Apple and Intel on Wednesday filed a joint lawsuit against SoftBank-owned investment firm Fortress Investment Group, saying the company violates U.S. federal antitrust laws as it “aggressively pursue meritless litigation have long been recognized to harm and deter innovation.”
The complaint alleges that non-practicing patent assertion entities (usually referred to by us as “patent trolls“) like Fortress aggressively file patent lawsuits against large companies like Apple and Intel.
“Patent trolls” basically take a “throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” approach to filing patent lawsuits. They are aware that they will lose often, but winning the occasional large award will result in rewards that exceed their losses.
Trolls hold technology patents not with the intention of producing product, but of suing companies that actually do produce useful technology.
Apple and Intel are arguing the Fortress-financed companies have “sought billions of dollars” from the two firms over the years, forcing both companies to spend “millions” on lawyers and expert witnesses to defend against Fortress-backed patent lawsuits.
Reuters reports other Fortress-financed entities, including Uniloc, DSS Technology Management, and Seven Networks are also named in the complaint, which was filed in Northern California federal court.