Apple, Intel sue SoftBank-backed firm over patent practices, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Apple, Intel sue SoftBank-backed firm over patent practices

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SAN FRANCISCO: Apple and Intel on Wednesday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Fortress Investment Group, alleging the SoftBank Group unit stockpiled patents to hold up tech firms with lawsuits demanding as much as US$5.1 billion (S$6.9 billion).

The suit follows an earlier case that Intel filed against Fortress in October.

Intel withdrew that suit and on Wednesday filed a new version in the US District Court for the Northern District of California with Apple joining as a plaintiff. Intel and Apple allege Fortress and firms it either owned or whose patent portfolios it effectively controlled - and which do not make any technology products - stockpiled patents.

This, they allege, was for suing technology companies and done in a manner that violated US anti-trust laws.

"Apple has suffered economic harm in the form of litigation costs and diversion of resources away from innovation to respond to these entities' serial nuisance suits," Apple wrote in the complaint.

When Intel filed the similar lawsuit in October, a Fortress spokesman said the company was "confident in our business practices and our legal position and view this lawsuit as meritless".

In the filing , Apple said firms connected to Fortress had filed at least 25 lawsuits against the iPhone maker demanding US$2.6 billion to US$5.1 billion in damages. - REUTERS