Patent Trolls Love Apple
Which is precisely the position Apple finds itself in these days. According to PatentFreedom, which tracks some 710 intellectual-property profiteers, Apple has been on the receiving end of 171-patent troll lawsuits in the past five years: 27 in 2009, 34 in 2010, 42 in 2011, 44 in 2012, and 24 in 2013 — which isn’t even over yet.
One hundred and seventy-one suits. That’s more than any other company in tech, including Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard.
That’s a significant amount of nuisance litigation for Apple, a company whose legal team is busy waging far more important wars. Little wonder that CEO Tim Cook takes such a dim view of patent-infringement suits, dismissing them as “a pain in the ass” at our D10 conference.
“It’s maddening. It’s a waste. It’s a time suck,” Cook said of patent litigation. “Does it stop innovation? Well, it’s not going to stop us, but it’s overhead. I wish we could settle this stuff.”
Video of his remarks in full, below: