Apple, Intel file antitrust case in opposition to SoftBank-owned agency over patent practices

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FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc. brand is seen hanging on the Apple retailer on fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 16, 2019. Information/Mike Segar/File Picture

SAN FRANCISCO (Information) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Intel Corp (INTC.O) on Wednesday filed an antitrust lawsuit in opposition to Fortress Funding Group, alleging the SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) unit stockpiled patents to carry up tech companies with lawsuits demanding as a lot as $5.1 billion.

The swimsuit follows an earlier case that Intel filed in opposition to Fortress in October. Intel withdrew that swimsuit and on Wednesday filed a brand new model within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Northern District of California with Apple becoming a member of as a plaintiff.

Intel and Apple allege that Fortress and companies it both owned or whose patent portfolios it successfully managed – and which do no make any know-how merchandise – stockpiled patents for the first function of suing know-how corporations and did so in a fashion that violated U.S. antitrust legal guidelines.

“Apple has suffered financial hurt within the type of litigation prices and diversion of sources away from innovation to reply to these entities’ serial nuisance fits,” Apple wrote within the criticism.

Fortress and Japanese mum or dad SoftBank didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. When Intel filed the same lawsuit in October, a Fortress spokesman informed Information the corporate was “assured in our enterprise practices and our authorized place and consider this lawsuit as meritless”.

Within the submitting on Wednesday, Apple stated companies linked to Fortress had filed a minimum of 25 lawsuits in opposition to the iPhone maker demanding $2.6 billion to $5.1 billion in damages. One of many fits, Apple wrote in its submitting, alleged that Apple violated a step-counting patent in its units with health-tracking apps.

Two Fortress-connected companies, Uniloc USA and Uniloc Luxembourg, “have disclosed that they imagine they’re entitled to damages of between $1.41 and $2.75 per Apple product, for whole damages within the vary of $375 to $732 million,” Apple wrote in its criticism.

“The obvious precision of the per-unit damages request is a facade; Uniloc USA and Uniloc Luxembourg merely adopted the quantities that Apple sought from Samsung in litigation for Apple’s patents,” Apple wrote, referring to South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS).

Intel stated it couldn’t remark past the courtroom submitting. Apple didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Modifying by Sandra Maler and Christopher Cushing