Apple Inc. (AAPL) Sued for $2 Billion Patent Lawsuit by German Firm IPCom; Apple, Google Team to Combat PAEs, or Patent Trolls
Apple Inc. and Google have joined forces to eradicate unnecessary patent lawsuits just as the iPhone company was slapped with a $2 billion damage claim.
The German patent monetizer firm IPCom is suing Apple for $2 billion over a "wireless standard-essential patent (SEP)" that was upheld by the European Patent Office (EPO) in January. Germany's Mannheim Regional Court will litigate the case. Apple will have to defend itself in court on Feb. 11.
As FOSS Patents noted, IPCom previously sued HTC and Nokia for several years.
According to a report by Bloomberg's Greg Stohr and Susan Decker, Apple and Google have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to make it easier for technology companies to collect legal fees from patent holders who have lost infringement lawsuits. Apple stated it receives dozens of letters challenging royalties for every case that officially goes to court.
The research firm PatentFreedom revealed Apple and Google have each been sued more than 190 times in the last five years by "patent assertion entities," which are companies that "get most of their revenue from patent licensing and enforcement."
In a 2013 report prepared by the U.S. President's Council of Economic Advisers, the National Economic Council, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), also known as "patent trolls," have threatened more than 100,000 companies with patent infringement during 2012. The White House report, titled "Patent Assertion and U.S. Innovation," stated the patent trolls can sue "thousands of companies at once" despite not having "specific evidence" of an infringed patent. As a result, tech companies have difficulties in defending their own patents.
President Barack Obama stated in February 2013, "...[PAEs] don't actually produce anything themselves. They're just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else's idea and see if they can extort some money out of them... [O]ur efforts at patent reform only went about halfway to where we need to go and what we need to do is pull together additional stakeholders and see if we can build some additional consensus on smarter patent laws."
As AppleInsider noted, Apple faced 92 patent lawsuits in the U.S. during the last three years and approximately half are unresolved.
Apple and Google are not alone as their mission to the U.S. Supreme Court includes Cisco, Facebook, Intel, and Yahoo! to name a few. The Supreme Court is expected to weigh on the issues in two cases in the "coming weeks."
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO
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