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Apple, Still the #1 Target of Patent Trolls

1a. Cover - Apple, Still the #1 Target of Patent Trolls
In case you didn't already know this, Apple is still the number one target of patent trolls. These entities, who prefer to be called Non-Practicing-Entities (NPEs), are wreaking havoc in the tech sector. A recently published study provides us with a clear view of the top NPE targets and Apple clearly tops that chart. According to this new study, these "villain-ized" patent trolls have filed more than 11,000 actions since 1985.


As of August 2013, PatentFreedom has identified and profiled over 710 distinct NPEs (a number which continues to increase). Since 1985, these NPEs have been involved in litigation with over 10,000 different operating companies in nearly 11,000 actions, for a total of over 30,000 events. There are clear indications that NPEs in recent years increasingly seek to enforce their patents against companies of all sizes and in many industries.


Despite this trend, as the table below shows, NPEs continue to target many large and high-profile companies quite relentlessly.



2A. Top NPE Targets


Patently Apple noted this trend many years ago and dedicated a "Patently Legal" category archive to keep track of these patent infringement lawsuits filed against Apple. In fact, we just added a new case only filed hours ago.


As noted in the PatentFreedom's chart above, Apple is number one with over 171 cases filed against them, with 24 already filed in 2013 up to June. As you'll note, HP was interestingly number two and Samsung logged in at number three. In total PatentFreedom lists the top 30 in their report.


Noted below are some of the top industries being targeted by NPEs and technology wasn't number one surprisingly.





At the end of every patent infringement report of ours involving an NPE or Patent Troll, we list two reports. The first is a 2011 study showing how Patent Trolls have cost tech companies $29 Billion, while the second is a 2012 study that makes the case that patent trolling is out of control.


And finally, we posted a report in June titled "The War against Patent Trolls has Just Begun," where we pointed to Apple's CEO Tim Cook having pursed the topic of Patent Trolls with President Obama. Whether Obama will be able to persuade Congress to revisit this issue is unknown at this time. Yet if their recent track record is any indicator, I wouldn't hold my breath.


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Sources: Fortune via MacRumors




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