents they own. Some are in a position to procure deals before the case makes its way to the court, but these businesses aren’t held in high respect, therefore the nickname patent “trolls.”
A recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that reputable firms still file most patent lawsuits in the U.S., while NPEs filed about a fifth of patent suits between 2007 and 2010. Not surprisingly, “software-related patents accounted for about 89 percent of the increase in defendants over this period,” the agency concluded.
The GAO identified the prospect of enormous financial gains on the smallest thought; three things contributing to the increase of patent suits: obscure or overly broad patents; and the acknowledgement by businesses that patents are a more valuable asset than once supposed.
The GAO found that 21 percent of patent cases filed between 2011 and 2007 were still making their way through the courts. The bureau was unable to determine precisely how much patent litigation costs from its sample data of 500 cases, but pointed to a 2011 study that said a patent infringement case could cost between $650,000 to $5 million to litigate, without damages.
Perhaps those shots are still sparkling or perhaps your game is all graphite. On the other hand, maybe you forego hues of grey for black or white.
At No. 3 is one of Apple’s largest competitors, Samsung. The Korean consumer electronics giant has been hit with 133 patent trolls suits in the prior five years, peaking in 2011. So far this season, it had had to compete with 19 suits.
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