Apple Inc. (AAPL) Among the Top Defendants in Patent Cases


Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) are among the top defendants in patent infringement cases filed in the United States last year, according to the report published by Lex Machina, a legal analytics firm.

According to the legal analytics firm, the Cupertino-based iPhone and iPad maker was named as defendant in 59 patent infringement cases while the e-commerce giant was named in 50 patent infringement litigations.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) ranked third and fourth with 45 and 39 patent infringement charges filed against both companies, respectively.

Dell Inc., HTC Corp (TPE:2498) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (KRX:005935) each faces 38 patent infringement cases. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and LG Electronics Inc (KRX:006570) were named defendants in 35 and 34 cases, respectively.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Owen Byrd, general counsel for Lex machine said, “The patent litigation environment continues to be active and at time unpredictable. There is still growth in patent litigation and clearly a measurable percentage of that growth comes from so-called patent monetization entities.”

Lex Machina found that Patent Monetization Entities (PMEs) are the top ten plaintiffs that filed the most number of cases last year. Melvino Technologies/ Arrival filed 137 new cases, Wycomm 131 cases and Thermolife International 117 cases.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) ranked 8th among plaintiffs with most patents asserted in cases open last year. The iPhone and iPad maker asserted 52 cases. The top three plaintiffs most patents asserted in cases open last year were Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 103 cases, Intellectual Ventures 1 with 100 cases and Intellectual Venture II with 81 cases.

Lex Machina reported that the patent infringement lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court increased by 12.4% from 5,418 cases to 6,092 cases last year. Majority of the cases were filed in the Eastern District of Texas (1,495 cases, up 20%) and the District of Delaware (1,336 cases, up 33%). The number of patent infringement charges filed in the Central District of California declined 20% to 399 cases in 2013.

The legal analytics firm found that the most frequently asserted patent was patent no. 6,952,645 “System and method for activation on an advance notification system for monitoring and reporting of vehicle travel.” ArrivalStar is the original assignee of the patent and it filed 133 patent infringement cases related to it.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) along with other companies are urging the U.S. Congress to reform patent laws to discourage patent owners who depend on the high cost of litigation to demand quick settlements from companies.